Mudcat Café message #2278049 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109111   Message #2278049
Posted By: Brian Peters
03-Mar-08 - 05:32 AM
Thread Name: Folk terminology
Subject: RE: Folk terminology
>> I think "97 verse ballad" is a perfectly acceptable bit of humorous hyperbole. Much like "17 pints of lager". The terms just mean "a very long song" and " a lot of beer" and that is fine by me. <<

Yes, Greg, but the former is invariably used in the third person ("Oh Christ, he's doing a 97-verse ballad") and the latter in the first ("What a great night, I must have drunk 17 pints of lager"), which suggests a subtle difference of intent. While it's best not to take this kind of thing too much to heart, it does sadden me - as one who thinks that the ballads are the cream of the traditional song repertoire - to hear them either dismissed out of hand as of necessity long and boring, or performed so indifferently that they *become* long and boring. I once sat through a performance of Matty Groves of spectacular melodic inaccuracy and lack of committment, only for the singer to finish a couple of verses prematurely with the words: "I can't remember the rest - anyway they all end up dead." It would have been preferable (although still incorrect) if he'd said that after verse 1.