Download Black Betty - The Song That Made Ram Jam Famous
Download Black Betty: How to Enjoy the Classic Rock Song by Ram Jam
If you are a fan of rock music, you have probably heard of the song "Black Betty" by Ram Jam. This song is a 1977 remake of a 20th-century African-American work song that has become a rock anthem for many generations. But do you know the origin and meaning of the song? Do you know why you should download it today and how to do it on different devices and platforms? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, so you can enjoy this classic rock song anytime and anywhere.
What is Black Betty and who is Ram Jam?
Before we dive into the details of how to download Black Betty, let's first explore what the song is about and who is behind it.
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The origin and meaning of Black Betty
According to Wikipedia, "Black Betty" is a 20th-century African-American work song that was often credited to Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter as the author, though the earliest recordings are not by him. Some sources claim it is one of Lead Belly's many adaptations of earlier folk material. There are numerous recorded versions, including a cappella and folk.
The origin and meaning of the lyrics are subject to debate. Historically, the "Black Betty" of the title may refer to the nickname given to a number of objects: a bottle of whiskey, a whip, or a penitentiary transfer wagon. Some sources suggest that "Black Betty" was a term for a liquor bottle in the borderlands between northern England and southern Scotland; it later became a euphemism in the backcountry areas of the eastern United States. Other sources indicate that "Black Betty" was a whip that was used in some Southern prisons. John A. and Alan Lomax's 1934 book, American Ballads and Folk Songs, describes the origins of "Black Betty" as follows:
"Black Betty is not another Frankie, nor yet a two-timing woman that a man can moan his blues about. She is the whip that was and is used in some Southern prisons. A convict on the Darrington State Farm in Texas, where, by the way, whipping has been practically discontinued, laughed at Black Betty and mimicked her conversation in the following song."
However, some scholars argue that "Black Betty" was actually a woman, possibly a prostitute or a slave woman, who had a reputation for being wild and rebellious. Some versions of the song suggest that she had a child who was also unruly and blind. Some interpretations also link "Black Betty" to African-American spirituals and folktales that feature female characters with supernatural powers or connections to nature.
The history and legacy of Ram Jam
Ram Jam was an American rock band formed in New York City in 1977. The band consisted of Bill Bartlett (guitar), Howie Arthur Blauvelt (bass), Pete Charles (drums), and Myke Scavone (vocals). The band was best known for their hit single "Black Betty", which was a remake of Lead Belly's version of the song.
Ram Jam's version of "Black Betty" was released in June 1977 as their debut single. It reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number two on the UK Singles Chart. It also became a hit in Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and South Africa. The song was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over one million copies in the US.
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Ram Jam's version of "Black Betty" was controversial for its use of racial slurs and stereotypes. Some radio stations banned the song or edited out the offensive words. Some civil rights groups protested against the song and accused the band of racism and cultural appropriation. The band defended their version as a tribute to Lead Belly and claimed that they did not intend to offend anyone.
Ram Jam released their self-titled debut album in 1977, which featured "Black Betty" as the opening track. The album received mixed reviews from critics and fans, but sold well enough to reach number 34 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band released two more singles from the album, "Keep Your Hands on the Wheel" and "High Steppin'", but neither of them matched the success of "Black Betty".
Ram Jam disbanded in 1978 after releasing their second and final album, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram. The album was a commercial failure and received poor reviews from critics. The band members went on to pursue other musical projects or careers. Ram Jam's legacy as a one-hit wonder was cemented by their inclusion in various lists and compilations of such artists.
However, Ram Jam's version of "Black Betty" has endured as a popular rock song that has been covered, sampled, remixed, and used in various media over the years. Some notable examples are:
The song was featured in the 1990 film The Long Kiss Goodnight, starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson.
The song was used in the 2005 video game Need for Speed: Most Wanted, as part of the soundtrack.
The song was covered by Australian rock band Spiderbait in 2004, who reached number one on the Australian Singles Chart with their version.
The song was sampled by electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers in their 2007 song "All Rights Reversed", featuring Klaxons.
The song was remixed by Dutch DJ Tom Holkenborg, also known as Junkie XL, in 2016, for the soundtrack of the film Mad Max: Fury Road.
Why you should download Black Betty today
Now that you know more about what Black Betty is and who Ram Jam is, you might be wondering why you should download this song today. Here are some reasons why you should do it:
The benefits of listening to rock music
Listening to rock music can have many positive effects on your mood, health, and well-being. Some of these benefits are:
Rock music can boost your energy levels and motivation. It can help you feel more alert, confident, and ready to take on any challenge.
Rock music can reduce your stress and anxiety. It can help you relax, calm down, and cope with difficult emotions.
Rock music can improve your cognitive skills and memory. It can help you focus, learn, and remember information better.
Rock music can enhance your creativity and imagination. It can help you express yourself, explore new ideas, and solve problems.
Rock music can strengthen your social bonds and communication. It can help you connect with others who share your musical taste, culture, and values.
The features of Black Betty that make it a great song
Black Betty is not just any rock song. It has some unique features that make it stand out from other songs in the genre. Some of these features are:
Black Betty has a catchy and memorable chorus that repeats the phrase "Whoa, Black Betty (bam-ba-lam)". This phrase is easy to sing along to and sticks in your mind.
Black Betty has a powerful and energetic guitar riff that drives the song forward. This riff is based on a blues scale and creates a contrast with the vocals.
Black Betty has a dynamic and varied structure that changes tempo, rhythm, and intensity throughout the song. This structure keeps the listener engaged and surprised.
Black Betty has a rich and diverse musical influence that blends elements of blues, folk, rock, and funk. This influence reflects the origin and history of the song.
Black Betty has a controversial and intriguing lyrical content that challenges the listener to interpret and question the meaning of the song.
The best ways to download Black Betty legally and safely
If you want to download Black Betty, you should do it in a way that respects the rights of the artists and the law. You should also do it in a way that protects your device and your data from viruses and malware. Here are some tips on how to download Black Betty legally and safely:
Use a reputable and reliable online music service that offers Black Betty for download. Some e