“The Plough Boy” is Rundy’s song from The Farmer (1787), the text by John O’Keefe (1747-1833) and the music by William Shield (1794:3.3). Few pieces had the immediate impact of “The Plough Boy,” with its optimistic lyrics and bouncy tune. It was published in sheet music in 1788,… Read More→
With over 800 images and 300 mini-essays, this site offers a unique and comprehensive view of the broadsides that Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831) collected in early nineteenth-century Boston. Each broadside includes a brief explanation of its content by Kate Van Winkle Keller. To learn more about the history of this project and its contributors, please see the about page.
Thirty-seven ballads performed by David and Ginger Hildebrand can be played from the broadsides' pages.
Over 275 ballads (and counting!) have been transcribed with TEI-encoded XML available for download.
Please also visit the essays section for more of Keller's work on the network of printers and engravers who created these ballads, and for additional essays by Dianne Dugaw and Marcus McCorison.
To browse the over 300 broadsides included, please go to ballads. To browse by the subjects contained in the ballads and woodcuts, please go to subjects. The search bar above (with advanced search features) can be used to find specific broadsides.