“A Bachelor's Lament”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1905 (Belden)
Keywords: bachelor loneliness courting
Found in: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,So)

Description

"As I was walking all alone, I heard an old bachelor making his moans: I wonder what the matter can be, Dog them pretty girls won't have me." The bachelor describes those he has courted, the offers he has made, the horses he has ruined -- to no avail

Supplemental text

Bachelor's Lament, A
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

The Old Bachelor

From Paul G. Brewster, Ballads and Songs of Indiana, p. 311.
Collected in 1935 from Dora Ward of Princeton, Indiana.

As I was walking all alone,
  I met an old bachelor making his mourn:
"Of all the girls wherever they may be,
  I can't find a pretty girl that will marry me.

"I've offered them silver, I've offered them gold,
  And may a lie in my lifetime told;
Of all the girls wherever they may be,
  I can't find a pretty girl that will marry me."

(Stanzas 1, 3 of 6)

Notes

The texts in Belden and Cox have hardly a word in common, but the themes and forms are so similar that I don't hesitate to lump them. Brewster's text is similar to the one in the description. - RBW

Paul Stamler notes that at least one version ends with the bachelor dying; the singer tells women to put him in the ground, for fear he might come back to life and keep trying to find a wife.- (PJS, RBW)

The Jemison recording includes at least one verse that overlaps Fiddlin' John Carson's version of "Bachelor's Hall." I called that "Bachelor's Hall (II)"; the Jemison recording sounds more like "Bachelor's Hall (I)." - PJS

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Belden, p. 263, "The Old Bachelor" (1 text)
  2. JHCox 160, "A Bachelor's Lament" (1 short text)
  3. Brewster 70, "The Old Bachelor" (1 text)
  4. ST JHCox160 (Partial)
  5. Roud #3771
  6. BI, JHCox160