Mudcat Café message #3450604 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #148569   Message #3450604
Posted By: GUEST,Lighter
11-Dec-12 - 03:38 PM
Thread Name: I need a word or term: spoken song?
Subject: RE: I need a word or term: spoken song?
Obviously "rapping" doesn't work.

A "recitative" is defined as "a style of vocal music intermediate between speaking and singing."

That would seem to fit "Big Bad John" as well as "Old Rivers," though they're closer to the "speaking" end of the spectrum than most recitatives I'm familiar with.

There may be no *single word* in English that perfectly describes such performances.