Edited and Introduced by Emily Lyle. Scotland's ballads represent one of the high-water marks of Scottish literature and are famous as superb expressions of oral culture, reflecting a world of magic, deep passion and history transformed into legend. This selection includes more than eighty of the finest ballads, together with an introduction, notes and glosses. The versions come from the last three centuries-from the time of Burns and Scott, who were among the earliest collectors, up to the present day. Although the ballads are anonymous in a way, the singers themselves determine the versions we have, by a process of selection, interpretation and refashioning. Wherever possible, this edition includes the names of the singers, many of whom were women. An internationally recognised ballad scholar, Emily Lyle is a research fellow at the School of Scottish Studies in the University of Edinburgh, and is general editor of The Grieg-Duncan Folk song Collection. 'All of us should own and cherish Emily Lyle's trove of eighty unbelievably truthful songs.' Scotland on Sunday

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