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Lyr Req: Charming Betsy

DigiTrad:
COMIN' 'ROUND THE MOUNTAIN


GUEST,Gern 28 May 01 - 09:52 AM
Sorcha 28 May 01 - 10:04 AM
IanC 29 May 01 - 04:21 AM
Billy the Bus 29 May 01 - 05:20 AM
Billy the Bus 29 May 01 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Gern 29 May 01 - 08:03 AM
Billy the Bus 29 May 01 - 10:11 AM
Stewie 29 May 01 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Gene 29 May 01 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Gern 29 May 01 - 04:33 PM
dick greenhaus 30 May 01 - 04:14 PM
Stewie 31 May 01 - 03:09 AM
Stewie 01 Jun 01 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,Gern 02 Jun 01 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Al 11 Jun 01 - 01:47 AM
GUEST,Al 12 Jun 01 - 01:18 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 12 Jun 01 - 07:57 PM
wilco 27 Aug 04 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,PoohBear 27 Aug 04 - 11:21 PM
Joe Offer 28 Aug 04 - 04:07 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Aug 04 - 02:29 AM
Goose Gander 27 Mar 07 - 12:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Mar 07 - 05:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Mar 07 - 11:16 PM
Goose Gander 27 Mar 07 - 11:52 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Mar 07 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,sinky 28 Mar 07 - 11:15 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 07 - 02:02 PM
GUEST 14 Jun 07 - 11:13 AM
Goose Gander 14 Jun 07 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Sarah 05 Dec 08 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,justin the drifter 03 Jun 13 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 04 Jun 13 - 09:56 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Jun 13 - 09:24 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Jun 13 - 09:43 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Jun 13 - 10:18 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Jun 13 - 10:57 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Jun 13 - 01:14 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Jun 13 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,b d eyes 16 Sep 14 - 03:13 PM
GUEST 10 Dec 16 - 12:39 AM
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Subject: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 28 May 01 - 09:52 AM

Enough of Bushwacking and eels in the freezer: let's get back to music. Anybody remember this old footstomper? I seem to recall it from Grand Ole Opry comics Lonzo and Oscar, but it has many versions and variations. The verses say, "Rich girl [does something,] Poor girl does the same, my girl don't [do whatever the other two do, usually with comic effect.] There are related songs which follow this same format.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Sorcha
Date: 28 May 01 - 10:04 AM

Don't rememeber it, but I found a set of lyrics here. I remember Charming Billy, tho, aka Billy Boy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: IanC
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:21 AM

The only song I know to that format is "Dinah, Dinah show us a leg".


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY GIRL (Jim Kweskin's version)
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 29 May 01 - 05:20 AM

G'day Gern,

Sounds to me like you are talkin' about the old Jug Band number "My Girl" (I think)....

To the best of my limited knowledge, it was originated by the Charlie Burse Jug Band, back in the 30s. Seem to recall hearing a 78 of them doing it.

Anyway...

Jim Kweskin recorded a version in the late 50s or early 60s... which I can't find

I learned it from that when I used to "back up" with the "Band of Hope Jug Band" here in NZ in the mid 60s....

Aaarrrggghhhh....

Can't find that record either at the moment, so will have to go "go off the top of my head"..;)

Words are roughly.... Ummm..
____________________________

Rich girl she rides in an automobile
Poor girl she does (just?) the same,
My girl she rides on a wagon, (oh Lord)
But she gets there just the same.

CHORUS: I'll be there in the morning if I live, (if I live)
Will be there in the morning if I don't get killed
But if I never no more see you again
Be sure to remember me

Rich girl she will kiss you, she'll kiss you awful sweet
PGDJTS
My girl she will spit on you, and slobber all over your lips.
But she loves me just the same.

Rich girl she will hit you, she will bop you with a stick
PGDJTS
My gal gets a rusty razor to chase me over town
But she loves me just the same

RG she loves good whisky
PGDTS
MG, she just downs gut-rot gin,
But she gets drunk just the same

Ummm....

Gotta be more verses - but I can't think of them...

Don't recall any that were "Charming Betsy"....

Ummm...

Hold on... a Bluegrass virgin (sounds right for the Opry...

Will post this and cogitate...

Not a pretty site...

Cheers - Sam

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 11-Apr-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 29 May 01 - 06:06 AM

G'day Gern,

Have found the HCBB record I was looking for...

"Charming Betsy" is attributed to Hank Williams...?

Prefer my own memory of origin. Jug band start betcha!

Anyway - it starts with a spoken reference to "Bonnie & Clyde.”

Most verses are roughly like those in my first post

Chorus:
-------
Come around the mountain charming Betsy (get her, boys)
Come around the mountain, Cora Lee (poor thing)
And if I never see her again rich girl remember me
________________

Other Verses

RG she wears that costly perfume
PGDTS
MG wears no perfume at all,
You can smell her just the same

RG she sleeps in a big fine bed
PGDJTS
MG she sleeps in an old barn house,
But she snoozes just the same

RG she likes them streamlined clothes
?????? lost in a paint spot - the LP is 40 yrs old.
MG likes her old overall, with the string hanging down to her toes. (I think)

Ummm....

Gern. Thanks for reviving some very old memories of mates from the past...

There's 40 years flooding through my mind as I listen to the disc on the record player... Thanks mate

Listening to "16 Tons" at the moment.

Hope my comments have helped.

Cheers - Sam

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 11-Apr-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 29 May 01 - 08:03 AM

Smartly done, Billy the Bus. I suspect the Jug Band origins are accurate. Anybody have more verses along these lines?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 29 May 01 - 10:11 AM

Not so very smart Gern,

Dorgot that thingies from my text editor, where I do my writing, need double line breaks to copy into this Mudcat text box properly - hence single line verses....:)

Howsomever.....

Have tracked down the "Band of Hope" (or was it "Hand of Grope") record. Yep.. Credit is to Charlie Burse....

Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Stewie
Date: 29 May 01 - 11:00 AM

'Charming Betsy' is very old and an excellent example of a song shared by both black and white traditions. For a discussion of it in the white tradition see chapter 8 of Gene Wiggins 'Fiddlin' Georgia Crazy: Fiddlin' John Carson, His Real World and the World of His Songs' and, for the black tradition, chapter 3 of Paul Oliver 'Songsters & Saints'.

Louise Rand Bascom, in an essay in the Journal of American Folklore Apr-June 1909, dated the song back into the 19th century. There is a possible link with a civil war song about a Castle Thunder, a provost prison in Virginia. In the white tradition, the song has links with songs like 'Coming Round the Mountain', 'She Came Rolling Down the Mountain' and '[Come on Down the Mountain]Katy Daley'. What Wiggins describes as the 'descending hierarchy' - rich gal, poor gal, my gal - with the tag, 'but she [does something] just the same' is paralleled with 'white girl, yellow girl, black girl' and 'yellow girl, brown girl, black girl' and, in some folksongs 'June bug, lightning bug and bedbug'.

Early recordings were made in the 20s by white artists such as Fiddlin' John Carson, Land Norris and the Georgia Organ Grinders and by black artists such as Jim Jackson and Henry Thomas. In his 'Conversation with the Blues', Oliver says that it was one of the first songs ever learned by Gus Cannon, but he did not record it until much later. In the Brown Collection, there are two versions of 'White Gal, Yaller Girl, Black Gal' in which the final stanza about 'charming Betsy' is classified by the editor as 'intrusive'. The last 2 stanzas of one of these, collected in 1914 go:

Oh, a yaller gal, she wears a hobble skirt
Brown gal, she does the same
Black gal wears a old Mary Jane
But it's a hobble just the same

Oh, coming round the mountain, charming Betsy
Coming round the mountain, Cora Lee
If I die before I wake
Do, gals, remember me
[Wiggins p169]

Billy referred above to its popularity among jug bands, but it has turned up in almost every style of music. For example, you can find it in rockabilly. My favourite there is a thumping garage version by a very young Terry Clements and the Tune-Tones for Jay Miller in Louisiana under the title of 'She's My Baby Doll'. You can find that on 'The Legendary Jay Miller Sessions Vol 18: The Girl in the Tight Blue Jeans'.

If anyone is interested, I can post texts as sung by Fiddlin' John, Jim Jackson, Land Norris and Henry Thomas -but not immediately.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Gene
Date: 29 May 01 - 12:25 PM

Lonzo and Oscar recorded CHARMIN' BETSY and
did that many years on the OPRY...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 29 May 01 - 04:33 PM

Stewie, yes; for God's sake man, post those lyrics! Freshen this thread up when you get the chance, because I'd love to see them. Appreciate the research on this interesting tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 May 01 - 04:14 PM

They're in DigiTrad. [Comin' 'Round the Mountain']


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOING 'ROUND THE MOUNTAIN (Jim Jackson)
From: Stewie
Date: 31 May 01 - 03:09 AM

Okay, Gern. For starters, here's Jim Jackson's version:

GOING 'ROUND THE MOUNTAIN

Well a yeller girl got this long sleek hair
Brownskin's got the same
Well a black gal buys hers at a ten cent store
But it's good hair just the same

Chorus:
I'm goin' round the mountain, Charmin' Betsy
Going round the mountain, Cora Lee
Now if I never see you again
Do Lord, remember me

Well a yeller girl smells like sweet toilet soap
Brownskin does the same
Well a poor black girl smells like a billy goat
But she's smellin' just the same

Well a white man gives his wife a ten dollar bill
He thinks that's nothing strange
But a coloured man give his wife a one dollar bill
And beat her to death 'bout the 90 cents change

Well a white man lives in a fine brick house
He thinks that's nothing strange
But we poor coloured men lives in the county jail
But it's a brick house just the same

Source: transcription in Paul Oliver 'Songsters and Saints: Vocal Traditions on Race Records' Cambridge Uni Press 1984, p 104. Jim Jackson 'Going 'Round the Mountain' Vi V38525 recorded on 4 September 1928.
PS.

--Stewie.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHARMING BETSY (Fiddlin' John Carson)
From: Stewie
Date: 01 Jun 01 - 08:45 PM

Here is Fiddlin' John Carson's version. It is interesting to reflect that the percentage of folksongs, both 20th century and pre-20th century, in Fiddlin' John's repertoire was greater than that in Uncle Dave Macon's.

CHARMING BETSY

Oh, I'm going round the mountain, Charming Betsy
I'm a-going round the mountain, Cora Lee
If I never no more for to see you
(It's) Pray, Lord, remember me

The first time I saw Charming Betsy
She's a-running on that eastbound train
And the next time I seen Charming Betsy
She's a-wearing the ball and chain

[ This next stanza is also repeated after remaining stanzas as a chorus]:
Goodbye, Miss Charming Betsy
Goodbye, little Cora Lee
If I never no more for to see you
Pray, Lord, remember me

Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I have a great notion
For to jump in the river and drown

Take these here rings that I give you
To wear them upon your hand
If I never no more for to see you
Don't you marry no railroad man

Source: transcription in Gene Wiggins 'Fiddlin' Georgia Crazy: Fiddlin' John Carson, His Real World and the World of his Songs' Uni of Illinois Press 1987, p 166-167.

Fiddlin' John Carson 'Charming Betsy' Okeh 40363. Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, 15 April 1925.
PS.

Wiggins' discussion of the song is quite extensive. Of particular interest is his comment that, in his research, it is the only version he unearthed that seems to have no comic intent. In the second stanza, 'she's' in lines 2 and 4 are John's pronunciation for 'she was'. A printed version of the song, collected in 1909, escapes the 'problem' of having 2 women by substituting ''fore I leave', but practically all versions provide a 'Cora Lee'. The warning against 'marrying a railroad man' probably relates to a time in the mountains when rivalry existed between railroad men and local boys, particularly for women's favours. I like Wiggins' comment about 'ball and chain', a line that is common in folksong: 'It makes a good strong line for a stanza. Anyone who finds a ball and chain on him or her has experienced what students of Aristotle call "reversal of fortune"'. The following is also of interest:

That Betsy may have acquired the ball and chain for running illegal whisky is suggested by John's saying she was 'running' on the train where we should expect him to say she was 'riding' on it. T.S. McCamy, writing from Dalton, Georgia, in 1914, said the song was composed by a moonshiner whose still was discovered by the revenuers. Betsy stood off the officers until he got away, but she was captured. The 'heartless and ungrateful lover', according to McCamy, was making light of Betsy in the song. John could have known such a story, but I am sure he did not see the song as expressing any such attitude. [Wiggins p 168]

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Gern
Date: 02 Jun 01 - 10:02 AM

Thanks, Stewie, for getting back to us with this history. There is a lot of information locked up in some of these seemingly simple, silly songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 11 Jun 01 - 01:47 AM

Cockroach has gotten into politics
Money is not to blame
He's got no business in my soup
But he gets there just the same


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 01:18 AM

Just remembered another one:

Rich gal she wears her fine perfume
Poor gal she goes plain
My gal she smells like an old billy goat
But it's her smell just the same


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jun 01 - 07:57 PM

Carson version, 4th verse (Sometimes I live in the country... Leadbelly used the same verse in Goodnight, Irene.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: wilco
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 10:11 AM

Anyone got the Lonzo and Oscar lyrics to this?
Thanks!!!


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHARMIN' BETSY (from The Limeliters)
From: GUEST,PoohBear
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 11:21 PM

I have a recording of "Charmin' Betsy". It's on the Limelighters Live, I think.

Goin' cross the plains, Charmin' Betsy
Goin' cross the mountains Cora Lee
If I never, ever see you again
Pray God remember me

Rich gal she lives in a big white house
Poor gal she'd like to do the same
Well my gal she live in the county jail
It's a brick house, just the same

Chorus

Rich gal she smells like sweet perfume
Poor gal she'd like to smell the same
My gal she smells like a billy goat
It's her smell, just the same

Chorus

Rich gal she drives a fancy Rolls
Poor gal she drives a Model A
Well my gal she only has to use her thumb
She gets there just the same

Chorus

Rich gal she wears the finest clothes
Poor gal she'd like to do the same
My gal she doesn't wear a dogonne thing
But I love her, yeah, just the same

There may be another verse. I'm not sure.
Cheers
PoohBear


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 04:07 AM

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Coming Round the Mountain (II -- Charming Betsey)

DESCRIPTION: "She'll be coming round the mountain, charming Betsey; She'll be coming round the mountain, Cora Lee; If I never see you any more, Pray God remember me." The song usually compares the homes, vehicles, etc. of the rich and poor
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1915 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: separation money nonballad
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE,So)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Randolph 436, "Charming Betsey" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 335-336, "Charming Betsey" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 436)
BrownIII 256, "All Around the Mountain, Charming Betsy" (2 short texts); also 17, "I Wouldn't Marry" (7 text (some short) plus 6 excerpts, 1 fragment, and mention of 5 more, of which "the "A" text appears to mix this with "I Won't Marry an Old Maid" and "Raccoon")
DT, COMRNDMT*

Roud #7052
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Charming Betsy" (OKeh 40363, 1925)
Cleve Chaffin & the McClung Brothers, "Rock House Gamblers" (c. 1930; on RoughWays1)
Georgia Organ Grinders, "Charming Betsy" (Columbia 15415-D, 1929)
Davis & Nelson, "Charming Betsy" (QRS 9011, c. 1929)
Land Norris, "Charming Betsy" (OKeh 45033, c. 1926)
Virgil Perkins & Jack Sims, "Goin' Around the Mountain" (on AmSkBa)
Henry Thomas, "Charming Betsy" (Vocalion 1468, 1930 [rec. 1929]; on Cornshuckers2)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "She Gets There Just the Same (Jim Crow Car)" (floating verses)
File: R436

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


The version in the Digital Tradition, Comin' Round the Mountain, is from Randolph's Ozark Folksongs


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 02:29 AM

allmusic lists recordings of CHARMING BETSY (or CHARMIN' BETSY) by Bruce Molsky, Fiddlin' John Carson, Henry Thomas, Roy Acuff & His Crazy Tennesseans, Snuffy Jenkins, The Starliners, The Farmer Boys, The Limeliters, and The Skillet Lickers.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHARMING BETSY
From: Goose Gander
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 12:09 PM

Charming Betsy performed by Mr. and Mrs. Stankewitz at Visalia FSA Camp, 1941/08/14. "Learned from the radio," according to notes at Voices From the Dust Bowl

CHARMING BETSY

Rich gal rides in a big limousine
Poor gal she does the same
My gal she rides in a T-model ford
But she's ridin' just the same.

She'll be coming round the mountain, charmin' Betsy
She'll be coming round the mountain, Cora Lee
If I never get to see you again
Good Lord, remember me.

Rich gal sleeps on a big feather bed
Poor gal she does the same
My gal she sleeps on a pallet on the floor
But she's snoozin just the same.

She'll be coming round the mountain, charmin' Betsy
She'll be coming round the mountain, Cora Lee
If I never get to see you again
Good Lord, remember me.

Rich man lives in a big brick house
Poor man he does the same
I live way down in the county jail
It's a brick house just the same.

She'll be coming round the mountain, charmin' Betsy
She'll be coming round the mountain, Cora Lee
If I never get to see you again
Good Lord, remember me.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHARMING BETSY
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 05:13 PM

Part of the verse form and melody of "Charming Betsy" is found in the minstrel song, "Do Come along, Ole Sandy Boy," "Negro Singers' Own Book," 1846(?), p. 309, and another minstrel song, "Uncle Gabriel"
(see Newman I. White, 1928, "American Negro Folk Songs," p. 234 and 316-317).

"Charming Betsy" itself seems to have been a fragment of a separate song, joined as a chorus to the minstrel song.

The first minstrel forms concerned animals:

Mr. Coon he is a mighty man,
He carries a bushy tail,
He steals old massa's corn at night,
And husks it on a rail.

De mink he is a mighty thing,
He rambles in de dark;
The only ting disturbs his peace
Is my old bull dog's bark.
(Negro Singers' Own Book, p. 309, 1846.

In "Christy's Nigga Songster," 1850, verses about Blacks were added, e. g.,
Nigga's hair am berry short,
White man's hair am longer,
White folks dey smell berry strong,
But niggas they smell stonger.

White reported verses from "Negro actors in a small show," Auburn, Al, c. 1915:

Well a white lady wears a hobble skirt,
A yaller gal tries to do the same,
But a poor black gal wears a Mary Jane,
But she's hobbling just the same.
(see post by Stewie, above)

Well a white lady sleeps in a feather bed,
A yaller gal tries to do the same,
But a poor black gal makes a pallet on de floor,
But she's sleeping just the same.
(see post by Michael Morris, above)

"Charming Betsy" may be an entirely different song that has been added to the minstrel verses posted here; related more to "Comin' Round the Mountain.".
In 1908, Louise Rand Bascom, JAFL Vol. 21, No. 84, p. 246, quoted this fragment:

CHARMING BETSY
1.
I'm comin' round the mountain, Charmin' Betsy,
I'm comin' round the mountain, 'fore I leave,
An' if I never more see you,
Take this ring, an' think of me.
2.
An' wear this ring I give you,
An' wear it on your right han',
An' when I'm dead an' forgotten,
Don't give it to no other man.

This song also appears in Brown, North Carolina Folklore, as "All Round the Mountain" or "Charming Betsy."

It's all 'round the mountain, charming Betsy,
It's all 'round the mountain, Cora Lee;
And if I never more see you,
Dear love, remember me.
(verse with music in Brown, vol. 5, "The Music of the Folk Songs," ed. J. P. Schinhan, pp. 180-181.

Johnny Carson or other recorded singer may have married the lyrics of the two songs.

The two are joined in Vance Randolph, "Ozark Folksongs," vol. 3, no 436, p. 185-186:

Chorus:
She'll be comin' round the mountain, charmin' Betsy,
She'll be comin' round the mountain, Cora Lee,
Oh if I never see you any more
Just look at my ring an' think of me.
1.
A rich man lives in a big brick house,
A poor man does the same,
I live down in the old county jail,
Lord, a brick house just the same!
2.
A rich girl drives a big limmerseen,
A poor girl does the same,
My girl drives a model-T Ford,
Lord, she's ridin' just the same!

Sung by Mr. Fred Painter, Galena, MO, 1941. "The first stanza is used as a chorus, being repeated after each of the other verses."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:16 PM

Fred Painter, who provided a version of the song in Randolph, contributed a couple of Ozark tracks to Rounder 1108.

Interesting digression-
"The Charming Betsy" of London, John Bull, Master, was a ship that carried immigrants to North America in 1733. Most were German, but a few were English.
A different ship, the schooner "Charming Betsy" was the subject of a libel action that reached the U. S. Supreme Court in 1804. This led to an important principle invoked in court through the years- "A ....statute should not be interpreted to conflict with international law where "fairly possible." The principle is known as the "Charming Betsy rule" after the 1804 Supreme Court decision written by Chief Justice John Marshall." The rule acts as a brake on the territorial reach of federal statutes. Frederick Leiner, lawyer, writing in "The American Journal of Legal History," vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 1-21, Jan. 2001. (Temple Univ. Press. Article available through JSTOR)
The principle is involved in patent and all other form of regulation. See Harold C. Wegner, "Injunctive Relief: A Charming Betsy Boomerang," Northwestern Jour. of Technology and Intellectual Property, vol. 4, no. 2, Spring 2006. Charming Betsy Boomerang

It is unlikely that the song "Charming Betsy" was inspired in any way by legal arguments.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Goose Gander
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:52 PM

See also verses printed by White from Durham, NC circa 1919; further, he noted that the Montgomery Advertiser printed similar lines in 1916, attributing them to a verse scrawled by Mark Twain on the pages of a book (presumably remembered from his days as a riverboat pilot).

I agree with Q that there is no probable connection between this song and any Supreme Court decisions from the early nineteenth century.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 12:28 AM

The legal link won't let me in.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,sinky
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 11:15 AM

i love to see my charming betsy
riding on her brand new jet ski
i wave as she goes roaring past
water shooting up her ass
her breasts a heaving like the foam
just wait until i get you home


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 02:02 PM

Foolestroupe, the article is still on Google. "Charming Betsy" Boomerang located it.
I half-way read it, but my legal knowledge is too slight for me to make much out of it.

Michael, the principle is still being invoked in court cases.

Haven't found a longer version of the Charming Betsy chorus, which seems to be from some song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 11:13 AM

Looking for a recording of this song, I found this thread instead. I remember singing in 5th grade music class, now I sing the song to my little granddaughter's as a followup to "she'll be comin' round the mountain".....

Chorus:
All 'round the mountain, charming Betsy
All 'round the mountain, Laura (Cora?) Lee
If I never see her no more
May the good Lord remember me.

V 1
Town gal, she wears a satin dress
Country gal, she wears the same
Mountain gal wears a calico dress
But she gets there just the same.

Chorus

V 2
Town gal, she drives an automobile
country gal, she drives the same
Mountain gal drives an old ox cart
But she gets there just the same.

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Goose Gander
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 11:34 AM

I am certain that at least some of the recordings referenced in the Ballad Index entry above have been re-issued on CD, but I'd have to check around to see what is available.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,Sarah
Date: 05 Dec 08 - 03:07 AM

Haha! I was just looking the lyrics to a version of the song that I knew growing up that ended up being completely different from the recorded versions (check iTunes, there are fourteen on there alone) but I only remember one verse from it other than the modified chorus I'd known:
Rich girls, they have them fancy flush toilets
Country girls, the same
Mountain girls just find a friendly bush
But the do it just the same

All around the mountain
Calling Betsy, BETSY
All around the mountain Laura Lee-EE
If I ever see her again
Will the good Lord remember me?

I know it's completely different from the original story and context but that's what I was taught. That song was one of my childhood favorites :)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,justin the drifter
Date: 03 Jun 13 - 10:49 PM

rich gal sleeps in a big brick house poor gal she does the same my gal she sleeps in the county jail but its a brick house just the same


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Subject: Lyr Add: HE GETS THERE JUST THE SAME
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 04 Jun 13 - 09:56 PM

Wehman Songster #24, published by the Windsor Music Co., has what may if not the, at least an original for "Charmin' Betsy." As to what tune it used, it's anyone's guess, but it does sing very well to the tune we know today.

HE GETS THERE JUST THE SAME
Copyright 1888 by the Windsor Music Company

There is a chance in this great world for every humble thing,
You must not judge one by his looks, as I'll proceed to sing.
The beetle has his crown of gold, the fire-fly has his flame,
The bed-bug has no flame or crown, but he gets there just the same.

The burglar knows his trade right well whene'er he comes to call,
THe burgles all the live long night, whatever may befall,
The bank cashier, he also knows the points about his game,
He is a member of the church, but he gets there all the same.

The millionaire has money bags, and many bonds and stocks,
He owns a railroad, too, and has substantial business blocks,
But when the Winter days have come, with cold we all exclaim,
The plumber has no stocks or bonds, but he gets there just the same.

The game of poker I enjoy, of it I never tire,
To sit behind four aces is a thing I much admire,
But when with aces four I sit and think I'll scoop the game,
A little straight flush don't look big, but it gets there all the same.

Tho' many fall by fire and sword and yield up their last breaths,
The perils of the railroads, too, cause many sudden deaths,
In deadly mines beneath the earth, fire-damp doth kill or maim,
Toy-pistols don't amount to much, but they get there just the same.

The roller skate has often caused a dull and sick'ning thud,
While others fall a victim to the thick and slippery mud,
But when it comes to shaking up a person's mortal frame,
The innocent banana peel will get there all the same.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHARMING BETSY (from Roy Acuff)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 09:24 AM

CHARMING BETSY
As sung by Roy Acuff and His Crazy Tennesseeans, 1936.

CHORUS: She'll be comin' 'round the mountain, charming Betsy.
She'll be comin' 'round the mountain, Cora Lee,
And if I never see you again,
Good Lord, remember me.

1. Rich man he lives in a big red house.
Poor man do the same.
I live down in the North County jail.
It's a brick house just the same.

2. Rich gal sleeps on a nice feather bed.
Poor gal do the same.
My gal sleeps on a pallet on the floor.
She's snoozing just the same.

3. Rich gal rides in a rich limousine.
Poor gal do the same.
My gal rides in a T-model Ford.
She's ridin' just the same.

4. Rich gal smells like a rich solid(?) soap.
Poor gal do the same.
My gal smells like a billy goat.
She's stinking just the same.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHARMING BETSY (from Lonzo & Oscar)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 09:43 AM

CHARMING BETSY
As sung by Lonzo & Oscar, 1952.

CHORUS: She'll be comin' around the mountain, charming Betsy.
She'll be comin' around the mountain, Cora Lee, poor thing!
And if I never see you again,
Good gal, remember me.

1. Well, a rich girl she rides in a Cadillac eight.
Poor gal she does the same.
Now my gal she rides in a T-model Ford,
But she gets there just the same.

2. Well, a rich girl she lives in a big brick house.
Poor gal she does the same.
Now my gal she lives in the Nashville jail,
But it's a brick house just the same.

3. Well, a rich girl she wears the best perfume.
Poor gal she does the same.
Now my gal don't wear no perfume at all,
But you can smell her just the same.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HE GETS THERE JUST THE SAME
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 10:18 AM

Bob Coltman: Your discovery prompted me to go searching. I found this sheet music at the Levy collection, but it's quite a different song from yours:


HE GETS THERE JUST THE SAME
Words by George Cooper; music by J. P. Skelly.
New York: Richard A. Saalfield ©1886.

1. Now people in life all differ.
It's well that they don't agree.
While some are quite "fast,"
They often don't last,
As ev'rywhere we can see.
The "slow" often gain their purpose,
Although the appear so tame.
It isn't the pace
That wins a long race.
Some get there just the same!

CHORUS: He gets there just the same.
He gets there just the same.
And when he's about,
He knows without doubt,
He gets there just the same!

2. Now there is the gay mosquito.
He sings on his way each night,
Presenting his bill,
Our comfort to kill,
And to his intense delight.
Then there is the sly old bedbug,
Who's not all unknown to fame.
Although he can't fly,
He's awfully spry,
And gets there just the same!

3. Now often a man who's married
Will creep up the stairs quite late,
And think that his wife,
The joy of his life,
Is in a somnolent state.
He hides all the cash he carries,
And thinks he has spoiled her game,
But when he's asleep,
And snoring so deep,
She get there just the same!

4. In office, all men are honest.
That is, let them tell the fact.
For good of the state,
The small and the great
Their honor will keep intact;
But show them the lovely "boodle,"
And though they may all cry "shame,"
They jump, by-and-by,
Like trouts at a fly,
And get there just the same!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 10:57 AM

I found sheet music for this song at University of California, Berkeley, described thus:

HE GETS THERE JUST THE SAME
Words by Will. M. Peters; music by O. Langey.
San Francisco: I. L. A. Brodersen & Co.,/Windsor Music Co., 1886.
'As sung by "Canby the Plumber," in the "Tin Soldier" '

Lyrics are almost identical to those posted by Bob Coltman above.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK GIRL GETS THERE JUST THE SAME
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 01:14 PM

My transcription from a recording on Spotify. Several words and phrases are uncertain. Corrections are welcome.

BLACK GIRL GETS THERE JUST THE SAME
As sung by Cow Cow Davenport with Dora Carr, 1925.

[Spoken:]
CCD: Good morning, pretty mama.
DC: Hey, get out of here! You too black! Don't come in here so soon.
CCD: What's the matter? What's the matter? You don't want no black man to come in?
DC: Absolute! Too dark for me.
CCD: Oh, it must be bad luck, 'cause here, woman, you know I don't like no yellow woman either. Now here, don't have me to talk about that dominizin'. I ain't never crazy 'bout nobody but my black women. During the war, you yellow women was all right. Yeah, you's worth a plenty money. Used to haul in fifty dollars. But now the war is over, you can get you four for a quarter anyhow. Woman, don't have me to dominize you.
DC: All right, I'm gonna get you told.

[Sung:]
DC: I would not marry a black man.
I tell you reasons why:
Black man he wasn't born for me,
'Cause black has gone out of style.
I mean, black has gone out of style.

CCD: I would not marry a yellow woman. (DC: Why?)
CCD: I'll tell you the reason why.
You always go out and stay all night ridin' in automobiles,
Come home and tell your husband great big lies.
I mean, you tell too many doggone lies

DC: Yellow gal she rides in a fine automobile.
Brown-skin gal does the same.
CCD: Black gal rides in a tin-Lizzy Ford,
But she rides it just the same.
I mean, she'll get there just the same.

DC: Yellow gal she grease with this, uh, good cold cream.
Brown-skin gal she does the same.
CCD: Black gal grease with old fat meat grease,
But she's greasy just the same.
I mean, greasy just the same.

DC: Yellow gal she smell like this, uh, good toilet water.
Brown-skin she smells the same.
CCD: Black gal don't smell like no toilet water,
But she's smelly just the same.
I mean, she gets there just the same.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jun 13 - 02:49 PM

These verses from Brown, "Folksongs from North Carolina", vol. 3, ed. by Henry M. Belden and A. P. Hudson, no. 256, p. 297-298.

Charming Betty

The first time I saw you, charming Betty,
You was riding on the train;
The next time I saw you, charming Betty,
You was wearing my gold watch and chain.

Throw your arms around me, charming Betty,
Throw your arms around me, Cora Lee;
Throw your arms around me, charming Betty,
And give this poor heart ease.

I wrote you a letter, charming Betty,
I sent it safe by hand,
And when I got the answer
You were courting some other man.

Charming Betsy

It's all around the mountain, charming Betsy,
It's all around the mountain, Cora Lee,
And if nevermore I see you,
Dear love, remember me.

I hate to have to leave you, charming Betsy,
I hate to have to leave you, Cora Lee;
If I nevermore see you,
Dear love, remember me.

It's all around the mountain, charming Betsy,
It's all around the mountain, Cora Lee;
I'm going away, charming Betsy,
And you'll nevermore see me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST,b d eyes
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 03:13 PM

in lonzo and oscars version
when they stop in the middle..
cousin luther shouts something ??
lonzo shouts.....(veto??)
then then bass player shouts something
i cant figue out what is so funny
but they all start laughing
i wonder whats the joke ???
anybody know?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Charming Betsy
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 12:39 AM

I will be having dinner with Dave Hooten (the last Lonzo) in a few days. He is doing great enjoying retirement but will be tickled to death to know so many people remember the song. Dave is an awesome and funny guy. Just an old friend.


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