What characteristics of two ballads, "Lord Randall” “Get Up and Bar the Door,” show that they were intended to appeal general audiences?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The themes of these ballads are ones to which the general people could easily identify.  For instance, in "Get Up and Bar the Door," the obstinacy of the old married couple would not have been uncommon in Scotland; that the husband and wife are so stubborn as to not close the door, but instead allow two vagrants into their home is humorous in the ridicule of such determined obstinacy.  For, even when the wife's life is threatened, she will not speak in order to win the bet.

Likewise, the loving concern of the mother of Lord Randall is poignant and touches the heart of the readers of this ballad.  Like the ballad "Get Up and Bar the Door,"  "Lord Randall" has much rhyme and rhythmic pattern.  Of course, the refrains of both ballads appeal to many people. And, people enjoyed piecing together the meaning of ballads.  While there is more mystery attached to "Lord Randall," both poems stir emotional responses.