The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134256   Message #3053205
Posted By: GUEST,John Moulden
14-Dec-10 - 08:28 AM
Thread Name: Ballad Singing: A Dissenting Opinion
Subject: RE: Ballad Singing: A Dissenting Opinion
Jim is quite right, the term 'ballad', until it was appropriated by students of English literature, referred to a piece of paper with the words of a song, or songs, printed (or often written) on it.

For a longer discussion see Albert Friedmann, The Ballad Revival: Studies in the Influence of Popular on Sophisticated Poetry (1961) p. 35 "… the term 'ballad' was first, and until the end of the eighteenth century, almost exclusively used for the broadside ballads hawked about the streets of London and provincial centers and at country fairs." and Hyder E. Rollins, A Pepysian Garland: Black-Letter Broadside Ballads of the Years 1595-1639 (1922, reprinted 1971) p. ix "The unhistoric restriction of the term to the English and Scottish "popular" ballads is a development of the nineteenth century. ... readers may be reminded that to Shakespeare, Johnson, Beaumont, Fletcher, Dryden and Pepys the word ballad had in general one meaning only: namely, a song … that was printed on a broadside and sold in the streets by professional singers."