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Sweet Betsy From Pike | Lyrics

from the MMF Songbook



History

Sweet Betsy from Pike is a gold-rush-era ballad about the trials of an American pioneer named Betsy, who migrate from Pike County (possibly Missouri) to California.

Lyrics

Did you ever hear of
Sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the wide prairies
With her husband, Ike,
With two yoke of cattle,
And one spotted hog,
A tall Shanghai rooster,
And an old yeller dog?

Sing toorali, oorali, oorali ay,
Sing toorali, oorali, oorali ay.

The alkali desert
Was burning and bare,
And Ike cried in fear,
"We are lost, I declare!
My dear old Pike County,
I'll go back to you."
Said Betsy, "You'll go by yourself,
If you do."

Sing toorali, oorali, oorali ay,
Sing toorali, oorali, oorali ay.

They swam the wide rivers
And crossed the tall peaks,
They camped on the prairie
For weeks upon weeks.
They fought off the Indians
With musket and ball
And reached California
In spite of it all.

Sing toorali, oorali, oorali ay,
Sing toorali, oorali, oorali ay.