The Ballad (Audiobook)
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Read by Sean Barrett, Ghizela Rowe & Laurel Lefkow (Unabridged: 3hrs 43mins) 

Featuring poems from Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Samuel Taylor Coleridge & many more. 

The ballad is one of the oldest poetic forms in English and are simply poems or songs that tell a story.  Traditionally they are composed in quatrains, with common meter that follow an a b c b rhyming structure and this, together with the simple language (often the dialect of the region), made them easier to memorise and recite by wandering minstrels as they were passed down orally. 

Originally derived from the Medieval French the name suggests that they were to dance to and whilst widely used around Europe and other parts of the world, became characteristic of British poetry from the Middle Ages to the 19th century when it settled into our current usage of the term as a slow sentimental song.

By the 17th century the printed version of ballads, often with music and illustration, known as Broadsides or Broadsheets, circulated, probably in their millions throughout Britain and remained popular until the Victorian era when they lost prestige.

Whether they be folk, literary or lyrical, most ballads contain a self-contained, concise, plot driven story told in the third person narrative, often featuring dialogue and moving at a pace with an emotional urgency to arrive at a dramatic conclusion.  The subject of ballads are limitless and they can be tragic, historical or comic.

Maybe it’s because of childhood associations or that we all enjoy a cracking good story told in rhyme but as this volume demonstrates, the ballad has endless appeal.  We include favourites such as Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Edna St Vincent Millay’s The Ballad of the Harp Weaver, Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee as well as classics such as Sir Patrick Spens, the Ballad of Reading Gaol by Wilde and La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Keats.  There’s many more known and lesser known in this volume celebrating this most popular and accessible poetic form.

In this compilation - 

1 - The Ballad - An Introduction
2 - The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde
3 - Ballad of the Three Spectres by Ivor Gurney
4 - The Ballad Which Anne Askew Made and Sang When She Was in Newgate by Anne Askew
5 - A Ballad of Hell by John Davidson
6 - A Ballad of Death by Algernon Charles Swinburne
7 - Strange Service by Ivor Gurney
8 - Arm The First Rifle Ballad, January 1852 by Martin Farquar Tupper
9 - The Ballad of Agincourt by Michael Drayton
10 - The Ballad of the White Horse - Dedication - An Extract by G K Chesterton
11 - The Ballad of the White Horse - Book I - The Vision of the King - An Extract by G K Chesterton
12 - The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson
13 - The Ballad of East & West by Rudyard Kipling
14 - Ballad of the Army Carts by Du Fu
15 - Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling
16 - A Ballad of the Ranks by Arthur Conan Doyle
17 - The Song of the Shirt by Thomas Hood
18 - A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery.  II - The Factory Slave by Martin Farquhar Tupper
19 - A Ballad of Whitechapel by Isaac Rosenberg
20 - Ballade of a Special Edition by Amy Levy
21 - Ballade of the 'Cheshire Cheese' in Fleet Street by T W Rolleston 
22 - Ballade of An Omnibus by Amy Levy
23 - The Ballad of Hampstead Heath by James Elroy Flecker
24 - Ballad of the Londoner by James Elroy Flecker
25 - The Ballad of Camden Town by James Elroy Flecker
26 - The Ballad of the Student in the South by James Elroy Flecker
27 - The Bridal Ballad by Edgar Allan Poe
28 - The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth
29 - Ballade of the Making of Songs by Richard Le Gallienne
30 - A Ballad of Dreamland by Algernon Charles Swinburne
31 - Ballad of the Ancient Cypress by Du Fu
32 - Ballad by Thomas Hood
33 - A Ballad of Gentleness by Chaucer
34 - An Excellent Ballad of Charity by Thomas Chaterton
35 - The Ballad of a Nun by John Davidson
36 - Ballad of the Moon by Frederico Garcia Lorca
37 - The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
38 - The Water Ballad by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
39 - The Ballad of Persse O'Reilly by James Joyce
40 - The First Walpurgis Night (Extract) by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
41 - The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
42 - The TWA Corbies by Anonymous
43 - A Ballad of the Kind Little Creatures by Richard Le Gallienne
44 - The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll
45 - The Angler's Ballad by Charles Cotton
46 - Ballade of Cricket by Andrew Lang
47 - Casey at the Bat by Ernest L Thayer
48 - Song of the Democratic Review of It's Birthday, October 1st 1857 by William Ross Wallace
49 - A Ballad of the Boston Tea Party by Oliver Wendell Holmes
50 - The Song of Right and Wrong by G K Chesterton
51 - The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes
52 - John Barleycorn, A Ballad by Robert Burns
53 - Sir Patrick Spens by Anonymous
54 - Lord Ullin's Daughter by Thomas Campbell
55 - The Ballad of the Harp Weaver by Edna St Vincent Millay
56 - La Belle Dame Sans Merci By John Keats
57 - The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson
58 - Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
59 - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge