“When I Was Single (II)”


The singer recalls the gay nights he lived when single. Now married, his wife leaves him to watch the cradle and run errands. He laments that "the poor man's labor is never done."

Supplemental text

When I Was Single (II)
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Mary O. Eddy, Ballads and Songs from Ohio, #71, p. 311865.
From Mrs. Galen W. Summer, Canton, Ohio.

When I was single I lived gaily.
  Cold and winter nights alone;
I courted a girl I loved dearly,
  She always told me her heart was mine.

She sat me down to rock the cradle,
  And then for water I must run;
The women swear they will have pleasure,
  And the poor man's labor is never done.


This may be a version of "Rocking the Cradle (and the Child Not His Own)"; Eddy's fragment is too short for me to be sure. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Eddy 71, "When I Was Single" (1 text)
  2. ST E071 (Full)
  3. Roud #5357
  4. BI, E071


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (Eddy)
Keywords: marriage nonballad
Found in: US(MW)