housands of songs highlight the themes of true love thwarted by social divisions and disapproving parents, and of emotionally distraught lovers following enforced separation. The number of these songs composed and sung throughout the late nineteenth century indicates that this was a recurring issue for young people. Countless songs also tell of lovers eloping against parental wishes. The very presence of such a huge body of song suggests that it was not unusual for young couples to break with convention and to reject social and familial expectations by going off to create a life of their own. By contrast, in some of the songs the emigrant regrets that not only is he forced to leave his native land because of poverty and lack of opportunity but also that he is leaving his loved one, perhaps forever. This anguish was a stock theme for ballad makers.