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Lesley N. Origins: Bachelor's Hall - clarification needed (30) Lyr/Tune Add: BACHELOR'S HALL 11 Dec 99

I have now run across at least three versions for BACHELOR'S HALL. There is a version in Digital Bachelor's Hall (though I am confused by the lines between the third and fourth verses - is it supposed to be a chorus, or is it a fragment?)

I also have a version by Jean Ritchie

Oh hard is my fortune and hard is my fate,
Controlled by my mother so early and late,
And when I get married just to end all the strife,
Controlled by a man for the rest of my life.

O, young men go a-courtin' they dress up so fine,
They cheat the girls up, that is all their design;
They'll titter, they'll tatter,
They'll laugh and they'll lie,
They'll cheat the girls up till they're ready to die.

When young men go a-courtin' they stay up all night,
Get out in the mornin' and look like a fright;
They saddle their horses, they rock and they reel,
Dag-gone them old girls, how sleepy I do feel!

O, bachelor's hall it is bound to be best,
Get drunk or stay sober, lay down take your rest,
No woman to scold you, no children to bawl,
So happy is the man that keeps bachelor's hall.

I only have one tune - that by Jean Ritchie in her Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians. Here it is - I hope

Click to play

ABC format:

T:The Bachelor's Hall

Steve Round's broadside index indicates Rev. Baring-Gould collected a version which began "To Bachelor's Hall we brave sportsmen invite.." Does anyone have additional words to BG's - is the Appalachian version related to it or is this just a popular theme??? (Charles Dibdin wrote a song called Bachelor's Hall as well - which wouldn't have any relation.)

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