|This tune has variants in England, America (the Appalachians) and in Canada. This is the version from the Appalachians, as sung by Jean Ritchie. For another version see Bachelor's Hall (2)
In this version the woman sings the first verses and a man sings the last line in the third verse and the last verse.
A broadside of completely different song named Bachelor's Hall, by Charles Dibdin was printed by Catnach sometime between 1813 and 1838. (A copy can be found at the Bodleian Library.)
Rev. S. Baring-Gould collected a version of Bachelor's Hall which begins, "To Bachelor's Hall we brave sportsmen invite.." It appears there may be several versions of the song.
Oh hard is my fortune and hard is my fate,
Controlled by my mother so early and late,
And when I get married just to end all the strife,
Controlled by a man for the rest of my life.
O, young men go a-courtin' they dress up so fine,
They cheat the girls up, that is all their design;
They'll titter, they'll tatter,
They'll laugh and they'll lie,
They'll cheat the girls up till they're ready to die.
When young men go a-courtin' they stay up all night,
Get out in the mornin' and look like a fright;
They saddle their horses, they rock and they reel,
Dag-gone them old girls, how sleepy I do feel!
O, bachelor's hall it is bound to be best,
Get drunk or stay sober, lay down take your rest,
No woman to scold you, no children to bawl,
So happy is the man that keeps bachelor's hall.