Border ballads are a group of songs in the long tradition of balladry collected from the Anglo-Scottish border. Like all traditional ballads, they were traditionally sung unaccompanied. There may be a repeating motif, but there is no "chorus" as in most popular songs. The supernatural is a common theme in border ballads, as are recountings of raids and battles.
Representative samples include "Thomas the Rhymer" (also known as "True Thomas", "Thomas of Erceldoune"), which opens in the Scottish town of Erceldoune (modern Earlston, Berwickshire); and "Tam Lin".
A.L. Lloyd said of the ballads: