This paper investigates the inter-twining histories of two highly successful broadside ballads during the seventeenth century. Neither has been systematically studied before. A set of cultural relationships is opened for consideration by these songs: first, between the two ballads, which are different in several ways but set to the same tune; second, between the selected songs and other ballads on comparable themes; and third, between different editions of the two featured songs. In discussing each of these relationships, attention is paid not only to the texts but to the pictures and the tunes that helped to bring balladry to life for early-modern consumers. It is argued that balladry should be studied as an interconnected web and that individual publications drew significance from the manner in which they associated themselves – through shared pictures, tunes and narratives – with other examples of the genre.
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