“Pretty Betsey”


Betsey loves William; her father so despises him that he brutally abuses Betsey. With Betsey's mother's help, William is able to pay a last visit, only to have Betsey die in his arms


This presence of this song in Laws is rather a curiosity: Laws knows only of the copy in Brown, and the notes to that book admit of no other version -- but Laws not only lists it as traditional but as being of British origin. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Laws M18, "Pretty Betsey"
  2. BrownII 75, "Pretty Betsey" (1 text)
  3. DT 722, PRETBETS
  4. Roud #1911
  5. BI, LM18


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1952
Keywords: courting abuse death
Found in: US(SE)