What is a ballad?

A ballad is a simple song or poem that tells a romantic or sentimental story.  When you sing a song such as “Casey Jones” or “John Henry,” you are signing a ballad.

Music

A ballad is a simple song or poem that tells a story.  Ballads are often songs of romance and songs of praise about heroes and events.

No one knows when ballads were first made up, but they were sung by European poets hundreds of years ago.  These early ballads were known in many places simply as songs, tales, and duties.

The ballads were passed along from one generation to another, and finally no one remembered who first sang them.  Often the tune and the story told by the ballad stayed the same, but the words were changed.

Sang old British ballads as models, Americans, for example, created popular ballads about such Western outlaws as Jessie James and Billy the kid.  No one knows for certain, in many cases, if what the ballad tells is true or is just a fanciful tale made up by the singer.–Dick Rogers

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