“Black Betty”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1934
Keywords: prison prisoner punishment chaingang
Found in: US(So)

Description

"Oh Lawd, Black Betty, bam-ba-lam (x2), Black Betty had a baby, bam-ba-lam (x2)." "Oh, Lawd, Black Betty... It de cap'n's baby." "Oh, Lawd, Black Betty... but she didn't feed the baby. "Oh Lawd, Black Betty... Black Betty, where'd you come from?"

Notes

According to the Lomaxes, "[Black Betty] is the whip that was and is used in some Southern prisons." - RBW

Recordings

References

  1. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 60-61, "Black Betty" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. DT, BLKBETTY*
  3. Roud #11668
  4. BI, LxA060