“After the Ball”

Author: Charles K. Harris
Earliest date: 1892 (copyright)
Keywords: love courting separation death abandonment
Found in: US(Ap)


A girl asks her uncle why he never married. He recalls the sweetheart he took to a ball. After leaving for a moment, he sees her kissing another man. He abandons her; years later, after she is dead, he learns that the other man was her brother


Gilbert describes how Harris (at the time, according to Geller, an impoverished banjo teacher) wrote this song by blowing an actual incident all out of proportion (he saw a girl distressed at a fight with her lover, but there is no evidence that the quarrel ended their relationship).

The song was one of the most popular of its era; sales of the sheet music earned Harris $48,000 in just its first year in print. - RBW

Same tune

Cross references



  1. Cambiaire, p. 105, "After the Ball" (1 text)
  2. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 169-175, "After the Ball, the Deluge" (1 text plus variants, 1 tune)
  3. Geller-Famous, pp. 64-69, "After the Ball" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Gilbert, pp. 260-262, "After the Ball" (1 text)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 268, "After The Ball Is Over" (1 text)
  6. Fuld-WFM, p. 87, "After the Ball"
  7. DT, AFTRBALL* (UNFORTU6* -- a parody)
  8. Roud #4859
  9. BI, SRW169