In medieval times, throughout England and Ireland, bards were poets, songwriters, and entertainers often employed for purposes of celebrating one's own achievements as well as one's ancestry. In the world of video games, bards are typically a jack of all trades type of character that combine their musical proficiency with a myriad of other skills including sword combat.
In EverQuest, bards are the do it all class. They can sneak and pick locks like a Rogue, track and forage like Druids and Rangers, dual wield and wear plate armor like Warriors, and use songs to mimic the effects of all types of casters. The catch is that they are not as skilled in any one of these skills as the class associated with that skill. One thing Bards have over everyone though is speed. A Bard with good percussion skill can run faster than anyone. Skilled bards can twist multiple songs together for combined effects on themselves or their group.