Friday, October 21, 2022

Songs and poems written in ballad form about highly publicized events: Silverstein, Dylan, Randall, Young, and Lightfoot

This week, my poetry and songwriting course looked at telling stories in poems and songs using ballad forms, with three examples: Marianne Faithfull's song "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (by Shel Silverstein), Bob Dylan's song "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll", and Dudley Randall's poem "Ballad of Birmingham" (later set to music by Jerry Moore). The ballads by Dylan and Randall both responded to highly publicized events, so I also told my students about two other cases of songs written after such events: Neil Young's "Ohio", his response to the National Guard shootings at Kent State University, and Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", his response to a shipwreck. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 21 October 2022)

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