“Betsey Brown”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1926 (recording, Walter Morris)
Keywords: love courting beauty family money
Found in: US(So)


"There's a pretty little girl, she lives downtown, Her daddy is a butcher and his name is Brown." Having met pretty Betsey Brown in the street, the singer courts her, meets her parents, and plans to wed her (and enjoy her family's money....)


Vernon Dalhart recorded a piece, "Pretty Little Dear," which conflates this with "I Had But Fifty Cents" and other material. But the Randolph text, at least, seems independent of the Dalhart version. - RBW



  1. Randolph 384, "Betsey Brown" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 180-181, "Betty Brown" (1 text)
  3. Roud #7618
  4. BI, R384