> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > The Old Bachelor

The Old Bachelor

[ Roud 7162 ; G/D 7:1390 ; Ballad Index RcTOB ; trad.]

A.L. Lloyd sang The Old Bachelor accompanied by concertina and violin on the 1966 theme album The Bird in the Bush: Traditional Erotic Songs. He commented in the album's sleeve notes:

The wife of Bath and Juliet's nurse would have enjoyed this narrative of a silly old codger who married a young bride and didn't know what to do till instructed by his mother-in-law (but all turns out well, and the baby's a bouncer). The events are reported both as tale and song in the North of England and in Scotland. Gavin Greig's manuscript collection contains a full set, and his is the tune used here.

A.L. Lloyd also sang The Old Bachelor live at the Top Lock Folk Club, Runcorn, on November 5, 1972 with another twist at the end of the song. This concert was published in 2010 on the Fellside CD An Evening with A.L. Lloyd.

Lyrics

A.L. Lloyd sings The Old Bachelor on
The Bird in the Bush
A.L. Lloyd sings The Old Bachelor on
An Evening with A.L. Lloyd

I am an old bachelor, sixty and three
And nary girls has ever lain with me..
I know little of women, very little indeed,
Folks say they're good for me and just what I need.

I am an old bachelor, sixty and three,
And never young girls had much to do with me.
I know little of women, very little indeed,
Though folks say they're good for me, just what I need.

Chorus (after each verse):
Derry down down, down derry down

Chorus (after each verse):
Derry down down, down derry down

It's all o' last winter for frost and for cold;
Not a grain of kind warmth could I ever get at all.
My legs they was tremblin' and so was my feet,
And I couldn't use hot bricks for burnin' the sheet.

Now all the last winter through frost and through cold;
Not a grain of warm comfort could I ever get at all.
My legs they was tremblin' and so was my feet,
And I daren't use a hot brick for burnin' the sheet.

My old Uncle George, he's as crafty as hell,
He advised me to marry and I would do well.
And the first that I fancied was young Jenny Green,
A nice little creature just goin' on sixteen.

Now my old Uncle George, he's as crafty as hell,
He advised me to marry and I would do well.
And the one that I fancied was young Jenny Green,
Oh, a nice little creature just goin' on sixteen.

We sent for the parson, got married with speed,
With no thoughts of hot bricks or burnin' the sheet.
For all kinds of liquor had gone to our head,
And how we was longing to get to our bed!

So off to the parson we went with all speed,
With no thoughts of hot bricks and burnin' the sheet.
There was plenty of liquor, it went to my head,
And how I was longing to get to my bed.

For two hours and better she lay at my back
And then she begun for to mumble and crack.
“Aha, you old devil, rouse up if you can,
You've something to do yet to show you're a man.”

For two hours and better she lay at my back
And then she began for to mumble and crack.
“Aha! you old devil, rise up if you can,
For you've something to do yet to prove you're a man.”

I lay there and thought she was havin' a dream,
But she jabbed in my ribs and said she could scream.
Then she jumped out the bed and back home she ran in,
And I tell you, I missed the kind warmth of her skin.

Well I lay there and thought she was havin' a dream,
But she jumped in my ribs, boys, and said she could scream.
Then she rolled out the bed and back home she ran in,
I tell you, I missed the kind warmth of her skin.

Well, early next mornin' her old mother come in
She raged and she scolded, I said, “What d'you mean?”
“Aha! you old devil, you're both joined together,
Yet you never once tried for to make her a mother!”

Early next morning her old mother come in
She raved and she ranted, I said, “What d'you mean?”
“Aha! you old devil, you're both joined together,
Yet you never once tried for to make her a mother!”

With the old wife's advice we both went off to bed,
And with her instructions we fell to the trade.
And when nine full month and a half-day had run,
Damn me if she don't bring a fine strappin' son!

On the old wife's advice we both went back to bed,
And under her instructions we fell to the trade
And before five months and a half day was going down
Well, she did bring down a fine strapping son!

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: The Old Bachelor.