Rock Song of the Week

One awesome, hand picked song from the world of rock and metal, showcased every week.

We also do the occasional article now as well dont-ch-ya-know!

27 Jan 2023

Ram Jam - Black Betty

appears on Ram Jam (1977)

Here at Rock Song of the Week, we don’t tend to see songs as one hit wonders. From the super-talented and simply unlucky to be overshadowed by a pedigree in the same category to the lovable, if a little rough around the edges earworms, there are plenty of dogs that have their day. Sometimes, that’s all she wrote. Way of the road, right?

With that said, Black Betty by Ram Jam is the most one-hit-wonder-est one hit wonder that ever wondered. You can keep your Crazy Town (seriously, please keep them, we don’t want them) and your Wheatus; Ram Jam made them look like they’d been etched into the Great Pyramids in terms of permanence. But for a band that only spanned the gap between 1977 and 1978 like a piece of floss spans the gap between your teeth, they didn’t half go down swinging. The New York City five piece took Lead Belly’s work song in Black Betty and reworked it in a way that made the hair on the neck of a thousand rock radio station DJs stand up simultaneously. The song is iconic for both its stripped back, old school rock and roll style as it is the many, many new and inventive interpretations of it’s lyrics. For as long as “ram a gran” stays new and inventive after the thousandth time, anyway.

We know you know it, you know we know you know it, so let’s not beat about the bush any longer. We cordially invite you to row that hair out for the purposes of letting it down, then enjoying this week’s pick to the fullest. Try not to get into too much trouble with your boss/significant other/the officer conducting your interview because you’re slamming your hands down on the desk in front of you all the way through.

Posted by Eddie "bramble jam" Hull

If you like what you hear, please consider purchasing via Bandcamp if the option is available as this is usually the best way to support the artist.

We don't earn any commissions from any of these posts or links.
We keep the lights on mostly through sponsorship and whatever change we can find down the back of the sofa.
If you like our weekly ramblings though and want to support future content, you can buy us a beer at