Betty (1908 – 1993) was one of Whalsay’s ‘characters’, a crofter-spinster who lived near the Loch of Houll. Like many of the Whalsay women she worked as a gutter for a time and later became a home help. She was full of humour, and spoke with a rich Whalsay dialect. Betty kept a fine manuscript collection of 60 songs which she had collected in Whalsay, though it was difficult to persuade her to sing. However, she knew many rhymes and some rather risqué riddles and her tenacious memory made her a useful prompter for friends whose memories might let them down when singing.
Below is just one of the pages from her songbook showing her neat calligraphy. To hear this song, though not sung by Betty go to here.