Mudcat Café message #3991469 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166098   Message #3991469
Posted By: GUEST,Pseudonymous
08-May-19 - 02:00 PM
Thread Name: If you don't like ballads......
Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
While he is away, Dave, in that post he gave an account of what a ballad is. The way he gave it suggested that people who did not agree with it had not been paying attention properly. And while the post is to some extent ambiguous about the addressee of some sections, it might have been you.

It is an interesting account but I feel it might be improved.

It's a bit contradictory, for it says 'just plot' while also emphasising small amounts of description and small amounts of comment. But 'just plot' would presumably mean no description or content.

The account also says something about 'bare bones' and here I disagree. But this could lead to debate about what 'bare bones' means.

The account has nothing to say about the rhyme, rhythm or music, reflecting perhaps Jim's approach to the genre. But all these seem to me to be more than 'bare bones'.

The narratives relate to characters, and these are often described to some extent. As are places.


THERE lived a wife at Usher's Well,
And a wealthy wife was she;
She had three stout and stalwart sons,
And sent them oer the sea.

What are the 'bare bones' of this bit of plot? Three men went to sea? A married woman sent her sons to sea? It seems clear to me that we are getting more than just plot: we get some indication of social rank, and some indication of the character of the three young men, all of which is 'description'.

Not to mention the alliteration, lots of w sounds and then lots of s sounds, which add to the sound patterning.

Bare bones of plot? I don't think so.