Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's up with the song... Black Betty

Last Friday, I was hanging out with some friends and we were talking about ZZ Top.  I thought they sang Black Betty... but apparently I was mistakin'.  It lead into a rather interesting conversation because my i-pod had Black Betty on there twice, once by Lynard Skynard and the other by ZZ Top.  I clearly knew that Lynard Skynard was wrong.. but I figured ZZ Top was ok.

Apparently this is a common mistake, because when I went searching for it on You Tube, I saw this (note... both Lynard Skynard and ZZ Top are present):

Because of amazing technology, it didn't take us long to verify that I was wrong on both accounts (shocking that I was wrong when it came to music... i know).  Apparently the band that sings Black Betty is Ram Jam... but I am sure you already knew that.

One of my rather intoxicated friends started singing it (missed the whole conversation over who sings it). 

The lyrics go like this...

Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Black Betty had a child (Bam-ba-Lam)
The damn thing gone wild (Bam-ba-Lam)

This friend, who didn't know the name of the band... once he found out the name of the band... he started insisting that he was singing "Ram Jam" instead of "Bam-ba-Lam".  Which I guess is kinda funny... especially because it could work.
Fast forward to the next day... Black Betty appears on my ipod twice.
Today - Black Betty appears again. 

What is going on?  Is there something in the song that I should be aware of.  I have 1800 songs on my ipod and the liklihood of it appearing that frequently isn't high (I could do the math, but frankly I don't want to calculate the permutation). 
Did you know... that the origins of Black Betty are from an African working song in the 1930's? but has roots in the 18th century? I did not.
Regardless, it is an amazing song... always makes me rock out.

1 comment:

Tee Tizzle said...

I'm fucking losing my mind over this. This is bigger than the Bearstein vs Bearstain debacle. I clearly remember ZZ Top singing this song. I remember the video, they were driving around in this crazy black car playing the drums on the back of it. The thing is, an Australian band named Spiderbait did a cover of Black Betty as well, and in the video they're driving around in that black car, playing the drums in the back. But my memories differ from this video because I clearly remember those bearded ZZ Top dudes being in it. On top of that, Spiderbait's video has a bunch of clips from that movie "Without a Paddle" and in my memory those were not there. The most probable explanation is that my memory is shit, but I'm going with alternate dimension.