“Bachelor's Hall (II)”


"When young men go courting they'll dress up so fine," meet the girls, dress up -- and end up worn out, (broke), and claiming, "I believe it's the best to court none at all, And live by myself and keep bachelor's hall," where neither wife nor children nag


There is another "Bachelor's Hall" which describes the difficult life in the Hall: "Sure when I think what a burning disgrace it is, Never at all to be getting a wife, See the old bachelor gloomy and sad enough...."

As I have only one version of #1, I cannot really determine the relationship between the two -- but the present text is not in the same meter as the other.

Charles Dibdin wrote a piece called "Batchelor's Hall" in 1794, but I haven't found a text of that, either.

Gardner and Chickering's text is rather confusing and perhaps composite; it starts by talking about *girls* and the troubles of marriage -- "When young girls get married, their pleasure is all gone; They doubt on their prospects, their troubles come on." But it ends with the warnings found in this song. It appears that their text is either a fusion of two songs or an incomplete attempt to convert this piece to a woman's point of view.

Jean Ritchie's version also hints at that, but with a different first verse. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Putting on Airs" (theme)


  • Fiddlin' John Carson, "The Batchelor's Hall" (OKeh 45056, 1926; rec. 1925; on TimesAint04 as "Bachelor's Hall")
  • Earl Shirkey & Roy Harper [pseud. for Roy Harvey], "Keep Bachelor's Hall" (Columbia 15429-D, 1929)


  1. Abrahams/Foss, p. 120, "Bachelor's Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Gardner/Chickering 183, "Bachelor's Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Fuson, p. 133, "Bachelor's Hall" (1 text)
  4. Ritchie-Southern, p. 35, "Bachelor's Hall" (1 text, 1 tune, with a first verse that seems to have floated in from "The Wagoner's Lad")
  5. Peacock, pp. 237-238, "Bachelor's Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Fowke/MacMillan 36, "Bachelor's Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. BrownIII 337, "When Young Men Go Courting" (1 fragment, probably this)
  8. Darling-NAS, p. 273, "Bachelor's Hall" (1 text)
  10. Roud #385
  11. BI, AF120


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (recording, Fiddlin' John Carson)
Keywords: courting bachelor
Found in: US(Ap,MW,SE) Canada(Newf)