Ballads

Ballads are poems, usually expressed through musical stanzas that tell a story.Readers and listeners from children to adults, all socioeconomic classes and education levels enjoy ballads from the Middle Ages to the present day.Ballads tell stories of a time in which the composer lived.They may be stories about families, fisherman, poor-men, love, heroes, and working classes.Some are funny and some are satirical.The poems or stories are not sophisticated; rather they draw on emotion.People are drawn to folklore and/or a belief in the supernatural.They are moved by the tragedy of loved ones, stirred by acts of bravery, raged by acts of violence, comforted by justice that prevails and humored by good-natured squabbles and quick whit.
The main characteristic of a ballad is the beginning usually tells the end of the story.In the Middle Age era, there is little to no background material given and little is known about the characters before the central event is told.Many stories recounted events that were well known to their audience so it was unnecessary to give background information or identify the characters by name.If the story was about a certain king he was simply referred to as "the king" and everyone knew whom the author was referring to. Popular ballads of today's era give more background information about the characters in thefirst verse so the audience can relate to the poem or song.
Similarities of Middle Age and modern day ballads include the stanzas.The stanza is generally a four or five line phrase that may or may not rhyme.Ballads are kept in simple language and are made up of four to five lines versus.There is usually repetition at the end of the verse, called a refrain, used for the artist to either think up the next verse, as often done during the Middle Ages, or to advance the story as used in popular ballads.
"Frankie and Johnny," (Boyd Bench) and "M…

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