Analysis of Ballads

Analysis of "Lord Randall", "Edward, Edward" and "Get Up and Bar the Door"
  • In Lord Randall the question left unanswered is whether or not he dies from the poison and just where he go poisoned.  In the ballad Edward, Edward the motive for killing his father is never revealed nor is his destination.  Get Up and Bar the Door leaves the reader with many questions like, why does one of the gentlemen want to kiss the wife of the other man?  Frankie and Johnny is very blunt about the mysteries associated with it saying, “This story has no moral.  This story has no end.”
  • In the first two lines of the fifth stanza “O I fear ye are poison’d” is repeated and represents the climax of the the ballad.  The emotional effect changes from excitement to fear as the repetition of that switches to “O yes!  I am poison’d.”  Seeing as this is the rising action it is an appropriate pIace for the refrain
  • In Lord Randall the climax is reached when he realizes that he has been poisoned.  In Edward, Edward it finds a climax at the point where he admits to killing his father.  Get Up and Bar the Door climaxes when one of the gentleman wants to kiss the mans wife.  Frankie and Johnny reaches a climax when Frankie shoots Johnny for cheating on her.
  • The implications of the final stanza in Edward, Edward is that Edward are explained by the lines saying “The curse of hell frae me sall ye bear.”  This roughly means the curse of hell of me is what you will bear.  This means that all the mother is left with is the haunting memory of her son.
  • The possibility of violence in Get Up and Bar the Door is when one of the gentlemen claims he will kiss the woman and her husband feels threatened by this and threatens him in return.  Through all this commotion the wife has nothing to say but “Goodman, you’ve spoken the foremost word, Get up and bar the door.”
  • I believe Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody focuses on a similar subject as Edward, Edward, Frankie and Johnny, and Lord Randall.
  • I believe these ballads do glorify violence when they are sung because it eases off the harshness about it.The issue is the same but it’s the way it comes out or the way it is said.

Analysis of "Barbara Allen"  and "Robin Hood and the Three Squires"
  • Barbara Allen wants to die because her true love died.
  • He first takes the old man's clothes to fit in more with the crowd. He then goes to an officer in the town and blows his horn, where 210 of his men came in from the plain and over the hill. They released their own three men and hanged the sheriff there. 
  • The couple argues about who is going to close the door. The husband tells the wife to close it but she insists that he close it himself. They agree that whoever speaks next must close it, but the door remains open.
  • Lines 1-8 suggests that their relationship has just started and that Sir John Graeme has fallen in love with her. Lines 13-14 show that his illness is because of his unrequited love for her. Line 36 suggests that Barbara Allen also fell madly in love with Sir John Graeme. 
  • One can infer that by him dressing up as a commoner, he wanted to fit in with the rest of the people. He didn't want to stand out and make it obvious that he was trying to save the men from being hung. 
  • The dialect in this ballad helps establish the setting because it allows for your mind to imagine where they are. Usually when you have such a thick dialect, you can tell where the person is from. 
  • The Robin Hood and the Three Squires, the tragic subject matter is that the three men that have done nothing wrong are going to be hanged. Robin Hood had to call on all of his men to save the men and had the sheriff there. He repeats a lot of things that he says for emphasis, and he rhymes quite often, although there is not a set rhyme scheme.
  • The strategy of reading through the ballad once and then using the notes to help me further understand what the ballad is trying to say really helped me. Sometimes the dialect is so thick that it is hard to understand what the ballad is trying to convey.
  • Medieval ballads were commonly written about couples and lovers. This shows the medieval society was civilized. There were also themes of violence written quite often which can lead people to infer that there was violence in medieval society.

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