"Black Betty" as written by and Huddie Ledbetter....
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

Black Betty had a child (Bam-ba-Lam)
The damn thing gone wild (Bam-ba-Lam)
She said, "I'm worryin' outta mind" (Bam-ba-Lam)
The damn thing gone blind (Bam-ba-Lam)
I said "Oh, Black Betty" (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

Oh, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

She really gets me high (Bam-ba-Lam)
You know that's no lie (Bam-ba-Lam)
She's so rock steady (Bam-ba-Lam)
And she's always ready (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

She's from Birmingham (Bam-ba-Lam)
Way down in Alabam' (Bam-ba-Lam)
Well, she's shakin' that thing (Bam-ba-Lam)
Boy, she makes me sing (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

"Black Betty" as written by Huddie Ledbetter

Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

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Black Betty song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis is an old Leadbelly song that he recrded in 1939. My undestanding is that "Betty" had syphillis - that's why the baby went crazy, and also went blind. The baby had congenital syphillis. The original lyrics were a little different than the RAM JAM lyrics. The RAM JAM lyrics seem like thay are about some hot chick. The Leadbelly lyrics are more tragic. I'd cite them here if I could find them, but I can't.
    moikon February 20, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentLeadbelly is said to have adapted the song from an 18th century marching cadence about a black-painted musket named Black Betty (go figure). Black Bettys child was Brown Bess.

    Leadbellys version, and all subsequent versions could mean just about anything, but at the roots Black Betty is a musket.
    lonesalamanderon February 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSpiderbait cover was better. I liked the filmclip for it better too.
    sire_of_black_eyesson January 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is great. how is it about speed? i assumed it was about a woman....i read something on the net about racism and that no one reacted to this song as racist....so i'm guessing it's about a woman. It can't be about speed can it? Cus that wouldn't concern racism. If you know more about the speed thing and can back it up please post here, cus I can't see any lyrics that suggest that.
    wordsandbirdson May 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy understanding is that black betty is a type of rifle

    it has a black barrel, hence the name
    it has a "child", a similar rifle without the black barrel
    it also fits with the Bam Balam part
    she's so rock steady and she's always ready
    i'm not sure if i'm remembering this right but i think the thing going blind refers to a clogged barrel
    and i think it kinda sounds like a military chant

    if it isn't a military chant, then it should be
    bareakonon May 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLove this song. Heard it again on The Losers. Their soundtrack rocks.

    Great song, no matter what it means :D
    keykeyx10000on April 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthot song..
    oofuson September 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can't believe that there is only one comment for this song! (and a short one at that, lol) no offence! this song bloody rox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    zibberdyon October 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, friggin, rock out to this song all the time.
    TheHamManon March 23, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHA HA HA HA!!!

    This song is so lame in its lyrics and song potential it's hysterical! Who the heck likes the song so much to do a cover of it? The cover's worse than the original!!! AH HA HA HA HA!!!
    LoyalMDOFanon October 22, 2004   Link

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