From Journalism to Gypsy Folk Song: The Road to Orality of an English Ballad

Abstract

This essay provides an ingenious analysis of indigenous and enduring folksongs within the Gypsy oral tradition in England. It traces a brief history of scholarship on Gypsy folksong, as well as treats the inherently tricky issue of what a ballad is, before entering into a discussion of the interaction between orally transmitted folksongs and written broadsides. Ultimately, Pettitt illustrates how discernible trends may provide valuable insights into the ways in which oral tradition interacts with and influences verbal performance culture.

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