Black Betty Lyrics by Ram Jam


One Hit Wonders

Ram Jam

Black Betty Lyrics
Oh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

Oh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

Black Betty had a child
Bama Lamb

The damn thing gone wild
Bama Lamb

Said weren't none of mine
Bama Lamb

The damn thing gone blind
Bama Lamb

I said
oh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb.
Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

She really gets me high
Bama Lamb

You know that's no lie
Bama Lamb

She's so rock steady
Bama Lamb

And she's always ready
Bama Lamb

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb.

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

She's from Birmingham
Bama Lamb

Way down in Alabama
Bama Lamb

Well she's shakin' that thing
Bama Lamb

Boy she makes me sing
Bama iamb

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb

Woh Black Betty
Bama Lamb.
Writer: Cleveland, Mike / Ledbetter, Huddie
Copyright: Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, FOLKWAYS MUSIC PUBLISHING INC C/O THE RICHMOND ORGANIZATION

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Black Betty Info:

• This was originally a 20th-century African-American work song, popularized by Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter before his death in 1949.

• Civil rights groups NAACP and Congress of Racial Equality called for a boycott of the song when Ram Jam released it, because they felt the lyrics were disrespectful to black women.

• Some sources claim the song is derived from an 18th-century marching cadence about a flint-lock musket with a black painted stock. In this interpretation:

- The "bam-ba-lam" lyric refers to the sound of the gunfire.

- Soldiers in the field were said to be "hugging Black Betty".

- The child in the song is likely referring to the bullet.

- "that child is wild" meaning the bullet didn't always go where it should.

- "The child is blind" meaning it did not care who it hit, friend or foe.

- "Black betty don't care" meaning the musket also doesn't care who is killed by its child

- "that child ain't mine" meaning "it wasn't me who shot my buddy in the back of the head".

- The line "she's from Birmingham" also fits as the place where muskets were manufactured.

Released: June, 1977


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