A popular song, often recited aloud, narrating a story, and passed down orally. Over 300 traditional English ballads, in up to 25 versions each, were edited as the so-called "Child ballads" (named after the editor, F. J. Child) 1882-98. Examples of the form include "Sir Patrick Spence," "Twa Sisters o' Binnorie," "The Three Ravens," "The Lyrical Ballads" by William Wordsworth and S. T. Coleridge, and "La Belle Dame sans Merci" by John Keats. See also Broadside ballads.
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