Balada (France) is a less popular version and differs from the Dansa or Balatta in that it is more a genre than a stanzaic form. The only consistent requirements being that the verse be lyrical and carry a “persistent” refrain. (The refrain can be more than one line.) From there the frame varies at the discretion of the poet. However the NPEOPP suggests that the first line of the refrain is repeated after the 1st line and sometimes 2nd line of each stanza.
The Balada is:
• stanzaic, often written in 3 stanzas (at least 5 lines each) of consistent number of lines (3 quintains, 3 sixains, 3 octaves etc.)Occasionally you may find more than 3 stanzas in the poem.
• Sometimes written with a mote which then serves as a refrain.
• the lines have no set meter. However during the period from which these verse forms emerged, quantitative or syllabic meters were most often present in the verse of these regions. The dominant Occitan meter was hexasyllabic (6 syllable) lines and the dominant Italian meter was the heptasyllabic (7 syllable) lines with the primary accent on the 6th syllable.
• rhymed, when written with a mote and 3 quintains, rhyme scheme AbAbaA bAbaA bAbaA A being the refrain.
• written with a “persistent” refrain, often at L2, sometimes L4 and the last line of each stanza.
Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=693#balada
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.