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Lyr Req: Betsy Watson

Dave Smith 22 Jun 97 - 07:54 AM
Dave Smith 24 Jun 97 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,Glyn 27 Apr 10 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,John Conolly 27 Apr 10 - 01:49 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Apr 10 - 03:27 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Apr 10 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Kevin 30 Apr 10 - 01:05 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Apr 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 10 - 04:19 PM
Steve Gardham 01 May 10 - 03:31 PM
Steve Byrne 02 Jun 10 - 04:20 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM
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Subject: Lyrics to
From: Dave Smith
Date: 22 Jun 97 - 07:54 AM

Tell me this is in the database if you like, but I've had a good long hunt with no joy.

I'm looking for the lyrics to a song called "Betsy Watson" that I used to have on a Rosie Hardman LP back in the early 70's

Here's what I can remember: "Yes, Betsy Watson is my name I brought myself to grief and shame" {line missing} "Oh, don't you think it's a grief to me".

Thanks for your help

Dave Smith


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Subject: Lyrics, please, for
From: Dave Smith
Date: 24 Jun 97 - 12:54 PM

I thought I posted a message asking for the lyrics to this song a few days ago, but I can't see it among the threads.

So let's try again:

I'm looking for the lyrics to a song called "Betsy Watson", which I used to have on an LP by Brenda Wooton & John the Fish.

This is all I can remember of the words:

"Yes, Betsy Watson is my name, I brought myself to grief and shame," {line missing} "Oh, don't you think it's a grief to me."

I've searched the database as thoroughly as I can, but without success. So I turn to the experts for help.

Thanks in advance,

Dave Smith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: GUEST,Glyn
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 09:45 AM

Hi,

I love this song -and I have been trying to find the lyrics too!

Here's what I remember

Oh Betsy Watson is my name
and I was brought to grief and shame
by loving one who never loved me
I brought myself to misery

I wish I wish yet all in vain
that I was just a child again
a playing round my mothers knee
Oh don't you think its a grief to me

Oh in the forest may be seen
A little mound that is growing green
.... good luck, let me know if you find the rest!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: GUEST,John Conolly
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 01:49 PM

There's a Lincolnshire version of this song ,called "BETSY WALTON" - the verses I remember are:

Oh,Betsy Walton is my name -
I brought myself to grief and shame
Through loving one who ne'er loved me,
With sorrow that I now do see.

I did propose one Sunday night
To meet once more my heart's delight
On Humber's banks, where the billows roar-
We parted there to meet no more.

As token that I died for love,
There shall be seen a milk-white dove;
Above my watery grave to fly -
And there you'll find my body lie. . .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 03:27 PM

The Lincolnshire version audio is on the Yorkshire Garland website.
The earlier form of the ballad on broadsides is called 'The Effects of Love'. The story is reported as a true one. Both Betsy and the shopkeeper were from Hull and it happened in 1812 if the earliest broadside is to be believed. There were lots of Betsy Watsons in Hull at the time and indeed several William Ellises (the dastardly shopkeeper) See www.yorkshirefolksong.net for a more detailed history of the song, under the title 'The Effects of Love'.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE EFFECTS OF LOVE (broadside)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 12:18 PM

From The History of the Catnach Press by Charles Hindley (London: Charles Hindley, 1887), page 289:


THE EFFECTS OF LOVE.
SAD SHOCKING NEWS!


CRUEL SEDUCTION: Dreadful Warning to All Young
Women in this Neighbourhood to Beware of
Young Men's Deluding and Flattering
Tongues.
——:o:——

The following melancholy account of her cruel seduction and desertion by her base lover was forwarded to that very worthy man Mr. —— —— a churchwarden, well-known and respected by all in this neighbourhood by Miss S——h W——r, the night before she committed suicide.

Young lovers all I pray draw near,
Sad shocking news you soon shall hear,
And when that you the same are told,
It will make your very blood run cold.

Miss S——h W—— is my name,
I brought myself to grief and shame,
By loving one that ne'er loved me,
My sorrow now I plainly see.

Mark well the words that will be said,
By W—— E—— I was betray'd,
By his false tongue I was beguil'd
At length to him I proved with child.

At rest with him I ne'er could be,
Until he had his will of me,
To his fond tales I did give way,
And did from paths of virtue stray.

My grief is more than I can bear,
I am disregarded every where,
Like a blooming flower I am cut down,
And on me now my love does frown.

Oh! the false oathes he has sworn to me,
That I his lawful bride should be,
May I never prosper night, or day,
If I deceive you, he would say.

But now the day is past and gone,
That he fix'd to be married on,
He scarcely speaks when we do meet,
And strives to shun me in the street.

I did propose on Sunday night,
To walk once more with my heart's delight,
On the Umber's banks where billows roar,
We parted there to meet no more.

His word was pledged unto me,
He never shall prosper nor happy be,
The ghost of me and my infant dear,
They both shall haunt him every where.

William dear when this you see,
Remember how you slighted me,
Farewell vain world; false man adieu,
I drown myself for love of you.

As a token that I died for love,
There will be seen a milk-white dove,
Which over my watery tomb shall fly,
And there you'll find my body lie.

These cheeks of mine once blooming red,
Must now be mingled with the dead,
From the deep waves to a bed of clay,
Where I must sleep till the Judgement Day.

A Joyful rising then I hope to have,
When Angels call me from the grave
Receive my soul, O Lord most high,
For broken hearted I must die.

Grant me one favour that's all I crave,
Eight pretty maidens let me have,
Dress'd all in white a comely show,
To carry me to the grave below.

Now all young girls I hope on earth,
Will be warned by my untimely death,
Take care sweet maidens when you are young,
Of men's deluding—flattering tongue.

——:o:——
Printed in London for the Venders.


[Several copies of this song can be found in the Bodleian broadside collection, but I could not find one that has a heading matching this one.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: GUEST,Kevin
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 01:05 PM

I found this at http://www.yorkshirefolksong.net/song_database

The Effects of Love

Performed by: Maggie Graham
Recorded in: Hull (9th October 2007) by Steve Gardham
Genre: Courtship
Keywords: Drowning, Love, Sex
First line: Betsy Watson is my name,
Download

Combined score and lyrics (PDF format)

abc score (.abc format)


Lyrics
            
Betsy Watson is my name,
I brought myself to grief and shame
By loving one who ne'er loved me,
With sorrow that I plainly see.
2
To his fond tales I did give way,
And from the paths of virtue stray:
By his fond tales I was beguiled,
And then to him I prove with child.
3
My grief and shame I cannot bear,
I am degraded everywhere;
Like a blooming flower I am cut down,
And now my love on me doth frown.
4
I did propose on Sunday night
To meet once more my heart's delight.
On the Humber banks where the billows roar,
We parted there to meet no more.
5
As token that I die for love
There will be seen a milk-white dove
Over my wat'ry tomb to fly,
And there you'll find my body lie.

Provenance

Printed all over England throughout the nineteenth century by all the well-known broadside printers, and even latterly by Sanderson of Edinburgh, it is strange that what appears to be the seminal version by C Mate of Dover was printed so far from where the event is alleged to have happened. The Mate broadside (Madden Collection 22 [Country Printers 7] VWML microfilm 89, item 231), probably printed just after the event, is the only one to give background details to the event. Under the title is printed the following account:-

'Being a coppy of verses found on the Humber Banks, near Hull. Inclosed in a letter to have been wrote by Miss W a young Lady of Hull, who drowned herself in the river Humber on Tuesday Night the 17th of December 1812 for the love of W. F. a shopkeeper by whom she was with Child, directed by her to be Published as a warning to all young Girls.'
1
Young lovers all I pray draw near,
Sad shocking news you soon shall hear,
And when that you the same are told,
It will make your very blood run cold,
Miss B. W. is my name,
I have brought myself to grief and shame,
By loveing him that loves not me,
With sorrow now I plainly see.
2
Mark well these words that will be said,
By W. F. I was betrayd,
By his false tongue I was beguil'd,
At length by him I was with child,
At rest with him I ne'er could be,
Until he had his will of me,
To his fond tales I did give way,
And did from paths of virtue stray.
3
My grief is more than I can bear,
I'm disregarded every where,
Like a blooming flower I am cut down,
And on me now my love does frown,
Of the false oathes he's sworn to me,
That I his lawful wife should be,
May I never prosper night nor day,
If I deceive you he would say.
4
But now the day is past and gone,
That he had fixed to be married on,
He scarcely speaks when we do meet,
And strives to shun me in the street,
I did propose on Sunday night,
To walk once more with my hearts delight.
On the Humber banks where billows roar,
We parted there to meet no more.
5
Since he is false a watery grave,
I have this night resolved to have,
I'll plunge myself into the deep,
And leave my friends behind to weep,
His word it was pledged to me,
He ne'r will prosper nor happy be,
My Ghost and my Infant dear,
Both shall haunt him every where.
6
Dear Dear William, when this you see,
Remember how you slighted me,
Farewell vain world, false man adieu,
I drown myself for love of you,
As a token that I died for love,
There will be seen a milk white dove,
Over my watery tomb will fly
There you will find my body lye.
7
These cheeks of mine once blooming red,
Must now be mingled with the dead,
From the deep waves to bed of clay,
Where I must sleep till judgment day,
A joyful riseing then I hope to have,
When angels call me from the grave,
Receive my soul Lord from on high,
For broken hearted I must die.
8
Grant me one favor that's all I crave,
Eight pretty maidens let me have,
Drest all in white, a comely show,
To take me to the grave bellow,
Now all young girls, I hope on earth,
Will be warned by my untimely death,
Take care sweet Maids when you are young,
Of Men deluding flatering tongue
.
The vast majority of the broadsides give the initials of the couple as 'B.W.' and 'W.E.' without naming them, although the man's Christian name, William, is often given in a later stanza. The Mate broadside actually gives his initials as 'W.F.'. The only Birmingham printed version, by Wright, actually puts names to the couple as Betsy Watson and William Ellis, and a Keys of Davenport version, whilst copying the girl's name, names the man as William West.

Betsy is certainly the usual name given in oral versions (occasionally Sarah), but her surname can vary, Watson, Wilson, Williams, and Walton. Having searched the contemporary local newspapers, often the source of such ballads (See TYG 67), I found no mention of the event. This is hardly surprising as contemporary newspapers were dominated by international military operations and national politics. Taking the most likely names as Betsy Watson and William Ellis the Hull contemporary parish records and trade directories turn up several Elizabeth Watsons and at least two shopkeeper William Ellises. Unfortunately few records of suicides of the period have survived. Young girls in these circumstances committing suicide were fairly frequent and, unless they were from high status households, would not have made the headlines.

Not surprisingly, with such a wide printing, the ballad turns up in oral tradition in collections made in the early twentieth century in the southern English counties, North Lincolnshire and Scotland where most of the intense collecting was taking place. I have a manuscript copy c1877 from Robin Hood's Bay.

The tune is a relative of that ubiquitous large family that comes under the general umbrella title of Died for Love. Some of the stanzas are also similar to the general stock of female lament stanzas as one would expect with such subject matter. We chose to record a version collected just across the Humber from Hull in Barrow-on-Humber. Percy Grainger collected it in 1906 from Bryan Cooper, and Hull singer, Maggie Graham, kindly consented to sing this for us.




Archival information
TYG: 74
Key: F lydian
Time Signature: 5/8 and various
Roud id: 1493
Laws id:
Master title: The Effects of Love
Places Cited in Lyrics: Hull, Humber
© 2007 The Yorkshire Garland Group | Copyright info | Site Map | Acknowledgements


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 04:08 PM

Thanks, Kevin.
Did you retype all that or is there some way of cutting and pasting?
As you can probably guess I only write the notes. Someone else does all the clever technical stuff.

Jim,
I seem to have overlooked this London version which seems to contradict some of the Dover details. I suppose the dastardly blighter could have been a shopkeeper and a churchwarden. One thing that makes this version somewhat dodgy is they can't even spell 'Humber'. I suppose it could be argued they meant the colour of mud. The Humber is rather umber.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 04:19 PM

Hi Jim,
I just did select all, copy and paste. I am also a tad electroniclly challanged....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:31 PM

Looking more closely at the London printing, the chuchwarden is the recipient of her pre-suicide account. It is a typical relocation copy. Accuracy and facts weren't strong points of broadside hacks. Anything that would sell. Some of the more prolific London printers went to great lengths to trick their buyers. However, the basic facts of the case lead me to the conclusion that it is very likely based on a real event and that the Mate broadside is faithful to this.
Whatever its origin it certainly was popular to have been so widely printed and still in oral tradition a century later. A typical piece of early nineteenth century lamentation akin to the goodnight ballads of criminals awaiting execution. These were also written by hacks although from the viewpoint of the prisoner.
It contains some pretty poetry echoing traditional stanzas in similar lamentations.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: Steve Byrne
Date: 02 Jun 10 - 04:20 PM

There are several stanzas echoed in 'The Lamention [sic] of Jane M'Cullen for the Murder of Her Child', discussed HERE

There are broadsides at the Bodleian using the search string of 'lamentation of jane mcullen for the murder of her child'. Shelfmarks 2806 c.8(94) and Harding B 26(328).

I seem to recall in research for this that the National Library of Ireland has a copy of the Cork broadside and it dates from around 1860. As Steve Gardham indicates, there's some fairly stock broadside language used.

Bella Higgins of Blairgowrie and her husband Jock were recorded singing fragments of the Jane M'Cullen song, although she is known variously as Jean or Kate MacLaren / McLern, by Hamish Henderson for the School of Scottish Studies archive, tapes SA1955.015 and SA1958.064. As far as I know these are the only versions on record in Scotland.

Much of the material that's being catalogued through the Tobar an Dualchais or Kist o Riches project is beginning to come on-stream on the beta version of the website launched last week, although there's lots still to be added.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Watson
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Jun 10 - 03:29 PM

Thanks for pointing that out, Steve. Whilst the tenor of the ballads is similar, and the stories, the only real text they have in common is
------- is my name
I brought myself to grief and shame.

It would appear that the Hull ballad predates the other. The only version of Jane M'Cullen I have is that reproduced in Healy's Old Irish Street Ballads vol 1. There is another shorter broadside called 'Sarah Wilson' which appears to be a shorter rewrite of 'Effects of Love' with 4 stanzas in common with it.


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