The NaPoWriMo prompt: Today, let’s try another musical form — the ballad. Traditionally, ballads were rhymed poems that told a story of some kind, and were often set to music. They were sometimes set in four-line verses, with an ABAB rhyme pattern, employing alternating 8 and 6 syllable, iambic lines.
Your ballad could be sad, or funny. It could tell a tale of love, or murder, or just something silly. If you have any musical talent, it might be fun to try and actually make a tune for your ballad!
(Now here I have a dilemma. I have in mind two possible tunes. One is a traditional ballad-type with a catchy melody, and I would use guitar, violin and flute. The other would be a more traditional ‘drumbeat’ type of African music, probably mainly featuring a xylophone and drums. What do you think?)
King Shaka was a Zulu chief,
At tactics rather good,
With cruelty beyond belief –
If he could kill, he would.
He made his warriors stamp round
On lots of vicious thorns -
While redcoats their complaints would sound
If they just suffered corns.
His ‘impis’ bashed each tribe in turn,
For conquest was his game,
Which made some for protection yearn,
And to the Brits they came.
While others scooted north at speed,
Right out of Shaka’s range –
That many Zulu-types there breed
Is, therefore, not that strange.
Still, he did conquer quite a lot;
His kingdom grew and grew,
Until he truly lost the plot;
When, shortly, he was through.
For Nandi, Shaka’s mommy, died;
He took it rather ‘rough’,
And thousands, speared, lost their inside,
Not crying hard enough.
He then went on a killing spree
Of anything unwise
Enough for them to preggie be –
And father also dies.
Half-brothers thought it overdue
That he became ‘the late’;
Their spears both skewered Shaka through,
And grain-pit was his fate.
He greatly is admired by
The local people, but
One really has to wonder why –
The fellow was a nut!
However, local sculptor tried
To show a better light
By putting him some stock beside,
To make his head seem right.
The current king then threw a fit,
And toys out of his cot;
He told them to get rid of it –
Now moos are all we’ve got.
In art appreciation, so,
These people rate a ‘Fail’;
They also let some vandal go
And break off one calf’s tail.
© Colonialist April 2013 (WordPress)