Friday, November 18, 2011


Words: Unknown
Tune:  Traditional (Barbara Allen)

Good people I am going to sing
Of something that's been doing
It's vat befel a poor young man
Who vent out kangarooing

This young man's name vos Villiam Vite
A horphan boy vas he, sir,
He loved a girl named Betsy Black
A horphan girl vas she, sir.

This girl one morning said to him,
"Bill, if you loves me true now,
You'll rise up at the break of day
And catch a kangaroo now."

"O Betsy, Betsy," Villiam said,
"To mount an 'os I stickles,
For a varning woice says if I does,
"Tvill be a case of pickles."

Said she, "If 'bout this kangaroo,
My will is not obeyed sir,
I never will your bride become
But die a horphan maid, sir."

Then Villiam all for this girl's love
An 'os hires in a trice sir
Of a man who said, "he'd go like vind"
Vos sound and free from wice, sir.

And straightway early in the morn,
All for to speed his vooing
He mounted on this 'os's back,
And vent out kangarooing.

A mile from home his 'os stopped still
Though he nearly kicked his rib in,
"Twall all no use he vouldn't go
"Ho now," says he, "he's jibbin."

Then Villiam vipped this vicked 'os
And at his head kept chucking,
Which made him jump up just like mad,
"Ho now," says he, "he's bolting."

This 'orrid 'os came home quite safe
At twelve o'clock at night sir,
It's master stared, for on his back
There vos no Villiam Vite, sir

And at the wery self same time
Beside young Betsy's stretcher,
Stands Villiam Vite's un'appy ghost
And says, "he's come to fetch her"

This ghost a face like Villiam's does
Expose to Betsy's view sir
But both his body and his legs
Are like a kangaroo, sir.

And first he kisses Betsy's lips,
Next her fair body raises,
Then vith his tail knocks three times
And slithers in blue blazes.

And now this young man kangaroo
Amongst the bush so green sir,
Vith Betsy Black still in his arms,
Is by lovyers often seen, sir.

An unusual (to say the least) song from Coxon's Comic Songster.

I've given the words as printed but couldn't bring myself to record it with a German accent.

Coxon's Comic Songster was published in Ballarat c. 1858-59


  1. John, this is indeed a very strange song! Except for the pseudo-German it does not seem all that comic to me. Ghosts, shape-shifting, and the use of the old "lovyers" at the end are all interesting, along with its age. Did it come with the "Barbara Allen" tune? Very interesting. J.

  2. Hi John,

    I picked this Barbara Allen tune out of those available. Coxon's gives "Barbara Allen" as the tune but doesn't say which one.