“Sam Hall (Jack Hall)”


(Sam Hall), about to be hanged, bitterly tells his tale, spitting curses all the while -- directing them at the parson, the sheriff, his girlfriend, and the spectators. He is guilty of killing a man, and goes to the gallows still blazing away


_Pills to Purge Melancholy_ includes new words set to the tune of "Chimney-Sweep," recognizably "Jack Hall." Therefore the song must have already been in circulation by that time, 1719. -PJS

There is also a book, _Memoirs of the Right Villanous Jack Hall_, a tale of a highwayman, published 1708. I know nothing of the book except its title and that it devotes some time to describing Newgate Prison. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1701 - Execution of Jack Hall, a young London chimney sweep, on a charge of burglary. His "last goodnight" hawked about as a broadside eventually became the blasphemous "Sam Hall."

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(1849), "Jack the Chimney Sweep" ("My name it is Jack All chimney sweep chimney sweep"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 11(2840), Harding B 11(2841), "Jack the Chimney Sweep"; Harding B 15(145a), "Jack Hall"; Harding B 20(27), "Sam Hall Chimney Sweep"


  • Emry Arthur, "Ethan Lang" (c. 1930; on RoughWays2)
  • Walter Pardon, "Jack Hall" (on Voice17)
  • Tex Ritter, "Sam Hall" (Decca 5076, 1935)


  1. Laws L5, "Sam Hall"
  2. Friedman, p. 223, "Sam Hall" (1 text+1 fragment, 1 tune)
  3. Cray, pp. 43-48, "Sam Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. PBB 117, "Sam Hall" (1 text)
  5. Sharp-100E 81, "Jack Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Flanders/Brown, pp. 96-97, "Jack Hall" (1 text)
  7. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 133-134, "Sam Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. Kennedy 322, "Jack Hall" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Darling-NAS, pp. 102-103, "Jack Hall"; "Sam Hall" (1 text plus a fragment)
  10. Silber-FSWB, p. 69, "Sam Hall"; p. 200, "Ballad Of Sam Hall" (2 texts)
  12. Roud #369
  13. BI, LL05


Alternate titles: “Samuel Hall”
Author: C. W. Ross
Earliest date: 1719
Found in: Australia US(Ap,NE,SE,SW) Britain(England(All)) New Zealand