Monday 30 October 2017:

Singing the News – Ballads in Tudor England

Ewecross Historical Society, High Bentham.

The vernacular words and unpretentious tunes of sixteenth-century ballads meant that they were accessible to everyone, making them an important resource for the reconstruction of popular attitudes to a variety of subjects. In the absence of a periodical press, these memorable songs used rhyme and melody to sell stories and news. This paper will use live musical examples to demonstrate how the performance of ballads enabled debate about current affairs, despite restrictions on free speech.