They can be sung either straight through in stanzas of four lines each, or in stanzas of two lines each repeating the first line three times depending on how long the performer would like the ballad to last. The second method appears to be the more canonical, so that is what is illustrated below. The refrains are sung in all stanzas, but they will only be shown for the first. There were three rauens  sat on a tree, downe a downe, hay downe, hay downe,  There were three rauens sat on a tree, with a downe, There were three rauens sat on a tree, They were as blacke as they might be.
These are some of the better known structures with their definitions in italics from the Bedford Online Glossary: The Epic A long narrative poem, told in a formal, elevated style, that focuses on a serious subject and chronicles heroic deeds and events important to a culture or nation.
The oldest piece of literature is the Epic of Gilgamesh. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are epics. The Ode A relatively lengthy lyric poem that often expresses lofty emotions in a dignified style. Odes are characterized by a serious topic, such as truth, art, freedom, justice, or the meaning of life; their tone tends to be formal.
There is no prescribed pattern that defines an ode; some odes repeat the same pattern in each stanza, while others introduce a new pattern in each stanza.
Some of the oldest odes are probably those written by the Greek poet, Pindar Victory Odes. The Ballad Traditionally, a ballad is a song, transmitted orally from generation to generation, that tells a story and that eventually is written down. As such, ballads usually cannot be traced to a particular author or group of authors.
Typically, ballads are dramatic, condensed, and impersonal narratives, such as "Bonny Barbara Allan" or "House Carpenter. The Sonnet A fixed form of lyric poetry that consists of fourteen lines, usually written in iambic pentameter. There are two basic types of sonnets, the Italian and the English.
The Italian sonnet, also known as the Petrarchan sonnet, is divided into an octave, which typically rhymes abbaabba, and a sestet, which may have varying rhyme schemes. Common rhyme patterns in the sestet are cdecde, cdcdcd, and cdccdc.
Very often the octave presents a situation, attitude, or problem that the sestet comments upon or resolves, as in John Keats's "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer.
This rhyme scheme is more suited to English poetry because English has fewer rhyming words than Italian. English sonnets, because of their four-part organization, also have more flexibility with respect to where thematic breaks can occur.
Villanelle A type of fixed form poetry consisting of nineteen lines of any length divided into six stanzas: The first and third lines of the initial tercet rhyme; these rhymes are repeated in each subsequent tercet aba and in the final two lines of the quatrain abaa.
Line 1 appears in its entirety as lines 6, 12, and 18, while line 3 reappears as lines 9, 15, and Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night" is a villanelle. Haiku A style of lyric poetry borrowed from the Japanese that typically presents an intense emotion or vivid image of nature, which, traditionally, is designed to lead to a spiritual insight.
Haiku is a fixed poetic form, consisting of seventeen syllables organized into three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Today, however, many poets vary the syllabic count in their haiku. Sometimes called "free verse," open form poetry does not conform to established patterns of meter, rhyme, and stanza.An in-depth analysis.
A Japanese poetic form with 5 unrhymed lines Exactly 31 syllables 5 syllables in lines 1 and 3 7 in lines 2, 4, and 5. Sep 16, · Barbara Allen In Scarlet town, where I was born, There was a fair maid dwellin', Made every youth cry Well-a-day! Her name was Barbara Allen. Jul 28, · Other versions are given in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society (volume i,p.
99); English County Songs (p. 74); and Christie’s Traditional Ballad Airs (volume i, p. ). The song is a very common one and I have noted several variants of it.
Rightly or wrongly, ballads and folk songs collected in England are often thought to embody a sense of Englishness, even though substantial numbers of the items contained in such collections could equally be found in, say, Scotland, or even America.
Nevertheless, ballad texts do reference topology and environment, and they do reference specific localities. A folk ballad, possibly no older than the 18th century, tells a story about a servant or lady-in-waiting, Mary Hamilton, at the court of a Queen Mary, who had an affair with the king and was sent to the gallows for drowning her illegitimate child.
Traditional English Lute Songs - Lord Randall A painting of the poisoning of Jimmy Randall appears on Kentucky artist and ballad singer Daniel Dutton's web site: "Ballads of the Barefoot Mind".