Thursday, March 4, 2010


"Black Betty" is a 20th century African-American work song often credited to Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter as the author, though the earliest recordings are not by him. Some sources claim it is one of Lead Belly's many adaptations of earlier folk material. In 1977, the rock band Ram Jam — whose members included Bill Bartlett, formerly of Starstruck and The Lemon Pipers — rerecorded the song with producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz under Epic Records. The song became an instant hit with listeners, as it reached number 18 on the singles charts in the United States and the top ten in the UK and Australia. At the same time, the lyrics became the cause of a boycott by civil rights groups NAACP and Congress of Racial Equality, who claimed it insulted black women. The origin and meaning of the lyrics are subject to debate. Some sources claim the song is derived from an 18th century marching cadence about a flint-lock musket with a black painted stock; the "bam-ba-lam" lyric referring to the sound of the gunfire. Soldiers in the field were said to be "hugging Black Betty". In this interpretation, the musket was superseded by its "child", a musket with an unpainted walnut stock known as a "Brown Bess". The earliest meaning of "Black Betty" in the United States (from at least 1827) was a liquor bottle.

Lyrics | Ram Jam lyrics - Black Betty lyrics

No comments:

Looking for your favorite artist, youtube videos, songs and lyrics? search this blog!!