What's the Story?

Pop ballads have got to be one of the most popular song styles of all time, and a favourite with singers as they give you a real chance to sing your heart out!

These days the word ballad refers to an emotional song that tells a story of love or personal struggles, but that is not what it has always meant. Ballad is an unusual word and it actually comes from medieval times when it used to mean "danced songs". Over hundreds of years music has evolved and changed and ballads have changed along with it and have now become one of the most popular song types of all times.

There are countless ballads in the universe and something that they all have in common is that they tell a story. The performance of a ballad is a chance for a singer to show the audience how the story they are telling made them feel.

Whenever you are singing a ballad it is important that you understand the story and which emotions you want to create and make your audience feel.

Writing a ballad can be easy...let's give it a try!

Think of a problem or struggle that you've had to overcome in the past, or something or someone that you love and want to tell the world about. Once you've decided what you want to write about, think about how that situation made you feel. This is the most important part as you want your audience to feel what you felt when they listen to your song.

Now you know your story, and you know what feelings you want to create, try putting it into words. If you can, try and make the last word of every two lines rhyme. Here's an example:

Situation: Losing a teddy bear

Feelings: Happiness and Love followed by Loss and Sadness

Bearly Human

From the day I was born there's only be one,

Who's loved me and understood me and made my life fun,

We're a perfect match, an unstoppable pair,

We're like sprinkles and ice cream, are me and my bear.

One day it went wrong, I made a mistake,

I lost track of bear when I saw a flamingo in a lake,

It's bright pink feathers had caught my attention,

And as I turned to look, what happened to Bear is too sad to mention.

He fell from my grip, landed on the floor,

He didn't stop there, he rolled away some more,

His journey was terrible he got trodden on and broken,

And I never again found him, he is irreplaceable and I am heart-broken.

So there you have it! A quick-guide to writing a ballad. Give it a go and see what you can come up with.

Next week when we sing "The Climb", try and picture what emotions you think the writer is trying to get across to the audience and show those emotions through your face and your voice when you are singing. If you can achieve this, you will bring your audience to tears (for all the right reasons of course!).

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