American Ballads and Songs

Complete Text & Lyrics - online book

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
has twenty-two stanzas and shows completeness and literary finish. Most current versions of this song have no more than three or four stanzas. When ballads are in their decadence they sink to the fragmentary, vulgarized, garrulous, or inconsequent, or they die away in burlesque. The appeal has gone and the text is of jnterest chiefly as exhibiting the last stage of a process. But the frank unconscious note of popular song is not to be thought of as the especiarpToperty of mediaeval peasant throngs or minstrels. It is recurrent for traditional songs of all ages and all regions. It may be found in many of the songs in the following pages as well as in the older ballads of England and Scotland.