#02205
Bachelor's Hall (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Bachelor's Hall (Steeleye Span)

Oh, the girls of this place that live along the shore,
If they hear but one word they will speak it twice o'er;
And then they'll add to it as much as they can,
But the fairest of women look out for a man,
And it's oh-oh--------oh-oh-oh laddie-oh.

The boys that dress up in the very best style
To court the young girls sure it is their incline;
They'll go to their houses and there they will stay,
And they'll keep the girls up till it's almost day,
And it's oh-oh--------oh-oh-oh laddie-oh.

The girls go to bed and sleep all the next day;
Their mothers get up, there's the devil to pay;
"Oh, mother, dear mother, sure I'm not to blame,
For when you were young you were fond of the same."
And it's oh-oh--------oh-oh-oh laddie-oh.

The boys they get up and they stagger and reel,
They curse on the girls how unsteady they feel,
"If this what's called courting I'll court none at all,
I'll live by myself and keep Bachelor's Hall."
And it's oh-oh--------oh-oh-oh laddie-oh.

Oh, Bachelor's Hall it is always the best,
Be you sick, drunk, or sober you are always at rest;
Come in when you like and lie down on the straw,
You can eat the whole cake be it done or be it raw.
And it's oh-oh--------oh-oh-oh laddie-oh.

Oh, Bachelor's Hall it is always the best,
Be you sick, drunk, or sober you are always at rest;
No wife for to scold you, no children to bawl;
Oh, happy's the man that keeps Bachelor's Hall.
And it's oh-oh--------oh-oh-oh laddie-oh.

And now my little song it is nearly done,
I hope that I have not offended anyone;
If there's anyone here who takes any offence,
They can go to the devil and seek recompense!
And it's oh-oh--------oh-oh-oh laddie-oh.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a traditional Irish ditty ....####

This variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1951 from Howard Leopold Morry [1885-1972] of Ferryland, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.237-238, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this amusing little Irish ditty is also known in Nova Scotia. Cecil Sharp also collected a variant in the Southern Appalachians called When Boys Go A-Courting.

A variant was arranged and recorded as Bachelor's Hall by Steeleye Span (All Around My Hat, Chrysalis, 1975).

From Chambers Dictionary ©2006 Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland: Bachelor's Hall - any place in which a man is free from the restraining presence of a wife; the state of having such freedom, often in the phrase to keep bachelor's hall.


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