Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name


Department (Legacy)

College of Arts and Sciences

Author's Keywords

Music; Religion


English ballads and songs--Religious aspects; Scottish ballads and songs--Religious aspects; Religion in literature


The present study of the religious element in the popular ballads is based largely on Mr. George L. Kittredge's edition of Mr. Francis J. Child's collection of English and Scottish popular ballads, the completeness of which, up to this time, has not been disputed.* Mr. Kittredge has printed in his volume one or more versions of every ballad which Mr. Child has given as an authentic folk ballad (omitting Nos. 33, 279, 281, 290 and 291), besides including a few of somewhat doubtful origin. It has not been judged necessary for the purposes of this article to discuss more than one version of any ballad, except in cases where a significant development of thought or custom is brought out by the different versions; consequently Mr. Kittredge's single volume has been found most convenient and adequate. The numbers and names of ballads to which this paper refers are those used by both Mr. Child and Mr. Kittredge. The notes of both of these scholars have been consulted and quoted frequently and freely. The present work makes no claim to originality, but purposes to consider the ballads from one standpoint, their relation to the Christian religion and church, applying to the whole series the same touchstone, and grouping the facts which this test brings out under suitable headings.