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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An emotional rock song, generally focused on love, delivered with powerful vocals.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • Looking up the Google Book Ngrams for this, I found one instance in 1887. However, that example isn't really about "power ballads", it's describing the "power (that) ballads" had over the people:

    " Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun mentions in one of his words, the instance of a person who “believed that if a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation “ *-a passage that has been frequently quoted to exemplify the great power ballads exercised over the public mind, more especially, it may be added, on such burning questions as religion and politics.” "

    -The Broadside Ballads of Devonshire and Cornwall: With Notes as to Their Collection, &c
    By Thomas Nadauld Brushfield

    Otherwise, this first appears in 1985 in books about song writing, then Billboard magazine.

    September 17, 2015