Mudcat Café message #3992003 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166098   Message #3992003
Posted By: Steve Gardham
12-May-19 - 05:16 PM
Thread Name: If you don't like ballads......
Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
This first person/third person difference makes for an interesting comparison. Very few of the big ballads are written in first person and those that are usually start off with the narrator in first person but soon disappear to let the story unfold in third person. Likewise the broadside ballads, many start 'As I walked out' but it soon develops into the narrator describing what he has observed and the narrator takes a back seat. Many of MacColl's Radio ballads are essentially written in first person for a good reason, they are an attempt to put the listener alongside of the narrator as in Shoals of Herring, and this style has been followed by numerous songwriters since, particularly those writing about occupations. Pop song ever since the days of Music Hall and probably earlier has been overwhelmingly dominated by first person, even those that vaguely resemble ballads.