Ballads: fairy tales and music

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! 🙂

The Book Wars

I realize that my title above is a little simplistic; ballads are rather more than fairy tales set to music. I could have said that ballads are the fairy tales of the musical world, but that’s not quite it, either. The point I was clumsily trying to compress into a catchy title, however is that:

  • ballads and fairy tales, or rather oral stories, share similar origins:
    • they come from the people
    • at some point they were written down or recorded
    • ethnographers and other trained (or not?) peoples were and are fascinated with the form
    • writing, or recording this work of art necessarily changes it
    • enthusiasts, well-intentioned or not, have gone around for centuries making up their own stories
    • these may be fairy tales, or ballads, if by a looser definition, since they have one author/recorder
    • generally speaking, there are distinct regional variants; sometimes the song/story is found in several countries…

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