Betsy Ross House


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Betsy Ross lived at Arch Street near Second,
Her sewing was very, very fine.
George Washington paid her a visit,
To order a brand new flag.

Six white stripes and seven pretty red ones,
Thirteen white stars in a field of blue.
It was the first flag our country ever floated.
Three cheers for the red, white and blue.

The words of a song, as remembered by Daughter of Revolution from her shool days at Alexander Hamiliton School #65, Baltimore, Maryland.

The image, The Betsy Ross House, was originally uploaded by Kate – Collective Contemplations. It is posted here from Neddy's flickr favorites.

23 Responses to Betsy Ross House

  1. I remember the third line, first verse as

    “General Washington dropped by to see her”

    and the third line, second verse as

    “Twas the first flag our country ever garnered”

    The third portion of the song is the chorus

    Three cheers for the red, white and blue
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue
    Twas the first flag our country ever garnered
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue

    I learned it as a child at Hamilton Disston Elementary School in Philadelphia from a music teacher named Mr. Brown. I sang it today, July 4, 2006, for my mom via phone from Vancouver, BC where I live to her in Philadelphia🙂 I just went online trying to find the lyrics and info on who write this verse.

    Happy Birthday USA!
    Dr. Peter Gouzouasis
    Chair, Music Education
    The University of British Columbia
    604-822-4460

  2. Edna says:

    I knew there would be others out there who remembered this song. I distinctly recall “George Washington paid her a visit.” Although I had forgotten, I think we also sang “Twas” as did you, however I remember that even as a child I was unsure whether the rest of the line was “first flag our country ever ‘floated’ or ‘voted’ or ‘gloated’. I don’t remember a “garnered”. I had forgotten about the chorus or maybe I thought that it went with another patriotic song. I am speaking of schooling in Baltimore of the early 1950s.

    Music teacher Mr. Brown must have had a great influence on you!

    • EDIE Kaminski says:

      Funny I went looking for old songs we sang in school at Longstreth Elementary school at 58th and Whitby I. Philadelphia. This was one of the songs . I remembered it as the first flag our country ever floated too. It is so wild to see things from 57 years ago.
      The funny thing is what started this search was the song by Burl Ives .”My Grandfathers clock. “

  3. Dorothyt Perkins says:

    I remembered this song too from Disston School in Tacony, Philadelphia. I went there from 1944 to 1949. When did you go there?
    Dorothy

  4. Dorothyt Perkins says:

    I went to Disston School in Tacony Philadelphia.
    I remember this song too. Did you go to Lincoln High School Too. I graduated in 1956.
    Please comment.
    Dorothy

    • Cindy says:

      I learned this song in kindergarten. Ziegler elementary in Philadelphia . Betsy Ross lived on Arch street near second. Her sewing was very,very fine. George Washington came to see her, presenting a brand new flag .

  5. Sid says:

    Yesterday, May 2, 2010 at a birthday party for my wife (we now live in Rockville, MD) which was attended by three of my cousins from Philadelphia, I heard one of them mention Betsy Ross’ house and immediately started singing this song recalled from attending School #223 (Pimlico Elementary) in Baltimore between 1936 and 1942. No one else had ever heard this song before–I have sometimes wondered if it was composed by one of the teachers at my school and was unique to it. So I Googled it and am amazed to find this page.

    My lyrics are exactly the same as Dr. Gouzouasis remembers them except for three quite minor changes:

    “Betsy Ross lived ON Arch Street near Second”

    “George Washington PAID HER A VISIT to order a brand new flag”

    “TWAS the first flag our country ever FLOATED three cheers for the Red, White and Blue”

    Now, almost 80 years old, I was/am tickled by all of this.

    • neddy says:

      These are our “Vanishing Memories” that we can keep alive with the aid of the Internet. How wonderful. If you are almost 80 years old, Sid, that means the Betsy Ross song was known ten years earlier than I remembered.

    • David says:

      Amazing! I just got back from a wedding in Philadelphia at the Trust, Arch Street next door to the Ross House. On the way I sang “Betsy Ross lived ****” and no one else had ever heard the song. I also attended Pimlico Elementary, 1945-1950. Maybe it was a song written by someone there.

    • Rhonda Himes says:

      I learned this song in the 1960’s at Patterson Elementary School in southwest Philadelphia – with the changes that you have noted.

  6. Richard guaraldo says:

    Well, here’s how I remember it. I’m from Philadelphia and went to the Adair-Chandler school in “fishtown” (near Penns Landing) in the 1950’s

    To the tune of “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean”

    Betsy Ross lived ON Arch Street near Second,
    Her sewing was very, very fine.
    George Washington went down to see her
    To order a new flag design

    Six white stripes and seven pretty red ones,
    Thirteen white stars in a field of blue.
    ‘Twas the first flag our country ever floated.
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue.

    Chorus:
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue.
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue.
    ‘Twas the first flag our country ever floated.
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue.

  7. Richard guaraldo says:

    Whoops, typed too fast the second verse should be:

    Six white stripes and seven pretty red ones,
    Thirteen white stars UPON A field of blue.
    ‘Twas the first flag our country ever floated.
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue.

  8. Susan says:

    George Washington came down to see her
    To order us a brand new flag

    St.Bridget’s – East Falls, Phila. 1955-63

  9. Midge says:

    General Washington came down to see her and to order a new flag so find.

    I learned this in grade school in the 1950’s in Philadelphia.

  10. Kathy says:

    I learned this song in gradeschool – Pgh, Pa. I, too, learned – General Washington, came down to see her, and ordered a brand new flag.

    God Bless America, the land we LOVE!

  11. Cathy in NY says:

    Hello all…I learned this song in second grade, in Florida, at a Catholic school..1972. Don’t remember much else that I leared that year, or for several years after haha…but I remembered it word for word as written above and it made me laugh that the song actually existed. Until now, I thought our teacher was just trying to teach us using song. Funny, but the song …did …stick with me!! Now I am in New York and teaching it to my excited second grade daughter. One day perhaps she will laugh as she passes it on to her kids!!

  12. Karen says:

    Learned @ Hackett School( the Hackett school that burned down in a fire) in Philadelphia. I am 56.

    Betsy Ross live on Arch Street near 2nd.
    Her sewing was very, very fine.
    General Washington came down to see her.
    To order a new falg so fine.
    Six white stripes and seven pretty red ones.
    Thirteen white stars upon a field of blue.
    Twas the first flag our country ever floated.
    Three cheers for the red white and blue.

    As I recall from 2nd grade and about 7 years old.
    Karen

  13. I sang this song @ Church lastnight. Many fond memories (early 1960’s) of singing this and other patriotic songs every morning in the classroom at Abbottston Elementary School # 50 in Baltimore, Md.

  14. mary burton says:

    My mom, who will be 80 in January, 2012, learned this song from her mother when she was young….

    Betsy Ross lived on arch street near 2nd
    and her sewing was very, very fine
    General Washington came down to see her
    to plan for a brand new flag
    with six white stripes and seven pretty red ones
    with 13 stars on a field of blue
    was the first flag our country ever floated
    three cheers for the red, white and blue
    three cheers for the red, white and blue
    three cheers for the red, white and blue!!

    My mom was from the Germantown section of Phila. and went to Immaculate Connception School.

  15. J. Alfred Letourneau says:

    Can’t believe I actually found the lyrics to this song! My wife (77 y/o) and her sister (81) have sung this song for me every fourth of July (and a few hundred other times as well) for the 51 years I have been married. They learned it at Lincoln Elementary School in Prospect Park, PA., in the fourth grade class of one Miss Jones. We, too, thought, over the years, that perhaps she had made up the lyrics, as no one outside the Philadelphia area seemed ever to have heard of it.
    Now, I have not only one, but two exactly concurrent versions of the first two verses, as they learned them:

    Betsy Ross lived on Arch Street near Second,
    And her sewing was very, very fine;
    GEORGE Washington went down to see her,
    To make our flag, SO SUBLIME.

    Six white stripes and seven pretty red ones,
    Thirteen stars upon a field of blue:
    ‘TWAS the first flag our country ever FLOATED;
    Three cheers for the red, white and blue!

    Judging from the meter of “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean,” to which it is sung, and the rhyme scheme (fine/sublime), I think I like Miss Jones’ version best!

    J. Alfred Letourneau M.D.
    Waterville, ME

    P.S. All four of our children and the four grandkids know this song by heart, and can sing it, with gusto, and do, at every celebration of the Fourth!

    • Cindy says:

      I remember this song like this : Betsy Ross lived on Arch Street near Second. Her sewing was very, very fine. George Washington came to see her, presenting a brand new flag . . that’s all I remember . from kindergarten… I think it was Zigler elementary school in Mayfair area Philadelphia. .

  16. Stephanie Myers says:

    I learned it in my Brownie troop, Baltimore MD. I love that song. Ms Head was our troop leader.

  17. Donald F. Janda says:

    Don says I remember a song taught us at Edmunds Elementary in NE Phila. Words, “Said Washington to Betsy Ross a flag our nation needs, to lead our valiant soldiers on to high and noble deeds, now can you make one for us? to which she did reply, I am not certain that I can, at least I’ll gladly try. So she took some red, for the blood they shed, some white for purity, some stars above for the ones they loved, some blue for loyalty, and put them all together, the red the white and blue”, ta da tad ah etc etc. Can’t remember the rest. It was back in the 30’s

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