Billy from the Hills
Greg Brown

Greg Brown
Slant 6 Mind
For some reason, this song really hits me.  Maybe it's
because I love to hike and spend time outdoors and don't
get to spend nearly as much time there as I would like
to.  Maybe it's because I grew up knowing the woods behind
my house like the back of my hand.  Maybe it's because I
love the idea of being "eighteen years old and surrounded
by the Ozarks."  In the liner notes in Slant 6 Mind, Greg
says that this song is "for my father."  I think we could
all learn a lot from this song.  Greg deals modern society
a well-deserved punch in the face with this tune.  I plan
to ask him to play it at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in
July '99.  See y'all there!

INTRO | | | | Em A Em A Em A Em A
Em A No one now knows too much about these woods Em A If they got lost they wouldn't know where to go Em A Tribe's been gone a long time small farmers got blowed out Em A Maybe there ain't even that much left to know
CHORUS Bm A F You can strip the trees foul the streams try to hide in a progressive dream Em Ease into the comfort that kills Bm A Before I do that I'll grab my pack F Em And disappear with Billy from the hills A Em A
Blood flows back and back and back and back Like a river from a secret source I feel it wild in me I pitched my camp At the fork where knowledge meets remorse
CHORUS Women sing in me that song from the ancient fire I just open my mouth and what comes out gives me the chills I got my song from a secret place I got my face from Billy from the hills
A 40-inch barrel on that shotgun Steel traps in a cane pack on his back Eighteen years old and surrounded by the Ozarks Ain't one little bit of that boy that's slack
CHORUS If you're looking for a helping hand He'll give you one you know he will If you're looking for trouble uh-uh turn around You don't wanna mess with Billy from the hills
Some folks dance cool all angles and swaying hips Sensual as all get-out and in Me I'm a hick and I dance like one I just kind of jump around and grin
CHORUS I know a guy who doesn't dance too much But when he does he gives everyone a thrill You might run away or suck it up and stay when he dances Billy from the hills Em A Aw dance Bill Em A Em A
There's a lantern lit on a Missouri night A woman writing poems by a stove She knows the fox's whereabouts by knoll by gulch by yelp As he runs at night through her mother love
CHORUS Her memory to me is like a watercress from a spring-fed stream Fresh and aching as a mockingbird's trill She lives in me I try to look until I can see For her and her boy Billy from the hills
It's a drifting time people fascinated with screens No idea what's on the other side We stare at doom like an uptight groom And live our lives like a drunken bride
CHORUS Tonight I feel something on the wind Deep inside where we have to die or kill Something I know I didn't know I knew I learned From Billy from the hills Em A (repeat until fade)

Created on 6-17-99 by Daniel E. Smith.