Five English popular songs/Betsey Baker
Tune.—‘Head man at Mrs. Grundy’s.’
From noise and bustle far away hard work my time employing,
How happily did I pass each day, content and health enjoying;
The birds did sing and so did I, as I trudg’d o’er each acre,
I never knew what ’twas to sigh till I saw Betsey Baker.
At church I met her drest so neat, one Sunday in hot weather,
With love I found my heart did beat, as we sung psalms together,
So piously she hung her head, the while her voice did shake, ah!
I thought if ever I did wed, ’twould be with Betsey Baker.
From her side I could not budge, and sure I thought no harm on’t,
My elbow then she gave a nudge, and bade me mind the garment;
When church was over out she walk'd, but I did overtake her,
Determin’d I would not be baulk’d,—I spoke to Betsey Baker.
Her manners were genteel and cool, I found on conversation,
She’d just come from boarding school, and finish’d her education;
But love made me speak out quite free; says I, I’ve many an acre,
Will you give me your company? ‘I sha’nt,’ said Betsey Baker.
All my entreaties she did slight, and I was forc’d to leave her,
I got no sleep all that there night, for love had brought a fever;
The doctor came, he smelt his cane, with long face like a quaker,
Said he, ‘young man pray where’s thy pain,’ says I, ‘ Sir, Betsey Baker.’
Because I was not bad enough, he bolus’d and he pill’d me,
And if I had taken all his stuff, I think he must ha’ kill’d me;
I put an end to all the strife, ’twixt him and the undertaker,
And what d’ye think ’twas saved my life, why thoughts of Betsey Baker.
I then again to Betsey went, once more with love attack’d her,
But meantime she got acquainted wi’ a ramping mad play-actor,
If she would have him he did say a lady he would make her,
He gammon’d her to run away, and I lost Betsey Baker.
I fretted very much to find my hopes of love so undone,
And mother thought ’twould ease my mind if I came up to London;
But tho’ I strive another way, my thoughts will ne’er forsake her,
I dream all night, and think all day of cruel Betsey Baker.
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