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popular ballads

Ballad, verse narrative, often meant to be sung, usually describing an event. Traditionally ballads celebrated folk heroes or related popular romances; they were developed by European minstrels in the Middle Ages. Romantic writers, such as Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, adapted the form. In modern popular music the term is used loosely to apply to any kind of sentimental song, but the United States has also produced ballads of the traditional type, ranging from the anonymous “Frankie and Johnny” to the work of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.

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