Much of today’s literary and musical culture grows out of the ballad. Every day, we hear ballads on our radios, iPods and MP3 players, and as a backdrop for commercials. Over the past half century, rock and country music have given the ballad a format that appeals to baby boomers and Generations X, Y and Z – all of whom were exposed to the plot-driven poetry from grammar school through college.
|Rhyme:||Traditionally, the second and fourth lines rhyme in each quatrain|
|Structure:||Varied, but most often a series of quatrains, quintets, or sestets|
|Measure/Beat:||Iambic tetrameter and iambic pentameter on alternating lines|
|Common Themes:||Love, tragedy, religion, politics, triumph, loss|