The ancient ballad is the oldest category of an eternal song. Many brought from the old world to the new, some even centuries old when the immigrants from England, Scotland, and Ireland boarded the ships that would transport them to America.
In 1910 John Lomax published a book called Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. It was the first real collection of American folk songs, and introduced us to a group of ballads sung by the real working cowboys of the American Southwest. One of the best-known favorites was Streets Of Laredo, also known as “The Dying Cowboy” or “Tom Sherman’s Barroom.”
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a humorous poem from Elizabeth we enjoyed:
The Parable of The Last Slice of Pie
The eighth slice sat alone on a metallic tin
Looking lost, like Eve’s apple, rather toxic
Fingers folded shut, no one wanted to be caught again
Sinking their teeth into such sugary delight would prove catastrophic.
For no one dares take the LAST slice
Not the hostess, guests, no one would eat the eighth
They’d been taught it wasn’t nice
Even if it was taken in good faith
In an effort to flatter the baker
Even if you happen to be the mayor
Cutting your pies in sixes or seven’s is nice
Anything but into eight
This solves the mystery of the final slice
Such mixed messages we seem to get
We’ve all been told to clean our plates
The moral seems to be murky at best here
Leave it and it may be eaten by one of these my dear:
Your waiter, a neighbor or a cruel dictator
From Jamaica or somewhere near the equator
A sailor, a player, or a day laborer
Who may save it for their seder
To eat on an ocean freighter
A tailor who’ll savor it in an amphitheater
Or perhaps a slippery fingered quaker
Or just forego all this crazy talk
And switch to vanilla ice cream
With hot chocolate sauce
POETRY PROMPT: Write your own All-American Ballad.
Sometimes we feature your poems in Every Day Poems, with your permission of course. Thanks for writing with us!