Ben Bolt

DESCRIPTION: "Oh! don't you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt, Sweet Alice, with hair so brown She wept with delight when you gave her a smile, And trembled with dear at your frown." But Alice now lies in the churchyard, and the mill where they courted is dried up
AUTHOR: Words: Thomas Dunn English (1819-1902)
EARLIEST DATE: 1843 (The New Mirror); what is apparently the most common tune, by Nelson Kneass, was published 1848 by W. C. Peters & Co. of Louisville, KY
KEYWORDS: love courting death separation burial
FOUND IN: US(MW) Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 531, "Ben Bolt" (1 text)
Dean, pp. 31-32, "Ben Bolt" (1 text)
RJackson-19CPop, pp. 30-34, "Ben Bolt" (1 text, 1 tune)
WInstock, pp. 175-186, "Don't you remember sweet Alice? (Ben Bolt)" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #131, p. 10, "Ben Bolt" (2 references)
Silber-FSWB, p. 252, "Ben Bolt" (1 text)
DT, BENBOLT
ADDITIONAL: Martin Gardner, editor, _Famous Poems from Bygone Days_, Dover, 1995, pp. 55-57, "Ben Bolt" (1 text)

ST RJ19030 (Full)
Roud #2653
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Sam Holt" (tune & meter)
SAME TUNE:
Answer to Ben Bolt (broadside LOCSheet, sm1854 741250, "Answer to Ben Bolt," W. C. Peters and Sons (Cincinnati), 1854) (tune) = "Ben Bolt's Reply" (Gardner, _Famous Poems_, p. 57)
Sweet Alice (Australian parody) (file: Beat309)
Jim Holmes, a Parody on Ben Bolt ("Oh, don't you remember the b'hoys, Jim Holmes") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 76)
John Jones, the Companion to "Ben Bolt" ("Don't you remember lame Sally, John Jones") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 78)
Freshman Reminiscences ("Oh don't you remember, sweet Freshmen, the time") (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 130)
Ah! Well We Remember (""Ah! well we remember that morning, my boys, 'Twas just four years ago") (Henry Randall Waite, _Carmina Collegensia: A Complete Collection of the Songs of the American Colleges_ first edition 1868, expanded edition, Oliver Ditson, 1876, p. 63)
NOTES: Originally published as a poem in The New Mirror of September 2, 1843. Various tunes were offered; that by Nelson F. Kneass (made in 1848) proved the most enduring. It is possible that it was an adaptation of another tune, perhaps of German origin.
T. D. English did not receive royalties for the popular editions of the song, and Spaeth (A History of Popular Miusic in America, p. 123) reports that he "came to resent [the song's] enormous popularity as compared with what he considered his more important efforts." Where have we heard *that* before? - RBW
Last updated in version 3.8
File: RJ19030

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.