What is a Ballad? Definition, Examples of Literary Ballads

Ballad definition: Ballads are poems that tell a story. These poems are written with the intention of them being sung.

What is a Ballad?

Ballads are a type a poetry. These poems are composed with the intention that they will be sung. Oftentimes, these stories are dramatic in nature.

Example of a Ballad

Whitney Houston is famous for singing the ballad “I Will Always Love You,” which tells the dramatic story of timeless love a person holds for someone.

Modern Examples of Ballads

The movie Titanic includes the ballad, “My Heart Will Go On” sung by Celine Dion. This ballad tells the story of the infinite love the speaker has for someone. This ballad tells the story of how this love is everlasting no matter what situation life brings her.

The band Journey is famous for the ballad “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which tells the story of simple people in search of achieving large dreams. It emphasizes the importance of preserving in order to achieve our goals.

The Importance of Ballads

Ballads are important forms of poetry because they allow for the performance of the work. This performance aspect allows for emotional interpretation to be added by the singer for entertainment purposes.

Examples of Ballads of Literature

Ballads were a very important part of literature in the past when oral story telling was a popular form of entertainment.

The “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a classical example of a ballad. This ballad tells the classic story of a journey home by a sailor.

Another classic example of ballad is John Keat’s “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” which tells the story of a knight who is troubled by a dream he had about a beautiful woman who entranced him and vanished just as quickly as she came. It’s a ballad that explores both pleasure and pain.

Summary: What is Ballads?

Define ballad in literature: In summation, a ballad is a poem that tells a story is composed with the intention of it to be performed by a singer.

Final Example:

The singer Adele performs the ballad “Someone Like You” that tells the story of a woman who is heartbroken and struggling with overcoming the experience of failed love.