ballad [-s, -'s] n

OFr 'dancing song'

  1. Bird song; tonal message; pattern of sound.
  2. Song; strain; lyric; popular tune; lighthearted melody.
  3. Phrase. “Border Ballad”: riding ballad; poem from the Borders area of Scotland and England; anthem telling brave deeds; text commemorating a raid at the Border; battle poem by Sir Walter Scott recounting combat between the English and the Scots armies; [fig.] bard's song; [see border, adj.]
  4. Music; lyrical poetry; [phrase “Of Ballads and of Bards”]: of poems and of poets; from the ancient tradition of memorializing the dead in oral and written compositions.