“After the Ball”


A girl asks her uncle why he never married. He recalls the sweetheart he took to a ball. After leaving for a moment, he sees her kissing another man. He abandons her; years later, after she is dead, he learns that the other man was her brother


Gilbert describes how Harris (at the time, according to Geller, an impoverished banjo teacher) wrote this song by blowing an actual incident all out of proportion (he saw a girl distressed at a fight with her lover, but there is no evidence that the quarrel ended their relationship).

The song was one of the most popular of its era; sales of the sheet music earned Harris $48,000 in just its first year in print. - RBW

Same tune

  • After the War is Over (File: R855)
  • Poor Nellie (Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 143)

Cross references


  • Fiddlin' John Carson, "After The Ball (Okeh 45669, c. 1933; rec. 1930)
  • Homer Christopher & Wife, "After the Ball" (OKeh 45041, 1926
  • Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers, "After the Ball" (Brunswick 394, rec. 1929)
  • Vernon Dalhart, "After the Ball" (Columbia 15030-D, 1925) (Edison 51610 [as Vernon Dalhart & Co.], 1925)
  • Dixon Brothers, "After the Ball" (Montgomery Ward M-7577, 1938)
  • Tom Darby & Jimmie Tarlton, "After the Ball" (Columbia 15254-D, 1928)
  • Humphries Brothers, "After the Ball" (OKeh 45478, 1930)
  • Bradley Kincaid, "After the Ball" (Supertone 9648, 1930) (Conqueror 7984, 1932)


  1. Cambiaire, p. 105, "After the Ball" (1 text)
  2. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 169-175, "After the Ball, the Deluge" (1 text plus variants, 1 tune)
  3. Geller-Famous, pp. 64-69, "After the Ball" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Gilbert, pp. 260-262, "After the Ball" (1 text)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 268, "After The Ball Is Over" (1 text)
  6. Fuld-WFM, p. 87, "After the Ball"
  7. DT, AFTRBALL* (UNFORTU6* -- a parody)
  8. Roud #4859
  9. BI, SRW169


Author: Charles K. Harris
Earliest date: 1892 (copyright)
Found in: US(Ap)