Ballads: Demon Lover, Casey at the Bat, Finnegan's Wake, and Ballad of Birmingham

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definitions & notes only words
  1. folk
    the traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of people in a community
    FOLK BALLAD
  2. vow
    a solemn pledge to do something
    “O I’m come to seek my former vows
    Ye granted me before.”
  3. strife
    bitter conflict; heated often violent dissension
    “O hold your tongue of your former vows,
    For they will breed sad strife;
    O hold your tongue of your former vows
    For I am become a wife.”
  4. tread
    put down, place, or press the foot
    “I wad never hae trodden on Irish ground,
    If it had not been for thee.
  5. mariner
    a man who serves as a sailor
    “I hae seven ships upon the sea,
    The eighth brought me to land;
    With four-and-twenty bold mariners,
    And music on every hand.”
  6. taffeta
    a crisp smooth lustrous fabric
    She set her foot upon the ship
    No mariners could she behold;
    But the sails were o’ the taffetie,
    And the masts o’ the beaten gold.
  7. league
    an obsolete unit of distance of variable length
    She had not sail’d a league, a league,
    A league but barely three,
    When dismal grew his countenance,
    And drumlie grew his ee.
  8. dismal
    causing dejection
    She had not sail’d a league, a league,
    A league but barely three,
    When dismal grew his countenance,
    And drumlie grew his ee.
  9. countenance
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
    She had not sail’d a league, a league,
    A league but barely three,
    When dismal grew his countenance,
    And drumlie grew his ee.
  10. espy
    catch sight of
    They had not sail’d a league, a league,
    A league but barely three,
    Until she espied his cloven foot,
    And she wept right bitterlie.
  11. cloven
    (used of hooves) split, divided
    They had not sail’d a league, a league,
    A league but barely three,
    Until she espied his cloven foot,
    And she wept right bitterlie.

    NOTE: A cloven foot is associated with the devil.
  12. twain
    two items of the same kind
    He struck the tapmast wi’ his hand,
    The foremast wi’ his knee;
    And he brak that gallant ship in twain,
    And sank her in the sea.
  13. broadsheet
    an advertisement intended for wide distribution
    BROADSHEET BALLAD
  14. pall
    a sudden numbing dread
    And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
    A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
  15. straggling
    spreading out in different directions
    A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.
  16. multitude
    a large gathering of people
    So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat;
    for there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.
  17. grim
    harshly uninviting or formidable in manner or appearance
    So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat;
    for there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.
  18. melancholy
    a constitutional tendency to be gloomy and depressed
    So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat;
    for there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.
  19. despised
    treated with contempt
    And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball.
  20. lusty
    vigorously passionate
    Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
  21. dell
    a small wooded hollow
    it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
    it pounded through on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat;
    for Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
  22. writhing
    moving in a twisting or snake-like or wormlike fashion
    Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
  23. defiance
    a hostile challenge
    Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
  24. sneer
    a facial expression of contempt or scorn
    Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
    defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.
  25. haughty
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
  26. grandeur
    the quality of being magnificent or splendid
    And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
    and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
  27. visage
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
    With a smile of Christian charity, great Casey's visage shone,
    he stilled the rising tumult, he bade the game go on.
  28. tumult
    a state of commotion and noise and confusion
    With a smile of Christian charity, great Casey's visage shone,
    he stilled the rising tumult, he bade the game go on.
  29. dun
    a color or pigment varying around a light grey-brown color
    He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew,
    but Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two!"
  30. fraud
    deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage
    " Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered " Fraud!"
  31. scornful
    expressing extreme contempt
    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
  32. stern
    of a strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
    and they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.
  33. literary
    appropriate to creative writing of recognized artistic value
    LITERARY BALLAD
  34. brogue
    a thick and heavy shoe
    He had a beautiful brogue both rich and sweet.
    (In this case the brogue is a heavy Irish accent, named after the shoe that Irish peasants wore.)
  35. tippler
    someone who drinks liquor repeatedly in small quantities
    Now Tim had a sort of the tippler's way.
  36. trotter
    foot of a pig or sheep especially one used as food
    Whack fol me darlin’, dance to your partner
    Round the floor, your trotters shake;
    Wasn't it the truth I told you
    Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake!
  37. gob
    informal terms for the mouth
    Arragh, hold your gob says Paddy McGhee!
    And Biddy she gave her a belt in the gob.
  38. shillelagh
    a cudgel made of hardwood (usually oak or blackthorn)
    'Twas woman to woman and man to man,
    Shillelagh law was all the rage.
  39. row
    an angry dispute
    And a row and a ruction soon began.

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