Lay by your wheel Betty

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LAY BY YOUR WHEEL, BETTY. AKA - "Lay by your wheel Betsy." Scottish, English; Air (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The title refers to a spinning wheel, and Betty is being asked to stop working. The mid-18th century song called "Johnny and Betsy" was sung by a Miss Brown at Sadler's Wells, and appears in songsters such as The Charmer: Or, the Lady's Garland (1764) and The American Mock Bird (New York, 1764). It begins:

My Daddy was gone to the Market a mile
My Mammy was gone to the Miller's the while,
In came my dear Johnny, and such was his Saying,
Lay by your Wheel, Betsy, come with me a Maying.


Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 5), Glasgow, 1801; No. 169, p. 63.

Recorded sources:




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