English 10 Honors Ballad Notes (book pages 192-198) Ballad Characteristics Setting, time, background and characterization are quick – a few words Characters pop in and out Swift location changes Action lingers at certain points for emphasis Repetition – incremental repetition Hyperbole Understatement Common Subjects: revenge, love, death, tragedy, domestic crime, battle of the sexes Written in stanzas and with rhyme “Ballad of Birmingham” Name: “Barbara Allan” The Birmingham Church Bombing Many of the civil rights protest marches that took place in Birmingham during the 1960s began at the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church, which had long been a significant religious center for the city's black population and a routine meeting place for civil rights organizers like King. KKK members had routinely called in bomb threats intended to disrupt civil rights meetings as well as services at the church. At 10:22 a.m. on the morning of September 15, 1963, some 200 church members were in the building--many attending Sunday school classes before the start of the 11 am service-when the bomb detonated on the church's east side, spraying mortar and bricks from the front of the church and caving in its interior walls. Most parishioners were able to evacuate the building as it filled with smoke, but the bodies of four young girls (14-year-old Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson and 11-year-old Denise McNair) were found beneath the rubble in a basement restroom. Ten-year-old Sarah Collins, who was also in the restroom at the time of the explosion, lost her right eye, and more than 20 other people were injured in the blast. ~ http://www.history.com/topics/birmingham-church-bombing --OVER-- Ballad of Birmingham By Dudley Randall, © 1964, All rights reserved Mother dear, may I go downtown Instead of out to play, And march the streets of Birmingham In a Freedom March today?" "No, baby, no, you may not go, For the dogs are fierce and wild, And clubs and hoses, guns and jails Aren't good for a little child." "But, mother, I won't be alone. Other children will go with me, And march the streets of Birmingham To make our country free." "No baby, no, you may not go For I fear those guns will fire. But you may go to church instead And sing in the children's choir." She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair, And bathed rose petal sweet, And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands, And white shoes on her feet. The mother smiled to know that her child Was in the sacred place, But that smile was the last smile To come upon her face. For when she heard the explosion, Her eyes grew wet and wild. She raced through the streets of Birmingham Calling for her child. She clawed through bits of glass and brick, Then lifted out a shoe. "O, here's the shoe my baby wore, But, baby, where are you?"