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Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly

GUEST,Mary Ann K 12 Aug 10 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,^&* 13 Aug 10 - 10:24 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 10 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,child of the fifties 04 Nov 10 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Nov 10 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Bill 22 Dec 10 - 12:32 PM
GUEST 26 Dec 10 - 06:06 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 11 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,Bill 07 Jan 11 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,RWT 08 Jan 11 - 01:37 PM
GUEST 10 Jan 11 - 11:01 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 11 - 06:56 PM
GUEST 17 Mar 11 - 05:11 PM
GUEST 06 Apr 11 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Bob C 19 Apr 11 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,wrose 11 Aug 11 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Mary Ann K 28 Sep 11 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Merv H. 12 Dec 11 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Pat B. 07 Apr 13 - 05:41 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Apr 13 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Apr 13 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Mary Ann K 27 Jun 13 - 12:30 PM
GUEST 04 Dec 13 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Jonathan Matthew Schwartz, Helsingør Denmark 17 Apr 14 - 11:06 AM
Amos 17 Apr 14 - 11:32 AM
GUEST 19 May 15 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,Jpj 22 Aug 16 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Charlie 28 Nov 16 - 08:05 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 17 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,kwight 15 Dec 17 - 01:58 PM
GUEST 09 Mar 18 - 11:49 PM
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Subject: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Mary Ann K
Date: 12 Aug 10 - 12:51 PM

When I was in grade school, many many years ago, I learned this song in class.
It was delightful then and evocative now of spring and innocence. I used the search device in your website, but I may have the words wrong.
It is very sweet and cheerful, and goes something like this:

Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
April is the time for folly folly
Blackbird's shout rings round about
And Jenny Wren is building in the willow

(I can't remember the line)
Put off the cloak you wear in town
Run on the highways up and down
And Jenny Wren is building in the Willow

Does it sound familiar? I asked my local library to research it and they came up with nothing, except that it sounded familiar. I am sure, very sure, it is one of the old music books we used in the early 60's. I can almost see it on the left side page, and a sweet black and white illustration.
Does anyone know this song? Is there more to it? Is there a title?
Thanks


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 10:24 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 10 - 06:03 PM

The last line was "looking for the nest there in the willow." I think the first line of the second verse was something about throwing off the clothes of gray and brown.

I wish I could remember it all. We learned it as a song in early elementary school in the early 1960's. I think the title was Jenny Wren, but again I'm not sure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,child of the fifties
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:54 PM

These posts on "rosy betsy" are a joy as I remember the song from a third grade class at the Hardie Elementary School in Beverly Massachusetts in the grand old year of 1950. The entire first verse keeps popping into mind at the oddest times. Thank you for the memories.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:46 AM

From the context it seems unlikely that this is related, but the coincidence of the names is interesting.

My wife's late grandmother in Huntingdon, Tennessee, when I asked her about play party and game songs from her girlhood, mentioned three. One was "Rosa, Betsy, Dinah." She didn't remember anything but the title.

If you're curious, the other two song titles she mentioned (but knew no lyrics) were "Pretty Bird in My Cup" and "Wilson Ballroom."

I've never found words or tune to any of them.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 12:32 PM

I, too, have tried to get the lyrics to this song. I learned it in grades 4 & 5 (1954-1955) in Brockton, MA - B.B. Russell School.
What I've found so far:
The tune was used as the prevailing theme song for John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara "The Quiet Man" (1952). That film calls it "The Prelude To The Big Fight", by Victor Young. Great movie. If you've never seen it, you should.
Somebody once told me it was called "The Meadow" or "The Lea", but I never had any luck with those words in titles.
Trivia I ran across: In searching several old children's song books, I also learned that many of the very old ditties and songs we learned as kids were written by a man named Englebert Humperdink.
I plan to continue looking, and if I get the answer, I'll let you know. Good luck in your search.
Send your email address if you wish further correspondence on this subject. I'm not looking for pen pals, or anything else.
Bill


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Dec 10 - 06:06 PM

The words I remember to the refrain:   

First line (I don't remember the words): La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Second line (I don't remember the words): La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Third Line: "Put off the togs you wear in town"

Fourth Line: "While Jenny Wren is building in the willow."

Keep looking.

I will, too

Bill


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:13 PM

rosey betsy blue eyed molly, molly
come and join our april folly, folly


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 07 Jan 11 - 04:09 PM

I think the refrain goes something like:
You can't find my nest today
You can't find my nest today
You can't find my nest today
Looking for the nest there in the willow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,RWT
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 01:37 PM

I remember only the verse "Jenny Wren is building in the willow", as well as the tune. Of course, I can't communicate the tune to you here. I learned the song also in elementary school in Whitman in the 50's.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 11:01 AM

I believe that it is "Run in the Meadow up and down" not the highways. Also I think that it is "Take off your cloak of grey or brown Put on your togs that you wear in town" Mary


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 06:56 PM

Hi

I said I would lety you know if I found the lyrics to this song.

"Take off your cloak of gray or brown.
Put on the togs you wear in town.
Run in the meadows up and down,
While Jenny Wren is building in the willow."

My local newspaper, The Enterprise (Brockton, MA) has a daily column named "The Problem Solver". Many folks give away or obtain, for free, items via this medium. I was given through this method an old but very serviceable wooden swing set which I disassembled at the donor's home, and delivered and re-assembled for my grandson. He has grown into it now and even uses it on winter days. My wife and Im met some wonderful folks (whose restaurant, coincidentally, is frequented by one of our family members).
Once in a while, I have noticed somebody looking for information such as the name of a long-closed business establishment, or the best way to do some obscure thing. Local readers respond and give the answers they believe will satisfy the request. So I recently sent this request to them. They put out an "APB", which netted the words both you and I wanted to find. Several readers referred me to your request in Mudcat. The last one actually supplied the words, published in today's edition.

I hope this is what you're looking for.

Bill C.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 11 - 05:11 PM

I learned this song in fourth grade in Winchester, Mass. and that would be in 1943.

Lyrics I recall (and I loved this song) were:
Rosy Betsy blue eyed Molly, Molly
April is the time for folly, folly
Blackbird's shouts ring round about
And Jenny wren is building in the willow

Put off your cloak of gray and brown
Run in your green shoes out of town
Run in the meadow up and down
Looking for the wren there in the willow


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 11 - 03:02 PM

Here is the version we sang in 4th grade in a small town in Iowa:

Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly, Molly
April is the time for folly, folly
Blackbird's shouts ring round and round
While Jenny Wren is building in the Willow.

Put off your cloaks of grey and brown
Put on the clogs you wear to town
   (This is the line I couldn't remember, Thanks for the reminder):
Run in the meadow up and down
While Jenny Wren is building in the Meadow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Bob C
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 06:07 PM

My recollection, from grade school, is as follows:

" Rosy, Betsy, blue eyed Molly, Molly
Come and join the April folly, folly
Blackbirds shout and bluebirds sing and
Jenny wren is whistling in the willow "

It sounds old English to my music teacher wife.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,wrose
Date: 11 Aug 11 - 09:39 AM

My recollection from York PA:

Rosie Betsy blue eyed Molly Molly
Come and join the April folly folly
Who can stay at home all day
While Jenny wren is building in the willow

Put on your coats of gray and brown
Run in you green shoes out of town
Run in the meadows up and down
While Jenny wren is building in the willow


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Mary Ann K
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 12:55 PM

I am so delighted with all the responses my query has received! Thank you, one and all.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Merv H.
Date: 12 Dec 11 - 08:09 PM

The tune is from the Irish Suite by Leroy Anderson. See YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1AN9ccoF-Y The Wikipedia article is: The Rakes of Mallow is a traditional Irish song and polka. The song is about the rakes from the town of Mallow, a town in County Cork.[1] It was first written down in Scotland during the 1780s.[1] The song is a fight song for Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans.[2][3] A version of the song was performed by Leroy Anderson, and the song was also featured in the film The Quiet Man (1952) and 1941 (1979). It was one of the European songs adapted by the Indian Carnatic music composer Muthuswami Dikshitar in the 18th/19th century, as Vande Meenakshi, a prayer to the goddess Meenakshi with Sanskrit lyrics.[4]

The tune also plays during a montage sequence in the film "Rudy."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Pat B.
Date: 07 Apr 13 - 05:41 PM

I learned this song in second or third grade around 1940 and sing it to whoever will listen each April. I was happy to see the words to the second verse, which I had forgotten


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WILLOW-WREN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 05:00 PM

From Poems for Children by Eleanor Farjeon (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1951), page 18:


THE WILLOW-WREN
(English Child's Song)

Rosy Betsy, blue-eyed Milly,
Maidens to the meadows, will ye!
Blackbird's shout
Rings round about,
And Jenny Wren is building in the willows.
Put off your coats of grey and brown,
Put off the clogs you wear in town,
Toiling and moiling up and down,
While the wren is building in the willows.

Rosy Betsy, blue-eyed Milly,
Will ye, won't ye, won't ye, will ye?
Who can stay
At home all day,
While Jenny Wren is building in the willows?
Put on your primrose-colored gown,
Run in your green shoes out of town,
Run till your tresses tumble down,
Looking for the nest among the willows!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 10:08 AM

Thank you, Jim. That's delightful!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Mary Ann K
Date: 27 Jun 13 - 12:30 PM

Wow! Thanks you all so much! I am having a blast looking up all the links, and feel a nostalgia for those beautiful childhood songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 02:00 PM

I remember it slightly different (from 1940!)

Rosie Betsy blue eyed Molly Molly
Come and join the April folly folly
Who can stay at home all day
While Jenny wren is building in the willows

Put on your gay rose colored gown
run in your green shoes out of town
run in the meadows up and down
while jenny wren is building in the willows


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Jonathan Matthew Schwartz, Helsingør Denmark
Date: 17 Apr 14 - 11:06 AM

I have used the first verse of the song in a children's book (yet unpublished) on the making of the Bayeux Tapestry. Two young girl cousins (actually my granddaughters!) are learning the textile trade in Canterbury ca 1080. The embrodery is being made in an aisle of the cathedral which is under construction. The girls sing and dance the song on their way to work at the start of Easter week. The book is called: Two Crowns of Daffodils: A CHild's Easter in Kent".
Best wishes, Jonathan Schwwrtz


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: Amos
Date: 17 Apr 14 - 11:32 AM

The tune "The Rakes of Mallow" was also used for the song "Piping Tim of Galway", IIRC.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 15 - 06:41 PM

Rosie, Betsy, blue-eyed Molly, Molly,
Come and join the April Folly, Folly,
Black birds ringing 'round-about
while Jenny wren is singing in the willow.

Put on your coats of gray and brown,
Run in your green shoes out of town,
Run in the meadows up and down
While Jenny wren is singing in the willow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Jpj
Date: 22 Aug 16 - 09:54 PM

Searched for these lyrics today after we heard the irish washerwoman music on classical radio. My 80 yr old husband said he remembered words set to the music . I put on my 72 yr old thinking cap and came up with rosey,betsy blued eyed molly molly come and join the April folly folly.
It's good to know others were searching for the same thing. Wasn't it fun learning such silly songs? Sure hope today's children are singing happy songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,Charlie
Date: 28 Nov 16 - 08:05 AM

I learned the song in grammar school in the early 1940s (Ludlow, Vermont). Couldn't remember some of the lines and note that some of you "Put on" while others "Took off" in the first line of the second verse. I put on the coat of grey and "down" matching the wren's colors. Suspect many of the words describing color, cloth, shoes, and places were localized simply because the song came from so many places.

How much better this is than some of today'songs with 3 words and 4 different notes!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 17 - 03:01 PM

Reply to GUEST:

I'n 88 years old and also remember that song when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. Guest has the lyrics as we sang them except for "red" shoes rather than "green" shoes. If there are more lyrics, we didn't sing them. This seems to be a song everybody whoever sang it in Primary School seems to remember fondly.

MAPS


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST,kwight
Date: 15 Dec 17 - 01:58 PM

My father-in-law, born in the mid 1930s, sang the song to our children as follows:

Rosy Betsey, blue-eyed Molly Molly
Tis the time for April folly folly
Blackbird shouts ring round about -
And Jenny Wren is singing in the willow.

Put on your coat of red and blue
Put on your coat of red and blue
Put on your coat of red and blue
For Jenny Wren is singing in the willow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rosy Betsy, blue eyed Molly Molly
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 11:49 PM

Put on you're primrose colored gown
Put on the cloak you wear in town


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