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Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???

DigiTrad:
JOE BOWERS
MASTER MCGRATH
SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE
THE POKEGAMA BEAR
VILLIKINS AND HIS DINAH


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Sweet Betsy from Pike (25)
Help: Origin of Villikins&Dinah tune (16)
(origins) Origins: Master McGrath (60)
Lyr Req: Villikins & his Dinah: songs using tune (68)
(origins) Origins: They Died as they Lived (1)
Lyr Add: Little Dame Crump (2)
Where is Pike (as in 'Sweet Betsy from.. (22)
Lyr Req: Dinah and Villikens (23)
Info on: Master McGrath (14)
This remind you of Villikins & Dinah? (13)
SFTD-Pokegama Bear-11/17 (16)


bet 18 Apr 02 - 04:45 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Apr 02 - 05:28 PM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM
GUEST 18 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Apr 02 - 06:17 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Apr 02 - 06:36 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Apr 02 - 06:55 PM
kendall 18 Apr 02 - 08:02 PM
kendall 18 Apr 02 - 08:06 PM
Bev and Jerry 18 Apr 02 - 08:31 PM
kendall 18 Apr 02 - 10:04 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Apr 02 - 10:10 PM
Bev and Jerry 18 Apr 02 - 11:32 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Apr 02 - 06:15 AM
Bev and Jerry 19 Apr 02 - 02:04 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 19 Apr 02 - 02:26 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Apr 02 - 05:06 PM
ciarili 20 Apr 02 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Al 21 Apr 02 - 12:29 PM
Art Thieme 21 Apr 02 - 06:55 PM
ciarili 22 Apr 02 - 09:28 PM
Brían 23 Apr 02 - 08:10 PM
Mark Ross 23 Apr 02 - 09:08 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 23 Apr 02 - 10:01 PM
GUEST 24 Apr 02 - 01:06 AM
ciarili 25 Apr 02 - 01:15 AM
GUEST,Paul@nospam.barnettfamily.org 16 Apr 03 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Q 16 Apr 03 - 06:48 PM
Art Thieme 17 Apr 03 - 12:11 AM
GUEST,Mr. X 19 Apr 03 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Apr 03 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,lighter 19 Apr 03 - 02:02 PM
ard mhacha 19 Apr 03 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Sam 04 Apr 09 - 12:17 AM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 09 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Nell 15 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM
goatfell 15 Jun 09 - 12:33 PM
Don Firth 15 Jun 09 - 12:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 09 - 01:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jun 09 - 01:32 PM
Goose Gander 16 Jun 09 - 12:37 PM
dick greenhaus 16 Jun 09 - 12:48 PM
Neighmond 16 Jun 09 - 01:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM
Art Thieme 16 Jun 09 - 02:16 PM
clueless don 16 Jun 09 - 02:52 PM
Neighmond 17 Jun 09 - 02:38 AM
kendall 17 Jun 09 - 07:05 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jun 09 - 04:16 PM
dick greenhaus 17 Jun 09 - 05:37 PM
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Subject: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: bet
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 04:45 PM

Yes, I did find it in the Digital Bank. My question is this. I have always sung the refrain: "Sing too-rali oorali oorali ay". In our new series of books the publishers have the refrain as: "Hoo-dle dang, fol-de-dye-do, hoo-dle dang, fol-de-day." Does anyone know which is the original. I hate to teach the kids something that some publisher thought was "cute". Just wondering. bet


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 05:28 PM

I don't know which was the original (if there IS one "the" original - you never know with folk songs as popular as this one) but I can remember hearing the "hoodle-dang" chorus sung when I was a kid. That's long enough ago to qualify as some sort of folk history!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM

And I heard "Sing too-rali oorali oorali ay" when I was growing up more than half a century ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM

John A Stone's 'Put's Golden Songster', where the song originally appeared, can be found for sale at www.bookfinder.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 06:17 PM

"As far as we now know," "Sweet Betsy" was composed by John A. Stone of San Francisco, about 1858 (Vance Randolph, Ozark Folk Songs; Lingenfelter et al., Songs of the American West). Stone published it in 1858 in Put's Golden Songster, 2nd Ed.
Like most nonsense choruses, the singer has always felt free to put in his own version. An old Missouri-collected version in "Ozark Folksongs" uses "Sing tooralay, tooralay, tooralay lay," repeated 4 times.
My grandfather (I am one now) sang the chorus about as you do, and said he used to sing it in the mining camps about 1890.
Lingenfelter et al., in his "Songs of the American West," has "Toural lal looral lal looral lal la." You will have to go to Put's 2nd Edition to find the original.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 06:36 PM

Add a twist (ugh) by singing it to the tune of "An Irish Lullaby." Tooralooraloora, tooralooralay. Tooralooraloora; just an Irish lullaby.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 06:55 PM

Lomax, "Cowboy Songs, 1910 (1925) printed no chorus, and as usual, gave no author attribution. In 1934 and 1938, he printed "Sing-too-rall-(i)-oo-ral-i-oo-ral-i-ay," sung twice, leaving out the "i" I have put in ( ) the second time.
Carl Sandburg (1927) seems responsible for "Doodle hang fol-de di-do, hoodle dang fol-de day." He also failed to credit he author.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: kendall
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 08:02 PM

there was another verse I used to hear...
    ......they stopped on a hill
    with wonder looked down upon old Placerville
    Ike smiled when he said, and cast his eyes down
    Sweet Betsy me darlin' we've come to Hangtown...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: kendall
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 08:06 PM

Their wagon broke down with a hell of a crash
And out on the praire rolled all kinds of trash
A few little baby clothes done up with care
Looked mighty suspicious, but, 'twas all on the square.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 08:31 PM

Irwin Silber in his "Songs of the Great American West" says it "was probably composed around 1856 or 1857".

And Kendall, since we nearly always play in schools, we never, never do the verse about the baby clothes but we always include the verse about Hangtown, which is what Placerville used to be called (after it was called Dry Diggin's). If you go to Placerville today you can still see a Hangtown Shopping Center, a Hangtown Florist, a Hangtown Pharmacy, etc.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: kendall
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 10:04 PM

do you sing the verse about Betsy getting drunk?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 10:10 PM

Well, you pull one oversize book off the shelf and it turns out to be the wrong one. It was Lomax in "The Folk Songs of North America" who did the "Hoodle dang" stuff. He also said that the "text never varies," but there are some verses that Stone never wrote.
Apologies to Sandburg for the mistake. He gave the chorus as
    "Saying goodbye, Pike County,
    Farewell for a while;
    We'll come back again
    When we stand out our pile."

    For the last chorus:
    "Saying goodbye, dear Isaac,
    Farewell for a while.
    But come back in time
    To replenish my pile."

"The last line could be repeated, for a change, with the fol de rol words, 'Tooral lal looral lal, Tooral lal la loo.'" Sandburg, The American Songbag, pp. 108-109.
After the verse provided by Kendall, Lomax (The Folk Songs of North America) has the verse (Neither one in the DT):

    Sweet Betsy got up with a great deal of pain
    And declared she'd go back to Pike County again,
    Then Ike heaved a sigh and they fondly embraced,
    And she traveled along with his arm round her waist.

Vance Randolph, in his "Unprintable Songs from the Ozarks," (not seen) reported two "slightly obscene" verses.
John A. Stone reached California in 1850, but never found gold. "He claimed to have sung all of his songs at various times and places and occasionally with the assistance of a group of men known as the Sierra Nevada Rangers. With encouragement from friends, he published his songs as "Put's Original California Songster" in 1855 which was followed by other "Put's" songsters that dealt with the mountains of California. "Sweet Betsy" appeared in the second edition of "Put's Golden Songster (1858) ..." Quoted from "The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing" by Guy Logsdon, p. 215ff.
See thread 24592 for another (Mormon) version: Betsy
A very good thread devoted to Gold Miners Songs is 6228: Gold


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 11:32 PM

No, Kendall, not that one either. If you want to play in schools, you have to stifle yourself (and the material,too).

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 06:15 AM

Bev & Jerry, can you settle my mind about something? I'm originally from California but left it in 1967 and have lived in England & Ireland for decades, so this is one of those deeply buried "memories" that I'm not sure ever really happened. It's about Placerville. When I was very little (which as I mentioned in my post above is some time ago) my grandparents took me there on a day's outing, and I could swear that the restauarant where we went for lunch had a life-sized dummy dressed as a cowboy, hanging by its neck over the outside door and gently swaying in the breeze as we ate our burgers (I could see him all through lunch because I was sitting right next to the window). I was only about four and had never heard of "hanging" before, and stared at the thing in fascination, wondering WHY anyone would want to do such a strange thing to someone. My question is: WAS (or is) there such a place in Placerville, or has my mind embroidered the truth in the intervening years?

Also, is there any factual basis to the rumour (or muddled memory) that this dummy was actually Ed McCurdy (not sure there's a "Mc" in his surname) whose unburied corpse was preserved in arsenic and became so leathery that after awhile people didn't realise he was real? I heard somewhere that he was in Placerville for awhile (as well as being used elsewhere as a movie/funfair prop) but I'm not sure I've got it right. If it's true, can anyone who has info to share please start a new "BS:McCurdy" thread so we don't hi-jack this one? I may just have these two things fused in my mind because of this early exposure to hanging.

I should probably get out more...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 02:04 PM

Bonnie:

Your mind has not embroidered the truth. Said dummy is still hangin' in there. Almost everytime we ask fourth graders if they know why Placerville was called Hangtown, someone (almost always a boy)tells us that he has seen the dummy hanging in Placerville.

As to Ed McCurdy, we never heard that one before.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 02:26 PM

A bit of the history of the hanging here: Placerville
When traveling through these town, I noticed "The Bank of Lolita." I always wondered where that name came from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 05:06 PM

Bev, Jerry & Dicho - Thanks for the info and the interesting link! I'll have to get back there some day -


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: ciarili
Date: 20 Apr 02 - 12:51 PM

I learned this song from my Dad, and I've heard it from a couple of other people, but noone I know does a chorus of vocables. Just the words. The tune I know wouldn't even fit 'em in!

Have any of you ever heard it without the chorus?

ciarili


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 12:29 PM

John Stone, "Old Put", is buried in the small cemetery in Greenwood, California, about 25 miles north of Placerville. I live in Georgetown, just down the road. The tune is still popular here. Keith Little, who is from Georgetown, recorded it recently. I'll have to listen to his CD again and see how he does the refrain. This sure is a nice, simple old tune that has survived the test of time. Al


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 06:55 PM

That chorus is gaelic. Roughly translated, it comes out:
    Have you heard tell of sweet Betsy from Pike,
    Crossed the wide prairie with her lover, Ike,
    With 2 yoke of oxen, an old army cot,
    Three o' Kendall's records and four pounds of pot.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: ciarili
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 09:28 PM

Gaelic?!

That's quite like the chorus I remember, though. Ours goes:
    Oh, don't you remember Sweet Betsy from Pike,
    Who crossed the big mountains with her lover Ike,
    With two yoke of oxen and one spotted hog,
    A tall shanghaied rooster and an old yeller dog.
ciarili


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Brían
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 08:10 PM

Aw, Ciarili, Tá fhios agam go bhfuil Art ag cuireann magadh fúinn!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 09:08 PM

John "The Yank" Harrington of Butte, Montana, 99 years old, sings,
    You were kicked from your country
    For banging a squaw,
    You Mormon, goddamn you
    go back to Utah."
Anybody know where I can find the rest of this version?

By the way,isn't the melody closely to related to VILLIKINS AND HIS DINAH?

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 10:01 PM

The tune is Vilikins and his Dinah.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 02 - 01:06 AM

I have heard many off color verses growing up in Utah... my favorite
    They camped by Platte River to stay for the night
    the whole camp was drinking
    and Betsy got tight
    She whooped and she shouted and danced in the rain
    and showed her white ass to the whole wagon train.
and
    They stopped in Salt Lake to inquire the way
    Old Brigham demanded that Sweet Betsy should stay
    Betsy was frightened and ran like a deer
    while Brigham stood pawing the ground like a steer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: ciarili
Date: 25 Apr 02 - 01:15 AM

If I read you rightly, Brían, I enjoy a good yarn! And a good slag....

ciarili


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST,Paul@nospam.barnettfamily.org
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 06:34 PM

One other verse:
    They passed the Sierras through mountains of snow
    'Til Old California was sighted below
    Sweet Betsy she hollered and Ike gave a cheer
    Saying "Betsy my darlin', I'm a made millioneer."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 06:48 PM

From "Mormon Songs from the Rocky Mountains," ed. Thomas E. Cheney, p. 184:
    They came down the mountain into old Salt Lake
    Where Betsy met Brigham one evening quite late;
    He asked her to stay, but Betsy said "No;"
    Brigham said, "If you don't, to Hell you will go."

    From Jay Healy, Provo, Utah, 1959.

The last line can also read:
    When Betsy said "No," Brigham brayed like a mule.

A complete Mormon version has been posted in thread 24592, 19 0ct 01: Betsy from Pike


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 12:11 AM

This is sung to the same tune as "POKEGAMA BEAR"---as recorded by me.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST,Mr. X
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 01:50 PM

I noticed in the musical OLIVER! that people in the background of the pub were singing a song that sounded very similar to "Sweet Betsy from Pike." I soon discovered that "Sweet Betsy from Pike" had its English roots as "Villikins and his Dinah." That is most likely what the people in the background were saying. If any of you have a copy of OLIVER!, go to the scene where Fagin goes over to the pub and asks Bet about Bill Sykes. Listen carefully to the music in the background and you will hear it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 01:57 PM

It could be "Villikins..." but the English used that tune for other lyrics, just as they did in America. Just one of those tunes that lends itself to all sorts of lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: GUEST,lighter
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 02:02 PM

Incredibly, the verse about drunken Betsey showing off appears in Boni & Boni's "Fireside Book of Folksongs," a popular collection published about 1949. They even used it in my grade school. (Though I can't recall singing past verse one.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 02:20 PM

Guest, Q, The same tune was used for the song about the famous Irish Greyhound Master McGrath. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Betsy From Pike (John A. Stone?)
From: GUEST,Sam
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 12:17 AM

Sweet Betsy From Pike

Did you ever hear tell of sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the wide prairie with old Uncle Ike,
With two yoke of cattle and one spotted hog,
A tall Shanghai rooster and a large yellow dog.

Chorus

Singin' toora-li, loora-li, loora-li, ay [Repeat.]

One evening quite early they camped on the Platte,
'Twas near by the road on a green shady flat,
Where Betsy sore-footed lay down to repose,
There was no sounder sleeper than that Pike County rose.

They soon reached the desert, where Betsy gave out,
And down in the sand she lay rolling about;
But she got up again with a great deal of pain,
And declared she'd go back to Pike County again.

The Shanghai ran off and their cattle all died,
That morning the last piece of bacon was fried;
Poor Ike was discouraged and Betsy got mad,
The dog drooped his tail and looked wondrously sad.

They finally stopped on a very high hill,
And with wonder looked down upon old Placerville;
Ike sighed when he said as he looked all around
"Well, Betsy, my sweet, we might as well go down.

Old Ike and sweet Betsy attended a dance;
Ike wore a pair of his Pike County pants;
Sweet Betsy was covered with ribbons and rings;
Says Ike, "You're an angel, but where are your wings?"

A miner asked, "Betsy, will you dance with me?"
"I will that, old hoss, if you don't make too free;
"But don't dance me hard, do you want to know why?
Dog on, but I'm chock full of strong alkali."


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 09 - 03:52 AM

I wonder if Jerry and Bev called Ike an "uncle" when they performed in schools. I see the version Sam posted has some other changes to accommodate Ike's not being a lover. I suppose it would be difficult getting away with "lover" in a school, even if the song DID come from 1854.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: GUEST,Nell
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 11:01 AM

The refrain we sang from an American Folk Songbook:

    Singin' goodbye Pike county, farewell for awhile
    We'll be back again when we've panned out a pile.


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: goatfell
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 12:33 PM

well as the song goes the chours is toora loora loora ora ray


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 12:57 PM

Back in 19-ought-52, Claire, the girl who got me interested in folk music in the first place, sang it "Ri-coodle, ri-coodle, ri-coodle, eye-aye." She had learned it from a song book, but I'm not sure which one. Shortly thereafter, I heard Walt Robertson sing it, and the refrain he used was "Hoo-dle dang, fol-de-dye-do, hoo-dle dang, fol-de-day." So it isn't just some recent publisher's cute idea, it's been around for awhile.

I've also heard it sung with "Sing too-rali oorali oorali ay." But I've heard that same refrain used with a number of other songs as well. Also, I've heard it sung with no refrain at all.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 01:24 PM

The original lyrics by Stone, 1858, were posted in thread 29592, with the tooral lal looral lal looral lal la, etc., chorus.
Sweet Betsey from Pike

Stone set it to the tune "Villikins and His Dinah."

(Over time, the second 'e' has been dropped from 'Betsey')


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 01:32 PM

OOPs! Scandanavian it is not. And it is linked (lyr/Origins Sweet Betsy...) at the head of this thread.
Old Alzheimers got me- cane by my side. Unnecessary, but try again to see if brain cells still clanking round.

24592!
Origins Sweet Betsy


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 12:37 PM

I'll be singing this song at my wife's school this afternoon. They're having a 'Gold Rush Days' festival today.


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 12:48 PM

From Frank Warner:
    Ike called out for Betsy, and Betsy yelled back
    "A big grizzly bear's got me flat on my back
    But stay where you are, Ike, and don't come outdoors
    Coz a lady can't rassle without showing her drawers"


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Neighmond
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 01:19 PM

The oxen were matched in timber and stride,
as sons of Missouri they were Ike's joy and pride,
Well suited for crossing the prairies so green
For all that they cost him they well ought to been.

Sing tura lee, tura lee, tura lee lay!

The Indians came along in a greasy red horde,
Poor Betsy was scared they might scalp her adored
Behind the wagon wheels Betsy did crawl
and fought off the rebels with powder and ball.

Sing tura lee, tura lee, tura lee lay!

The wagon wheel broke with a horrible crash!
And out of the wagon rolled all sorts of trash!
Some cute little baby clothes done up with care
Looked a little suspicious, but 'twas all on the square.


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM

In the several threads, verses or variations not in Stone's original have been posted. Abby Sale and others posted with credit or information, but several give no information. The evolution of a song is interesting, and the information helps.

Neighmond, do you know where your 'Indians' verse came from? There are more than one on this theme.
A version from Utah (Hubbard, "Ballads ..."):

The Injuns came down in a wild yelling horde,
And Betsy was scared they would scalp her adored.
Behind the front wagon wheel Betsy did crawl,
And there she fought Injuns with musket and ball.


In your first verse, the "Two yoke of Cattle" of most versions become a matched pair from Missouri, a new one to me.


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 02:16 PM

My favorite recording of Sweet Betsy has always been the one done for Riverside Records by Pat Foster on his album of goldrush songs.

I do believe that Dick Greenhaus served as Pat Foster's agent a great many moons ago. Dick, any tales from those days?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: clueless don
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 02:52 PM

Just to add one more vote, my memory of the refrain, from my childhood (1950s into the early 1960s), is

too rah lee!
too rah lay!
singing too rah lie oo rah lie oo rah lie ay!

Don


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Neighmond
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 02:38 AM

Q,

As for the matched oxen, I guess my folks taught it to us that way. There was a verse about the wagon too, but I can't remember all of it.

There was a dirty verse about Ike and the Indians too, but we weren't to say it and I can't really remember it. Something about a squaw, but NOT the one someone else has posted.



They stopped at Salt Lake where the Mormons all stay
But Ike was afraid and and they soon ran away!
He cried to sweet Betsy "Better run for your life"
"Old Brigham wants you for his forty-fifth wife!"


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 07:05 AM

I learned this from Burl Ives back in the middle 40's, and he sang, hoodle dang fol de dido hoodle dang fol de day.

I don't know if there is a connection between the "dido" in the chorus and the dance that was popular in the 19th century.

I used to hear old folks say things like, "He cut up some kind of a dido and they locked him up". The dance had become a caper.


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 04:16 PM

Dido- 1807, a mischievous act. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
Led to the phrase cut a dido.
1807, J. R. Shaw, Life, "A jolly Irishman, who cut as many didos as I could for the life of me." Oxford English Dictionary Supplement. American origin, not known where that author found it.


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Subject: RE: Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain???
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 05:37 PM

Art-
Quite a few memories, but not all suitable for public consumption. Pat was a fine singer, but a bit odd in his ways.


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