Songs of Discord: Ballads of Revolution and Revolt
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Born out of an oral tradition, the ballad remained for centuries a way of passing information and instilling social mores. Their wide use in the public sphere made the ballad a conducive medium for propaganda in times of war. This thesis seeks to explore why ballads have been such an effective tool of musical propaganda, looking specifically at their context and structure. In examining war ballads specifically from times of revolution and revolt, a general trend in pronoun usage begins to reveal itself. Over all, these ballads tend to use first person plural pronouns more frequently and more abundantly than ballads in times of peace. This trend found cross-culturally in ballads of revolution and revolt suggests, along with supporting research, that the presence of first person plural pronouns is a major contributing factor to the widespread and ongoing success of ballads during times of war.
Arndt, Amy Nicole (2015). Songs of Discord: Ballads of Revolution and Revolt. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from