Ballade

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For the ballade as a musical (instrumental) form see ballade (musical form).

A ballade is a medieval French verse or song which tells a story. Like the rondeau and the virelai it was very popular in 14th and 15th century France. All these three songs were originally dances. Famous composers like Guillaume de Machaut wrote ballades.

Ballade verses often had three stanzas which had the same metre and rhyme scheme, and the last line was often the same. They might end with an envoi which meant that it was addressing a king or prince. The great English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote ballades.