logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Folklore and Mythology
Baptist
Florida
Cosmetics
Distance Learning
Reading
Crochet


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Folklore and Mythology Site

BellaOnline's Folklore and Mythology Editor

g

Folklore - Ballads


Folklore is a broad subject that encompasses a variety of subjects. Ballads are one of those subjects. Defining a ballad is rather easy - a ballad is a traditional oral story that has been turned into a song.

In American society today, we depend on the written word and historical texts to provide us with cultural context and help us remember stories.

Societies that operated orally used different techniques in order to pass their knowledge and their stories down to future generations. While storytelling was a favored pastime, ballads took storytelling a step further.

Ballads not only set stories to songs but also those songs would accompany traditional dances. The pairing of story, song, and dance created a folk tradition that allowed the memory of a story to last for generations without any need to ever set pen to paper.

The word ballad comes from the Latin ballare, which means “to dance.” The traditional songs accompanied stories about Kings, princes, royalty, political figures, and heroes. The ballads may have been about past heroes but were often focused on the current day.

Ballads often depicted common people who found themselves faced by complex and difficult situations with no easy answers. The decisions the people made elevated their status to that of hero or diminished their status to that of vagabond or outlaw. Even when branded an outlaw, people featured in ballads grew in fame - or infamy.

The ballad tradition began with the wandering minstrels of the Middle Ages. The minstrels would wander from town to town, collecting stories of heroes and outlaws, religious tales, legends, and supernatural happenings that they would then refasten into ballads. As they traveled, they would often trade one ballad for another, and many versions of the same story would end up in circulation.

When the 16th century rolled around, the printing press was introduced. At its introduction, minstrels switched from mastering the ballad form of storytelling and started relying on print instead. Once newspapers began circulating news, the art of ballads slowly started to die out.

In order to preserve the dying art of the folk ballad, scholars in the 17th and 18th centuries began to collect the stories and write them down for future generations. The printing press changed the way we understand the past, and it changed the way we remember the stories of our ancestors and of everyday occurrences.

But ballads aren't entirely lost to us. There are folk ballads that still thrive in the mountain regions of North Carolina. The ballad of Tom Dooley, a man from Wilkes County who murdered his wife, is an example of a folk ballad where things go awry.

In addition to folk ballads, we also have metal power ballads. One of the most iconic is Aerosmith's “Dream On.” As for which song was the first power metal ballad and which metal band was the first to sing one, that is a heavily debated topic today.

Other popular metal power ballads include Metallica's “Turn the Page,” Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You,” and Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed.”

Whether we're referring to folk ballads or power ballads, one thing remains the same - both types of ballads tell powerful stories. And those stories live on in our memories, as all good stories do.
Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to Twitter Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to Facebook Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to MySpace Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to Del.icio.us Digg Folklore+%2D+Ballads Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to Yahoo My Web Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to Google Bookmarks Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to Stumbleupon Add Folklore+%2D+Ballads to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Folklore and Mythology Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2015 by Ky Greene. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Ky Greene. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ky Greene for details.

g


g features
The Curse of the Seven Children

Folk Dances in the United States

The Jersey Devil

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor