Betsy Baker (1)

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X: 105 T:Betsy Baker [1]. GS.105 T:Push about the Jorum,aka. GS.105 M:2/4 L:1/8 Q:300 S:George Spencer m/s, Leeds,1831 R:Misc. O:England A:Leeds N:Very Kerry Polka - like. In margin in pencil "Air - Push About The N:Jorum" H:1831 Z:vmp.Cherri Graebe K:G major g | dBBG | FAAc | BGBd | g3 g>e | dBBG | FAAd | BcdB | G3 G/ :||:! d | efge | afdd | efge | f2 dd | efge | afga | bgfd | g3 g>e |! dBBG | FAAc | BGBd | g3 g>e | dBBG | FAAc | BcdB | G3 G :||



BETSY BAKER [1]. AKA and see "Push about the Jorum (1)," "Rattle the Bottles (1)." English, Air (4/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Alexander): AAB (Shields/Goodman): AABB (Miller). "Betsy Baker [1]" seems to have been derived from an earlier country dance tune or reel called "Push about the Jorum (1)," printed in several London country dance collections beginning in 1776. Early printed versions under the "Betsy Baker" title can be found in a chapbook copy printed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1829 (a copy is in the Harvard Library), and in the Universal Songster, vol. 2 (1826, p. 332), where it is attributed to Thomas Hudson (1791-1844). Hudson was a London greengrocer who published a number of song collections between 1818 and 1831, apparently as a side trade, as he sold them from his grocery shop. He probably composed lyrics to existing melodies. "Betsy Baker" is in his Comic Songs by Thomas Hudson: Fifth Collection (1824). It begins:

From noise and bustle far away,
Hard work my time employing,
How happily did I pass each day,
Content and health enjoying.
The birds did sing and so did I,
As I trudg'd o'er each acre.
I never knew what 'twas to sigh
Till I saw Betsy Baker.

County Cork Church of Ireland cleric and uilleann piper James Goodman (1828-1896) printed the first few bars of "Betsy Baker [1]" in Volume 5 of his large mid-19th century music manuscript collection, in a section of pipe tunes.

Vance Randolph collected versions in the Ozarks mountains that appear in his Ozark Folksongs, vol. 1, No. 117. Randolph noted that the song was popular in England and America in the 1840's and 1850's, and that it appeared in several American songbooks. The melody is employed by Alstead, New Hampshire, fiddler Randy Miller as a march. "Betsy Baker" appears in the music manuscript collection of Church of Ireland cleric James Goodman (1828-1896), in what looks to be a reel setting. Goodman, an Irish speaker and an uilleann piper, collected in tradition in Cork and elsewhere in Munster in the mid-19th century, but also obtained tunes from manuscripts and printed collections.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - the 1938 typewritten manuscript of New Hampshire fiddler John Taggart (1854-1943), entitled "Recollections of a Busy Life" (New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, N.H.). Taggart, born and raised in Sharon, New Hampshire, and was a onetime orchestra leader and composer. Taggart wrote in his ms. that the tunes "were all taught me during my boyhood days in Sharon (N.H.), by the various fiddlers in that vicinity." Miller points out that Sharon is in "the heart of the Monadnock Region of southwestern New Hampshire, where fiddlers and contra dances abound to this day" (pref. iv) [Miller].

Printed sources : - Alexander (Alexander’s New Scrap Book, vol. 6), c. 1845; No. 846, p. 8. Miller (Fiddler's Throne), 2004; No. 329, p. 194. Shields (Tunes of the Munster Pipers), 1998; No. 102, p. 43.






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