“Betsy of Dramoor”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1935 (Gardner/Chickering)
Keywords: love courting beauty father mother age
Found in: US(MW)


"As I walked out one evening, I roamed for recreation" and provided us with classical allusions. He sees a girl fairer than Diana or Helen of Troy. He begs her come away. She says she must wait until her declining parents die, but after that they marry

Supplemental text

Betsy of Dramoor
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner and Geraldine Jencks Chickering,
Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, pp. 204-205. "[C]hanted in 1935
by Mr. Duncan MacAlpine, Bad Axe."

As I walked out one evening, I roamed for recreation,
Quite happy in my station, no care nor trouble knew,
To view the sweets of nature and every happy creature,
Diffusing, gay, amusing unto the eye that viewed.
bright shining came Aurora accompanied by Flora,
A shining light from Phoebus began to paint the deep.
The larks and linnets singing, each vale with music ringing
As Boreas ceased to grumble when Aeolus went to sleep.

(4 additional stanzas)


With references to Aurora, Flora, Phoebus, Boreas, Aeolus, Diana, Dido, Susannah, and Helen of Troy, the literary component in this song will be evident. Other than that, it sounds like a very Irish sort of piece (compare the cross-references). I suspect a literary rewrite of one or another aged-parents song. - RBW.

Cross references



  1. Gardner/Chickering 79, "Betsy of Dramoor" (1 text)
  2. ST GC079 (Partial)
  3. Roud #3667
  4. BI, GC079