After The Ball
Category Music
Episode Snakes and Ladders

The Devil Inside

"After The Ball" is a popular song written by Charles K. Harris in 1891. The song is a classic waltz in 3/4 time. In the song, an older man tells his niece why he has never married. He saw his sweetheart kissing another man at a ball, and he refused to listen to her explanation. Many years later, after the woman had died, he discovered that the man was her brother.

Dr. Julia Ogden has played this song three times on her phonograph in the City Morgue: The first was in Snakes and Ladders, the second was in Still Waters and the third was in The Devil Inside during her postmortem of James Gillies.


Verse 1

A little maiden climbed an old man's knee,

Begged for a story – "Do, Uncle, please.

Why are you single; why live alone?

Have you no babies; have you no home?"

"I had a sweetheart years, years ago;

Where she is now pet, you will soon know.

List to the story, I'll tell it all, I believed her faithless after the ball."


After the ball is over,

After the break of morn –

After the dancers' leaving;

After the stars are gone;

Many a heart is aching,

If you could read them all;

Many the hopes that have vanished

After the ball.

Verse 2

Bright lights were flashing in the grand ballroom,

Softly the music playing sweet tunes.

There came my sweetheart, my love, my own –

"I wish some water; leave me alone."

When I returned dear there stood a man,

Kissing my sweetheart as lovers can.

Down fell the glass pet, broken, that's all,

Just as my heart was after the ball.

Repeat refrain

Verse 3

Long years have passed child, I've never wed.

True to my lost love though she is dead.

She tried to tell me, tried to explain;

I would not listen, pleadings were vain. One day a letter came from that man,

He was her brother – the letter ran.

That's why I'm lonely, no home at all;

I broke her heart pet, after the ball.

Repeat refrain
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