bambalam black betty
And, it bothers me to say this, but the most different modern version comes from… ugh… this is difficult for me… Scooter (it is the most different version. I say that because in different versions of the song ‘Black Betty’ refers to various different things: a prison wagon for transferring prisoners, a whip, a gun (a specific type of musket) and a bottle of whisky. We're all about the quality, and support good writing and reading. The prison guards or soldiers were ‘hugging Black Betty’. He knew his songs so well, was so knowledgeable that John Lomax referred to him as the ‘black Homer’. Even if all the other ones with literally exactly the Ram Jam version, but with a slightly different singer voice, they’d still all be better than this nonsense.). So, I’ll just leave you with what I consider to be the important attempts, or the ones that were hits. Almost Happy, Vegetable Creep, The Origin of the World’s Art: Prehistoric Cave Painting. Which I’m not into. He spent forty-seven years in prisons in Texas. Even if you didn’t do a cover of it, you will get credited with one; ZZ Top, AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd all have versions of Black Betty on Youtube, all of which are definitely Ram Jam. John A. and Alan Lomax's 1934 book, American Ballads and Folk Songs describes the origins of "Black Betty": "Black Betty is not another Frankie, nor yet a two-timing woman that a man can moan his blues about. He received a Masters with first class honours in creative writing from UCD and a BA in fine art painting from LSAD. So, that’s it, videos below. MURrow turnin’ over, in his grave. Certainly into the 19th century the phrase Black Betty seems to have been more in use. The song seems to have origins in the 18th century, long before Lead Belly was even thinking about being born. Ministry did it. Because that prick will whip you again. Except one thing. We have the lyrics, that riff, the speed, the drums, it’s all there. Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly) and Martha Promise Ledbetter, Wilton, Connecticut, February 1935, Poem of the Week | Fool’s Paradise by Jorge Leiva, NO ENCORE #241 | TOP 5 SCARY SONGS / BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN REVIEW, Pints of Malt #82 | Black History Hall of Fame, #150 | Hallowe’en Special 2020 – Is Maith Sin, Pumpkin, Up To 90 | Caffeine Pills and Child Stars, Dubland | PJ Gallagher, Who Are You? Then Meatloaf did a big-voice rock version in 2006. The artist makes it their own. Cookies are yum so we use them to make your HeadStuff experience more yummy. He also claimed to be a habitual prisoner. You might not know the word ‘metaphor’ if you haven’t been educated, but you certainly know how to implement one. Generally one person would sing the lines and then the rest of the gang would accompany. The Melvins added little to it in 2011. He was a self-proclaimed habitual prisoner. Murrow turnin’ over, in his grave. Black Betty had a baby, bam-ba-lam. HeadStuff is all about putting buckets of interesting stuff in one place. The party-rock song, whoa-O Black Betty, bam-ba-lam, whoa-O Black Betty. Now he's working on getting his novel on, and being in charge of HeadStuff.org. She is the whip that was and is used in some Southern prisons. And when a updated model of the gun came out, known as ‘Brown Bess’, with an unpainted wooden stock, it was seen as the ‘child’ of the flint-lock musket. Though she does dance around during the musicy bits. There are literally too many versions to go through them all. They even begin to make the baby blind. One of his phrases is “He’s kiss’d black Betty’. “Black Betty’s on the bottom, bam-ba-lam, Black Betty’s in the bottle”. Instead, because he’s endlessly classy, he did the Lead Belly version. By revival I mean the song was going to become an international hit, heard daily by more people than had heard it in the previous hundred or so years accumulated. ‘Clear Rock’s’ version of Black Betty seems to be about whiskey. Soil did it. Alan Bennett was a stand-up comedian for a while and during that time he toured with David O'Doherty and Maeve Higgins and did well in some competitions and co-ran Schnitzel Comedy Club. And, as always, people want to sing about what’s going on in their lives. But the song is a lot more classic than you might think. This is where the bottle of whisky version of Black Betty would come into it. It’s a classic and we all love it whether we’re willing to admit it or not. His nickname ‘Iron Head’ is how he was known, but the name James Baker may just be a name the prison gave to him. The song means nothing to her, there’s no history to it. Ed Murrow had a child, in his grave, the damn thing went wild, in his grave. Jack White belts into one Black Betty chorus during a live performance of Screwdriver with his band The White Stripes. The medley ‘Looky Looky Yonder/Black Betty/Yellow Woman’s Doorbell’. In 1736 Benjamin Franklin published a book called The Drinker’s Dictionary which lists 228 phrases for being drunk. And only form of pleasure if it’s the sort of think you’re into. We get up every morning to make your daily journey through the internet more interesting and productive. One recorded example is done very much in this style. In fact this is the worst version. Everything creative is informed by what preceded it, everything is an evolution, and Black Betty is a great example of the evolution of one small traditional folk song. James ‘Iron Head’ Baker leads the line with ‘Oh Lord Black Betty-‘ and the rest of the gang would accompany with ‘bam-ba-lam,’ and then back to ‘Iron Head’, ‘Oh Lordy Black Betty’. We are all familiar with the Ram Jam version of Black Betty. He just does it with slightly more attitude and gusto. Perhaps it was a musket, the bam-ba-lam becomes the noise of the gunshot. Joe Brown did a mandolin version. But the song is a lot more classic than you might think. But in fact it appears to outdate Mr. Lead Belly by quite some time. Used some of ‘Black Betty’ in his political song, ‘Murrow Turning Over in his Grave’. This is art. Damn thing went wild. So that damn whip becomes, for example, ‘Black Betty’. You gotta love Nick Cave. He had an incredible voice, and it was said that he knew so many songs that he never sang the same song twice. Unfortunately that alone doesn’t make it good. Black Betty is a black belter according to every musician ever. We are all familiar with the Ram Jam version of Black Betty. This was 1976. Damn thing went crazy. James Baker’s history is itself fascinating. Moses ‘Clear Rock’ Platt’s story is similar to Iron Head’s. James ‘Iron Head’ Baker was in fact in prison. In this recording it seems like he’s being reminded of the lyrics, probably by Lomax, “Black Betty had a baby,” he’s told and he promptly sings the line. Then he started writing fiction and it has been published in several literary magazines and anthologies including 30 Under 30 which Joseph O'Connor chose as one of his books of the year for The Irish Times. HeadStuff.org is a collaborative hub for the creative and the curious. So you disguise what you’re singing about. So it's easy for you to find and enjoy high quality content from our wonderful contributors. The musket would have been a flint-lock musket with a black painted stock. But, if you’re a black slave or prisoner in the southern states between the 1700s and early 1900s you’re not going to be singing about what a dick the white owners were. Acapella. Which in itself is amazing. But there was something of a revival about to take place. We all spend so much of our time clicking through reams of content and sometimes not reading anything of interest at all. They want to express themselves and their hardships. While on a chain gang, singing was pretty much the only past time. But before Ram Jam got their hands on it Manfred Mann did just that in a live show. And even still, a year before Ram Jam could get their hands on it, a band called Starstruck did their cover of it. He was recorded and archived by John A. Lomax and his sons Alan and John Jr.. For example: the line above about the baby. Gone are the days of Iron Head’s mellow acapella sing-a-long. In 2004 Spiderbait had a hit with a louder, faster, more aggressive version of Ram Jam. Its a classic and we all love it whether were willing to admit it or not. It’s incredibly classic, in fact, it pre-dates recording. When he recorded ‘Black Betty’ and other songs with the Lomaxes he was on his sixth term in prison, thirty-four years, and he was sixty-three years old. Big City Rock did a version for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles soundtrack. Lindsey Buckingham, from a band called Fleetwood Mac (look them up). These early versions of Black Betty that we have recordings of are African-American work songs, so basically prison or slave songs that would have been sung by chain gangs. It’s not the modern rock Black Betty that is familiar to us, but you can clearly see (hear) the evolution in process, sprawling guitars etc. But the next heavy hitter to pick it up was none other than Nick Cave with his Bad Seeds, in 1986. In other versions you’ll hear, Black Betty had a child, bam-ba-lam. Sheryl Crow did a version during which I’m surprised she managed to stay awake. But this is good. It’s quite good, wait for the guitar solo. Next we have the dreadful, glitzy, get-back-in-your-box-Dad, 2002, Tom Jones version. And you’re not going to be singing about how you don’t like his whip. And now we have the modern rock song. Plus they add some electro-banjo. After Ram Jam there were a few remixes and dance versions of their hit. Radio friendly. More words, more rhymes. There doesn’t seem to have been a lot going on with Betty during the 50s and 60s. This is what the blues is about, you take something that came before you and do your own thing with it. I haven’t done the research on it, but I would wager that 200 million bands have covered it since Ram Jam, and each of them (bar one) has that same riff, they do it fast and loud. Not a gang of thugs whose weapon of choice was a chain. Lead Belly probably picked it up as a traditional folk song while he was imprisoned and working in a chain gang. Its incredibly classic, in fact, it pre-dates recording. Their version is basically the exact same as the Starstruck version, except slightly worse in my opinion, slightly more repetitive, despite being half the length. Why? Moses Platt was probably a prison name, and the nickname ‘Clear Rock’ was given to him for killing three people by throwing rocks at them. Mad stuff. But it had one important difference. In 1977 Ram Jam, including former Starstruck guitarist Bill Bartlett recorded their version of the song. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion have another loud version which is, disappointingly the rock version, not blues. She seems utterly bored while singing. A chain gang was a long line of prisoners or slaves (innocent prisoners) chained together at the ankle all working on some sort of hard labour (train tracks, breaking rocks etc.). And since this version of the song, we now only really get this version. The party-rock song, whoa-O Black Betty, bam-ba-lam, whoa-O Black Betty. It’s a take off of Black Betty. It’s often credited to Huddie Ledbetter, better known as ‘Lead Belly’, the fantastic blues musician from the 1930s and 40s. Computer Love | The Freedom of the Internet for Musicians. Let us know which is your favourite version in the comments. An interesting side note which is mostly unrelated: John A. Lomax married a woman called  Bess Brown. And he cracks his whip BAM-BA-LAM. It was a major hit. It wasn’t a hit. There’s little of the old blues number in it.

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