Anonymous is a well-known and prolific poet. Many of the traditional folk ballads we know today may have begun as songs sung by wandering minstrels,for which authorship was unimportant. The songs needed to be easily remembered, so a simple structure and repetition were often used. Ballads would capture dramatic local tales or legends and would be embellished and refined over the years. A large number of ballads were collected and formally recorded in print in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and attributed to the versatile ‘anonymous’.
Recording commissioned by the Poetry Archive, reproduced here with kind permission of the reader.