ETYM Old Eng. balade, Old Fren. balade, French ballade, from Pr. ballada a dancing song, from ballare to dance; cf. Italian ballata. Related to Ball, and Ballet.
Form of traditional narrative poetry, widespread in Europe and the US. Ballads are metrically simple, sometimes (as in Russia) unstrophic and unrhymed or (as in Denmark) dependent on assonance. Concerned with some strongly emotional event, the ballad is halfway between the lyric and the epic. Most English ballads date from the 15th century but may describe earlier events. Poets of the Romantic movement both in England and in Germany were greatly influenced by the ballad revival, as seen in, for example, the Lyrical Ballads 1798 of Wordsworth and Coleridge. Des Knaben Wunderhorn/The Boy’s Magic Horn 1805–08, a collection edited by Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim, was a major influence on 19th-century German poetry. The ballad form was adapted in “broadsheets”, with a satirical or political motive, and in the “hanging” ballads purporting to come from condemned criminals.
Historically, the ballad was primarily intended for singing at the communal ring-dance, the refrains representing the chorus.
Opinion is divided as to whether the authorship of the ballads may be attributed to individual poets or to the community. Later ballads tend to center on a popular folk hero, such as Robin Hood or Jesse James.
1. A narrative poem of popular origin; SYN. lay.
2. A narrative song with a recurrent refrain; SYN. lay.
Prvobitno: pesma koja se uz igranje pevala (balar=igrati); docnije se razvila u pesmu lirsko-epske sadržine, koja služeći se i dijaloškom formom, priča neki događaj i u isto vreme izaziva lirsko raspoloženje; pesnička pripovetka.