Sweet Betsy (Bessie)


Sweet Betsy (Bessie) from Pike is an American folk song. There are several variations of it (like with many traditional songs). It does meet Jim Adams’ lyrical challenge to write about a song that includes Bird/Cat/Dog/Fish/Pet. Well our Betsy surely has an old yellow dog!

Padre

Lyrics:

Did you ever hear tell of sweet Bessie from Pike?
She crossed the high mountains with her lover Ike,
With a tall yoke of oxen, and an old yellow dog,
A big shanghai rooster, and an old spotted hog.

[One evening quite early they camped on the Platte,
‘Twas near by the road on a green shady flat,
Where Bessie, sore-footed, lay down to repose,
With wonder Ike gazed on his Pike County rose.]

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

They stopped at Salt Lake to enquire the way,
Old Brigham he swore that sweet Bessie would stay,
Sweet Bessie got scared, run away like a deer,
Old Brigham he pawed up the ground like a steer.

[Sweet Bessie got up in a great deal of pain,
Declared she’d go back to Pike County again;
But Ike gave a sigh, and they fondly embraced,
And they traveled along with his arm ’round her waist.]

[This Pike County couple got married of course,
But Ike became jealous, obtained a divorce.
Sweet Bessie, well satisfied, said with a great shout,
“Good-by, you big lummox, I’m glad you backed out!”]

Source: https://mnheritagesongbook.net/the-songs/addition-song-with-recordings/sweet-bessie-from-pike/

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