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Liza Pask

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Liza Pask March 8, 2006 English 12 set 4 Ballad Ballads are the music of the common people. They tell stories that provide entertainment for everyone. Generally, common folk wrote them with a plot that benefits the poor person, or portrays the rich man as being too arrogant. By listening to the events in these musical stories, one can determine what society was like when the song was written. For example, "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan demonstrates several issues that were present in the culture from which it came, specifically violence, racism, and corruption within the legal system. The very opening of the song is a murder within a bar. ...read more.


'Less you wanna draw the heat." In other words, black people were severely prejudiced against, and they couldn't go out without being suspected of doing no good. The color of Rubin's skin gave the white, guilty men and the lazy, prejudiced cops a reason to convict him of the crime he did not do. Because the white convicts were already in trouble with previous crimes, the police wanted to give them a break and had them testify against Rubin so they wouldn't be in trouble for the murders as well as their other crimes. He concocted this plan confidently, knowing that Rubin stood no chance up against a white man. ...read more.


It seemed that what was convenient was taken over anything else, and real justice was not given. Society during this time obviously had corruption in its legal system. Ballads such as this are excellent examples of windows into the society from which they come. All these issue that were faced in the ballad "Hurricane" could be seen undoubtedly just by listening to the lyrics. Initially, ballads are written for fun, to tell a story, or to teach a lesson. They are about topics and events that are known in the era they originated in. Listening to ballads from any time period is an excellent tool in deciphering what was important, and what life was like for the people of that time. ...read more.

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