Similarities And Differences Between Ballads

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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"There You'll Be" by Faith Hill is a wonderful ballad as well as one of my favorite songs. This is one of the many every-day songs that we listen to, but we never really look into it and compare and contrast it will ballads from the past. For example, "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" by S. Foster is a ballad that was written in 1853 and people still know it to this day.

"Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" is different from "There You'll Be" because it rhymes. Where-as Faith Hill's song doesn't. Another major difference is that the modern ballad, "There You'll Be" is much longer than the older ballad. There are many words and phrases in S. Foster's ballad that we don't usually use in our common literature. For example, "many were the blithe birds that warbled them o'er," to translate this to the people that don't speak with these different words; it says, "many were the cheerful birds that chirped them over."

As you can see so far, there are many differences in the way that these two songs, otherwise known as ballads, were written. That could be because of the big time gap in between, there was just a changed in the popular type of music. Or it could simply be that the authors had different tastes in their music.

S. Foster repeated one line in the whole ballad, "Floating like a vapor on the soft summer air," that is what his "˜chorus' is made up of. Faith Hill's song has what most of us know as an actual chorus; she repeats a section (four sentences) of the song. It seems Anderson 2 to me that, the biggest difference in the two ballads is that one is a definite song and the other is more of a poem. "There You'll Be" is voiced like as song, and "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" seems like it is voiced as a poem. It may seem like S. Foster's ballad is like a poem because of the rhyming in it and because the sections are spaced out in a different way.

These two very different ballads not only have all these differences; they also have many different things in common. First of all, they both are about the love that someone has for someone else and the sad reason that they can't be together. In Faith Hill's song, she is singing about someone who has passed on. She states in her song that "In [her] dreams [she'll] always see [his] soul above the sky," this is showing that even though her lover has died, their souls will always be connected with the bonds of love.

Another comparison between the two ballads is that they both repeat a line in the song. It is not the same length, but it is still repeated. This repeated phrase is emphasizing the death of the loved one that died but is still in the person's life. Whether it is in their dreams, or just "floating like a vapor on the soft summer air." The last main related thing in these ballads is that they are both passed on for a great period of time. People will remember the Faith Hill song for years and year to come. And look at "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," it has already been passed from generation to generation for over 145 years. These are unforgettable tunes that will stick with many people for the rest of their life, and who knows? Maybe you'll be singing it to your child or grandchild as they fall asleep at night.

Anderson 3 I believe that both of these songs and/or ballads, what ever you may call them, are great pieces of lyrical work. I also believe that one might stay with me a little bit longer than the other, just because of the way it is written and vocalized. (666 words "" including the header and the "˜Anderson #' s. And not including this little bit about how many words there are.)