Sweet Betsy from Pike

West Region

As people moved west to seek their fortunes during the California Gold Rush, covered wagon life was mixed with romance and divorce.  Capturing the basic spirit of the period, this song was sung in mining camps and on wagon trails.

Lyrics:

1.  Oh, don’t you remember sweet Betsy from Pike,
     Who crossed the big mountains with her lover Ike,
     With two yoke of oxen, and one spotted hog,
     A tall Shanghai rooster and an old yellow dog.

Refrain:    Hoodle dang fol di die do   Hoodle dang fol di day  

2.  They swam the wide rivers and crossed the tall peaks,
     And camped on the prairie for weeks upon weeks,
     Starvation and cholera, hard work and slaughter,
     They reached California spite of hell and high water. 

Refrain:    Hoodle dang fol di die do    Hoodle dang fol di day

3.  The Injuns come down in a wild yelling horde
     And Betsy got skeered they would scalp her adored,
     So behind the front wagon-wheel Betsy did crawl,
     And fought off the Injuns with musket and ball. 

Refrain:    Hoodle dang fol di die do    Hoodle dang fol di day

4.  They reached the hot desert where Betsy gave out,
     And down in the sand she lay rolling about,
     While Ike in great wonder looked on in surprise,
     Saying, “Betsy, get up, you’ll get sand in your eyes.” 

Refrain:    Hoodle dang fol di die do    Hoodle dang fol di day

5.  They passed the Sierras through mountains of snow,
     Till old California was sighted below.
     Sweet Betsy she hollered, and Ike gave a cheer,
     Saying “Betsy, my darlin’, I’m a made millioneer.” 

Refrain:    Hoodle dang fol di die do    Hoodle dang fol di day

6.  Long Ike and Sweet Betsy got married, of course,
     But Ike, who was jealous, obtained a divorce,
     And Betsy, well satisfied, said with a smile,
     “I’ve six good men waitin’ within half a mile.”  

Refrain:    Hoodle dang fol di die do    Hoodle dang fol di day

You can find a version of this song in Silver Burdett's Making Music 4th Grade, 
and MacMillan/McGraw-Hill's Share the Music 4th Grade.

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West Region
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With thanks to Sharon Ogorzalek
Created: July 2005, Last Updated: 07/28/10
http://OutsideTheBox93.org