Welcome to The British Literary Ballads Archive, a site dedicated to a unique genre of literary imitations of traditional ballads. The site contains a growing archive of over 700 poems, as well as short biographical sketches of the poets who wrote them.

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Allan Cunningham (1784-1842)


Born in the parish of Dalswinton, Dumfriesshire, December 1784. He was a great lover of old Scottish ballads and songs, and he wrote a number of imitations of traditional Scottish ballads, many of which were disguised and published in Robert Hartley Cromek’s Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song (1810). In his lifetime, many of his poems and ballads were very popular. His publications of Traditional Tales of the English and Scottish Peasantry (1822), The Songs of Scotland (1825), and an edition of The Works of Robert Burns, with notes and a life (1834) brought him fame and friendship with his contemporary Scottish literary celebrities such as Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, and John Wilson. (Y. Y.)

1.The Bonnie Bairns
2.The Mermaid of Galloway