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Border ballad

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Border ballad

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The English/Scottish border has a long and bloody history of conquest and reconquest, raid and counter-raid (see Wars of Scottish Independence). It also has a stellar tradition of balladry, such that a whole group of songs exists that are often called "border ballads", because they were collected in that region.

Border ballads, like all traditional ballads, were traditionally sung unaccompanied. There may be a repeating motif, but there is no "chorus" as in most pop songs. The supernatural is a common theme in Border ballads, as are recountings of raids and battles.

Representative samples include "Thomas the Rhymer" (aka "True Thomas", Thomas of Erceldoune"), which opens in the English town of Erceldoune; and the very famous "Tam Lin".

The interested reader is referred to Minstrelry of the Scottish Border by Sir Walter Scott.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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