Mudcat Café message #3992368 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166098   Message #3992368
Posted By: Steve Gardham
14-May-19 - 02:24 PM
Thread Name: If you don't like ballads......
Subject: RE: If you don't like ballads......
The dance aspect of balladry was thought to be part of the evolution of the ballad FORM but it has not anywhere been related to any British ballad, mainly because the dance connection died out long before our modern ballads were written. They also relate only to ring dances, nothing to do with any solo or stepping. They do survive in the Faeroes which is what much of the conjecture is based upon, and there are a few contemporary accounts which are thought to refer to dancing in a ring whilst one person sings the ballad and the rest join in the chorus. It is conjectured that these ring dances were quite simple, circling round and moving towards and out of the centre. This makes good sense as the dance could be performed without recourse to any instrumental accompaniment. These ballads were similar to the earliest Child Ballads, i.e., those in couplets interspersed with simple refrain, think 'Cruel Mother'. It is also conjectured that in those embryonic ballad days post Conquest, these ballads might have been subject to communal composition, unlike any British ballads known to us today.