*4 Lines (quatrain)
*2nd and 4th line rhyme
Short event or story put into song. Folk ballads are one stanza, literary ballads are more formal and can be composed of several stanzas.
Also called popular ballads, ballads were passed orally from generation to generation as songs. The song would usually tell a story and include a shock refrain (impacting repetition) without going into detail of setting, characterization, etc.
Jésse had a wífe to móurn for his lífe,
Three chíldren, théy were bráve;
But the dírty little cóward that shót Mister Hóward
Has láid Jesse Jámes in his gráve.
“Ballad of Jesse James”
(Example from The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2004, Columbia University Press.)