For ballads were at first written to be sung to dances--slow, shuffling, balancing dances such as one may still see in out-of-the-way places in Brittany.
I do not mean you to think that we have any ballads remaining to us as old as the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth century, which was the time in which Havelok was written.
And so true is this, that ballads which have never been written down, but which are heard only in out-of-the-way places, sung or said by people who have never learned to read, have really more of the old-time feeling about them than many of those which we find in books.
One whole group of ballads tells of the wonderful deeds of Robin Hood.
The great idea of the Robin Hood ballads is the victory of the poor and oppressed over the rich and powerful, the triumph of the lawless over the law-givers.
The Robin Hood ballads are full of humor; they are full, too, of English outdoor life, of hunting and fighting.
not only without the slightest appearance of irony, or even any particular accentuation, but with so even and unbroken an appearance of seriousness that assuredly anyone might have supposed that these initials were the original ones written in the ballad
For many a day he sang ballads
to the band, until the famous Allan a Dale joined them, before whose sweet voice all others seemed as harsh as a raven's; but of him we will learn hereafter.
And then to be shut in on each side, with these ballads, like so many book-leaf blinkers
To tell you the truth Wegg,' said Boffin, 'I wasn't thinking of poetry, except in so fur as this:--If you was to happen now and then to feel yourself in the mind to tip me and Mrs Boffin one of your ballads, why then we should drop into poetry.
Each of these projects positions the ballad
as instrumental to an understanding of the "folk" voice as well as the "literary.
In fact, several components of the brigata's overarching tale have been traditionally neglected: the many activities of the brigata from early in the morning until late in the evening and the ballad
at the end of each day.
At the local fairs and markets that took place, ballad
singers went around with a stack of single sheet ballads
and sang about the latest shipwreck, revolution in Europe, or murder case from Cardiff or Bangor.
She said: "It's the first time I've competed at the Eisteddfod: I did it in response to an appeal for more to compete on the old ballad
competition in memory of Elfed Lewis who did so much to keep the art alive.
Taking place until Saturday, the ballad
tradition in Wales will receive special attention in a series of papers delivered on Thursday.