The Scottish Ballads and The Origin Of Early Popular Australian Poetry

Frank Davidson


The key word in this rather loose title is the word ballad, so perhaps we should reflect for a minute or two on its meaning.1 In contemporary parlance, it usually refers to the words of a probably rather sentimental popular song but its derivation is interesting. It stems from a word in Old French—the word balade—which meant to dance, and the original meaning of the modern word ballad was a song, but a specific kind of song, one that during medieval times was sung to accompany a dance.

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