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Popular Ballad: Bonnie George Campbell

The World of People’s Sorrows

It goes without saying that ballads speak to each individual’s heart as they address archetypal points. Thus, Bonny George Campbell focuses on the idea of war and death. People contemplate these two topics at some point of their life. Of course, the balled also speaks to me as it evokes sad but really profound ideas. It is important to note that not only the themes discussed touch people’s hearts, but literary means used create a really specific atmosphere. Thus, when reading the ballad, one inevitably thinks of people’s nature. To that, people also feel the sorrows of humankind.

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Themes Discussed

In the first place, when reading the ballad, I focused on the themes discussed. I started thinking of the war. I wondered why people had to kill each other all the time. The ballad tells the story of a man who left those he loved (“his mother dear”, “his bonnie bryde”) to fight but never returned (“Bonnie George Campbell” 143). The ballad reveals one of the greatest sorrows of women who have lost their men because of many meaningless wars. I think the author of the ballad also thought that people had to live in peace. It is obvious that he regrets that the man will never return to his daily routine and to his family.

Apart from this, the ballad touches upon another important issue. The ballad makes people think of life and death. On one hand, people die and they “never return” (“Bonnie George Campbell” 143). On the other hand, other people remain and go on living. It is said that the “meadow lies green”, i.e. the world does not stop going round when a human passes away. The ballad made me think about the people I lost. I tried to understand how people could endure their numerous losses. However, I failed to find the answer. I had to reread the ballad to find the answer to my question. Now I understand that this is a universal truth which should be accepted. Thus, the “meadow lies green” and the world does not cease to exist when people pass away.

The Striking Details

As for me the ballad, is very expressive. I can easily picture the meadows, the two women in sorrow and the man who leaves never to return. This expressiveness is achieved with the help of precise details and really simple words. The ballad does not contain smart words that some poets tend to use to make their work sound more sophisticated. The present ballad is simple and this makes it so expressive and appealing.

What I find really striking is the use of repetition “but never cam he” (“Bonnie George Campbell” 143). The lines appear at the beginning and at the end of the ballad. Notably, the lines are enhanced by the following line: “But bonnie George Campbell / will never return” (“Bonnie George Campbell” 143). These lines make people realize the horror of the event. Admittedly, the repetition is a very expressive literary means. The author repeats the simple truth, and no other words can reveal the sorrow of the women.

Wisdom of Centuries

On balance, it is possible to state that the ballad touches upon the most meaningful things in human life. It makes people think of life and death, love and sorrow. In fact, the ballad can be regarded as a refined story that reveals sorrows of centuries.

Works Cited

“Bonnie George Campbell.” The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Ed. Francis James Child. Mineola, NY: Courier Dover Publications, 2003. 143. Print.

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