> Steeleye Span > Songs > Bachelor's Hall

Bachelor's Hall

[ Roud 385 ; Ballad Index AF120 ; Bodleian Roud 385 ; trad.]

Jean Ritchie sang Bachelor's Hall in 1954 on her Elektra album Kentucky Mountain Songs. She noted:

A song at once plaintive and rollicking, pathetic and humorous. Probably of British origin, Bachelor's Hall has acquired so much local mountain flavor that this version at least is completely independent of its beginnings, absolutely American.

Steeleye Span recorded Bachelor's Hall in 1975 for their bestselling album All Around My Hat. A live recording from Perth Concert Hall in 1985 was released in 2001 on the CD Gone to Australia. Maddy Prior commented in the latter album's notes:

A rare recording of Rick singing lead on this American traditional song, with a tune reworked by Bob.


Steeleye Span sing Bachelor's Hall

I rode seven horses all to death
I rode them till they had no breath
I wore five saddles to the trees
Non of those girls will marry me.

Those women will fret, those women will fuss
They spend five hours before their glass
The devil take all, I'll have no money at all
Always stay single, keep Bachelor's Hall.
Stay stay close to my door

The women round here, they live by the door
They hear but a word, and repeat it twice o'er
Then they add it as much as they can
Always stay single a bachelor man.

Bachelor's Hall is always the best
If you're sick drunk or sober it's always a rest
No woman to scold you, no children to bawl
Always stay single, keep Bachelor's Hall.
Stay stay close to my door

Bachelor's Hall, Bachelor's Hall,
I'll always stay single, keep Bachelor's Hall.