taking our culture forward

A complete performance of 'Betsy Lee' by Dollin Kelly recorded in 1992.

T. E. Brown is the Manx National poet and the Fo’c’s’le Yarns is his greatest work.

At the very foundation of this series of long, narrative poems in Manx dialect is ‘Betsy Lee,’ widely considered to be one of the most perfect attempts to portray 'Manxness.'

T. E. Brown loved life, he loved language, he loved humanity. The intense kindness and humanity of the man is revealed in all his work, but perhaps nowhere more so than when he would write of the Manx people and their Island.

This complete recitation of 'Betsy Lee' was recorded in 1992, following a performance given entirely by memory by Dollin Kelly at the Manannan International Festival – the first public performance of the complete poem for more than 60 years. The original performance, like the recording here, featured the four musical movements of the ‘Betsy Lee Suite’ by Manx composer, Steven Dallimore.

This recording was first produced in 1992 by Charles Guard in association with Culture Vannin (then known as the Manx Heritage Foundation). It is released now with thanks to the family of Dollin Kelly.



The liner notes of the original 1992 cassette tape are available here.