Home »


The Rogues Ballads


Text Too Small?



These ballads do not have a unifying theme, apart from the fact that they contain main characters who are up to no good.

While the versions of these ballads in the Minstrelsy refer to Border locations, these are not a defined part of the tale, and in the case of “Johnie of Breadlislee”, certainly, there are versions of the ballad which locate in the North-East of Scotland.

Johnie of Breadislee is a poacher, and suffers for his crimes, but not before he takes his attackers with him

The Blind Harper of Lochmaben is just that, but he pulls off an elaborate trick to trick a Lord Warden and to get himself a rather fine horse or two.


Original image:

Edge of the moorland near Liddesdale
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Steven Brown and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

If you have a Spotify account, you can listen to these versions of ballads which were published in the editions of The MInstrelsy of the Scottish Border .
Remember to log into your Spotify account

If there is a School of Scottish Studies Archive Audio Track related to a specific ballad, we have included this in the left sidebar.

Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border playlist


Home »