Ballad singing

Ballads have the triple advantage that they

  1. tell stories,
  2. usually have burdens (omkväde) which everybody can join in, and
  3. can easily be accompanied on harps.

The occurence of objects called “harps” in many ballads may serve as justification why we so often include ballads at Nordic Harp Meetings. An example of this is the ballad of Svend Vonved (DgF 18): Most Danish versions ofstart with Svend Vonved playing a harp (click for all 74 stanzas as sung on the Faeroe islands).

The same basic ballad has often versions in many different countries and languages. Yrjänä Ermala points out that the story of the “Cruel Sister” (another “harp” ballad) is a good example of this: Listen for instance to the version of Ranarim and Malinky, blending the Swedish “De två Systrarna” and the Scottish “Cauld Wind and Rain”: They make a perfect blend! Other ones that might be worth trying are, for instance:

There are, of course, lots and lots of others, related or not, and all of these would be welcome! Please tell us if you are coming and willing to share a groovy story with the others.

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