If your exposure to various verse forms hasn’t included the ballad stanza form, then this page can serve as a reference (among others perhaps).
But the point is not to make a ballad. It’s to make an anti-ballad.
Not a limerick. Not a haiku.
Take the form of the ballad and use it to produce something that is antithetical to the spirit of the typical heroic ballad.
The king’s own men in raiment fine
Stood 'neath the castle wall
And took fair Johnny’s youthful head
For use as their football.
Create away, ye Dopers!
Young Johnny had a horse thief been,
A cowardly incompetent sort.
He tried to steal the king’s best mare
And was immediately caught.
His one and only love was known
As ugly Nell the swine
Though her breath was foul and hair was lank
She said "I’ll ne’er be thine."
But Johnny’s zeal was ever strong
His passion just as hot
So he took him to the village geek
And scored a bag of pot
"For Johnny, thou art a dolt," she said,
"Thou hast no charm nor wit
Nor art thou a dandy highwayman,
But our village’s eejit."
“Ah, Nell,” cried John, “You’re just the girl
For fixing me some food.
I’d like to take you for a stroll
And roll out in the wood.”
But the weed was strong and Johnny weak,
And he became dreadful high,
And he barfed on ugly Nell’s wimple
That she used to clean the sty.
Her fuming tress her reeking breast
Her laughable coiffure
Gave Johnny lad a heaving fit
As he fell in the manure
’Twas then he had the daft idea
To steal the king’s best mare
He thought young Nell might love him then
If he fulfilled this dare.
So off he went in dead of night
To stables near the moat
Up on the mare he dared to jump
And grabbed it by the throat
The mare reared back in great alarm
At this invader dread
She tossed her head, she kicked and bucked
And whinnied to wake the dead.
But John held fast and ne’er gave up
His arms and legs a-sprawling
The mare broke loose and sped away
With Johnny all but falling
The reigns thereon did whip about
the ankle like a noose.
And Johhny toured the town throughout
amid the sewer’s sluice.
Now Nell was trying to clean herself
Of all the puke and slime
As John and mare came flailing by
John shouted out this rhyme:
“Oh Nell! See what I’ve done for you
My ugly Nell the swine!
I’ve gone and got the king’s best mare
Now Nell won’t you be mine?”
But as he spashed through detritus
The kings men were patrolling;
They saw him dragged by his booty
And set the bells a-tolling.
The king came out to have a look
At all the raucous doings
And told the men who gathered there
Twas time for Johnny’s screwing
And Johnny wast cast 'afore the Queen,
Who’d judge his guilt or not,
The lad gazed up and spoke out,
“Wooooah moma, geez you’re hot!”
The queen was very not amused
And called for Lloyd the Red
Who took a rusty carving knife
And lopped off Johnny’s head
So ends this tale, for well-endowed
though Johnny he had been
The king’s huge tracts of land sufficed
to best this villein mean.
Many thanks for some clever turns to this amusement.
Should we have another go in a new thread?
jjimm, you wanna kick off a new one?
Johnny Bravo, twas sad to arrive in time for the beheading, wasn’t it? You want revenge with a new one of your choosing? Go for it.