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Lyr Req: Betsy Bell (from Belle Stewart)

13 Jul 13 - 08:26 AM (#3536962)
Subject: Lyr Req: My Name is Maggie Bell
From: Kenny B (inactive)

A freiend keeps asking Bellng me do i know a song that starts "My Name is Maggie Bell"
Ive Googled , youtubed and mudcat searched to no avail.
The rhythm of the first line continues similarly. it sound to me like a music hall song or a song from the Scottish shortbread tin era.
Any thoughts?


13 Jul 13 - 10:37 AM (#3536994)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name is Maggie Bell
From: Jim Carroll

If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's a Sots music hall song once sung by Belle Stewart and is entitled Betsy Bell
You might find it under "I wonder what's tae dae wi' all the men" - which is chorus line.
If you can't find it, I think we have a recording of it - pm me.
Jim Carroll


13 Jul 13 - 11:09 AM (#3537005)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name is Maggie Bell
From: Jim Carroll

There you go
Jim Carroll

Betsy Bell
Sung by Belle Stewart
From Doomsday in the Afternoon (MacColl and Seeger)


Noo. my name is Betsy Bell, in the Overgatc I dwell.
Nae doot ye'll wonder what I'm daein' here;
But if ye wait a wee, sure my tale I'll tell to thee.
It's a tale nae doot ye'll think is very queer.

For I'm loukin' for a lad and he may he guid or bad.
For I'm gaun to tak' the first yin that I see;
He may be young or auld, or grey-heided, friends, or bald -
It's Anything that wears the breeks for me.

O, but for lads I've had my share, sure I've ha'en a score or mair.
But hoo they threw me up I dinnae ken:
For I'm neither prood nor shy that the lads should pass me by,
O, I wonder what's a-dae wi' a' the men.

4   Noo. as I gaed oot last nichi. I met wi' Sandy Richt
And he hauled me in as I was passin' by:
He asked me if I'd wed. so this is what I said.
"Man. if you are quite agreeable, so am I."

verse 2 is occasionally repealed here)_


14 Jul 13 - 09:05 AM (#3537250)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name is Maggie Bell
From: Kenny B (inactive)

Thanks Jim
thats definately the tune and probably the original version
"Betsy Bell by Uthank

I think there is a "Glasgow" Version on the lines of

"My name is Maggie Bell in the Gallowgate i dwell"

the Overgate i know of is in Dundee and probaly other places too

Thanks Again
Kenny B


14 Jul 13 - 02:22 PM (#3537340)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name is Maggie Bell
From: Kenny B (inactive)

Now that I have been pointed in the right direction the "Glasgow version" is in the DT

Betsy Bell in the DT


15 Jul 13 - 04:39 AM (#3537542)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Name is Maggie Bell (Betsy Bell)
From: BobKnight

There are other verses too, other than the version Jim has posted here, as I've heard Sheila (Stewart)sing this quite a few times.


17 Jul 13 - 02:54 PM (#3538567)
Subject: Lyr Add: BETSY BELL (from Belle Stewart)
From: Jim Dixon

Here's my transcription of the song from Spotify. Please be patient with my attempt to render "braid Scots." I am not a native speaker!


BETSY BELL
As sung by Belle Stewart on "Voice of the People 10: Who's That at My Bed Window?"

O my name is Betsy Bell; in the Overgate I dwell.
Nae doot ye'll wonder what I'm daein here,
But ever ye wait a wee, sure my tale I'll tell to thee.
It's a tale nae doot ye'll think is very queer.

For I'm loukin for a lad and he may he guid or bad.
I'm gaun to tak the first yin that I see.
He may be young or auld, or grey-heided, freends, or bauld.
It's onything that wears the breeks for me.

O, but o lads I've had my share; sure I've haen a score or mair,
But hoo they threw me up, I dinnae ken,
For I'm neither prood nor shy, that the lads should pass me by.
O, I wonder what's adae wi aa the men.


Noo. as I gaed oot last nicht, sure I met wi Sandy Richt,
And he hauled me in as I wis passin by.
He asked me if I'd wed, so this is what I said:
"Man, if you are quite agreeable, so am I."

O, I was sae prood o the chance, sure wi joy it made me dance,
An the marriage it was to be right there an then,
But when I got my marriage frock, ach, he said it was aa a joke,
So I wonder what's adae wi aa the men.

O, but o lads I've had my share; sure I've haen a score or mair,
But hoo they threw me up, I dinnae ken,
For I'm neither prood nor shy, that the lads should pass me by.
O, I wonder what's adae wi aa the men.


Noo as I gaed oot yestreen, I could scarce believe my een,
For I met auld Janet Cooke wi a lad,
And if it's true whit aa folks say, she'll be wed a month the day.
Man, the thocht's enough to drive a body mad.

For I ken auld Janet Cooke, an she drinks just like a duke.
Her age it runs a good threescore an ten,
And as for husbands she's had three, an there's no a chance for me.
O, I wonder what's adae wi aa the men.

O, but o lads I've had my share; sure I've haen a score or mair,
But hoo they threw me up, I dinnae ken,
For I'm neither prood nor shy, that the lads should pass me by.
O, I wonder what's adae wi aa the men.


But if there's ony laddie here that wad like a little dear,
A widower or a bachelor though he be,
If on marriage he is bent, then I'll gie my consent.
It's no every day he'll get a chance like me.

For I can weave an I can wark; I can wash an mend a sark.
I'm as thrifty as ony lass I ken,
But on the nail I'll hang, and till I get leave tae sang,
I wonder what's adae wi aa the men.


17 Jul 13 - 03:25 PM (#3538596)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Bell (from Belle Stewart)
From: Anne Neilson

My awareness of the Janet Cook quatrain is that she 'drinks just like a deuk (duck)', and the final two lines I know as 'But on the nail I'll hing, an' I'll aye get leave tae sing -- / Oh I wonder whit's a-dae wi' a' the men!'.


17 Jul 13 - 03:28 PM (#3538599)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Bell (from Belle Stewart)
From: GUEST,Auldtimer

"Janet Cook drinks just like a duke". The duke here is an other way of saying DUCK. She drinks like a duck.


17 Jul 13 - 03:52 PM (#3538616)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Bell (from Belle Stewart)
From: Jim Dixon

Do you mean dukes aren't known for their drunkenness? I'm disappointed.


11 Jun 19 - 11:31 PM (#3996054)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Betsy Bell (from Belle Stewart)
From: FreddyHeadey

Here's a Belle Stewart page & recording

http://www.tobarandualchais.co.uk/en/fullrecord/62116/1