Ram Jam Black Betty

I must be on a dancing spree lately. Something tells me, however, that it’s Saturday and you better get ready for some dancing too!

Thank you for being with me this week, it’s been great, as always, with you here! I hope you already have your weekend all mapped out and it’s going to rock! Here’s your starter: Ram Jam Black Betty! Enjoy Ram Jam’s rendition of legendary Leadbelly’s Black Betty! (click through for more info and more videos!)

Though the song can (and it actually did) cause controversy, I’ll bound my appreciation to the musical value of this amazing piece. Dealing with women, guns, illegal substances and more (yes, the world’s imagination runs wild when it comes to interpretable meanings), Black Betty will always be a powerful song setting me straight to turbo mode. I tend to be blinded by the music, sometimes, so if this song is offending anyone, please know I’m really sorry, it was only included in our Friday Break playlist because of the musical tempo, not the morality and the artistic value of the actual lyrics!

Made popular by blues legend Leadbelly, Black Betty is actually believed to be a folk song, like oh-so-many other famous refrains gone modern (you can listen to his version here). Ram Jam’s one, singular, magic hit, Black Betty didn’t save the band, it only deepened the contrast between their usual music and such a magic song as Black Betty was. Don’t think that they were the only ones covering this piece! Oh no! From the Chipmunks to Ministry, everyone had a shot at Black Betty, even Tom Jones! Included in many original soundtracks, in various renditions (from Gone in 60 Seconds to Miss Congeniality2 and The Brave One), there’s no steady register to contain Black Betty. You can hear it everywhere. But what do you think about Black Betty? And which is your favorite interpretation? (if you’re looking for more information, speculations and more or less liable facts about Black Betty, you can read more here and here)

1 comment so far

#1 Adriana on 05.25.10 at 12:36 pm

Never apologise because it’s only rock n’ roll……and I like it….
I go for Leadbelly. It’s so pure and honest. Gives me chicken skin.

In their last iconic MTV unplugged Nirvana did Leadbelly’s “Where did you sleep last night”. So beautiful. Kurt at his last best….:(

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