With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“Billy don’t like it living here in this town” August 1, 2010

Back in the days when everyone knew me as Billy, now it’s more like Old Bill

This may seem a bit self-indulgent, but is it just me or is there anyone else out there who either loves or loathes songs that include their name? My name is William, but these days most people know me as Bill. As a boy I was known as Billy and some of my Scottish relatives called me Willie, or Wullie as it sounds in a strong Glaswegian accent. I also suffered from being called Little Billy for quite a few years as my Dad and grandfather were fellow Williams. So at the top there was my Grandad, Bill then my Dad, Billy and finally me, Little Billy. Perhaps that is one of the reasons my son is not called William.

Anyway onto the songs, I have always thought that derivations of my name feature in a hell of a lot of songs, but that is probably because I listen out for it. I’m not sure which the most common names used in songs are but I reckon possibly Johnny for the boys and perhaps Susan/ Sue/ Suzie for the girls. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well. I was also surprised to find that there are far more William/ Billy songs that I like than those I don’t like

Now onto those William related songs. I have put them into three categories; The Good (those that are ok), the Bad (those that I really don’t like) and the Ugly (reserved for the one William or Billy song that I really, really do not like) I have included songs where my name is included in the lyric and not necessarily in the title.

The Good

William It Was Really Nothing” – Smiths. Probably one of my most favourite William songs. This clip is the famous Top Of The Pops appearance from 1984 where Morrissey pulls open his shirt to reveal the words ‘MARRY ME’

Wedding Bell Blues” – 5th Dimension. This act featured Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Junior who went on to have a massive hit in 1976 with “You Don’t Have To Be A Star”

All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople. Simply for the ‘Billy rocked all night about suicide’ line. This is the song that Bowie gave to Mott to ensure that they didn’t break up. Apparently they turned down “Suffragette City” and Drive-In Saturday”. This version is from the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert at Wembley in 1992 and features the remaining members of Queen, David Bowie, Ian Hunter and the late, great Mick Ronson

Rat Trap” – Boomtown Rats. This one is here as one of the songs main protagonists is Billy. Apparently when Bob Geldof was unsure about releasing this song. He played a demo of it to Phil Lynott off of Thin Lizzy who said that if Geldof didn’t do it he certainly would

My Girl Bill” – Jim Stafford. This song has a great twist and check out the amazing shirt collar on Mr Stafford

Bill When Are You Coming Back” – Supremes. This was a post Diana Ross B Side and I love it. I always preferred the Supremes without Diana

C’Mon Billy” P J Harvey. Great Artist, Great Song……’Nuff Said!

The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill” – Beatles. A classic track from my favourite Beatles album, the one known as ‘The White Album’ but is actually called ‘The Beatles’

The Bad

Billy” – James Blunt. I never have liked James Blunt, I just don’t like his voice, so I guess there was no chance for this song with me

Little Willy” – Sweet. I have grown to like this a bit more over the years. But to have a song like this out when you’re going through adolescence is no fun. A great opportunity for other kids to diss the size of one’s budding manhood!

Which Way You Going Billy?” – Poppy Family. A Canadian act with what for me ranks as one of the most insipid songs of the sixties

The Ugly

“Billy Don’t Be A Hero” – Paper Lace. What can I say? I really, really, really, really dislike this song. It was a UK number one in 1974 for Paper Lace, but the US hit was by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods


6 Responses to ““Billy don’t like it living here in this town””

  1. Interesting mix of songs, but I kept going back to your picture. At first, it made me think of photos and video footage of Harry Chapin.

    Then, I realized it reminded me of a college roommate who, oddly enough, was named Billy.


    • justwilliam1959 Says:

      I’m honoured to be likened to Mr Chapin. But as for reminding you of your college roommate Billy, now that is spooky! Maybe I was also that same Billy but in a parallel universe 😉


      • Well, as far as the roommate, he actually played on our university’s (American) football team and the ladies were quite fond of him.

        In fact, I recall coming back to the house one day to find another roommate positively addled. Brad was a scholarly, scientist-type with scruffy hair and an underdeveloped moustache. He relayed to me that he had gone out for a ride with Billy on his motorcycle through campus.

        “Dude, Billy took his shirt off and I think we had every chick on campus coming up to us to chat.”


        • justwilliam1959 Says:

          Obviously I would love to say I was just as popular with the ladies as Billy the Roommate, but that would be exaggerating the truth somewhat! Plus I have only ever ridden a motorbike once before and that was last year! I learned quite early on that for me the best way of attarcting the opposite sex was to make them laugh and that usually worked well for me 😉


  2. Terry Wright Says:

    Ahhhh, youth. Remember youth?

    BTW, You look like a DJ from the 1970s. Were you?


    • justwilliam1959 Says:

      I can remember youth, but only just!

      As for a 70’s DJ, you are pretty much spot on. I have been a mobile DJ on and off most of my life. I did my first gig at a street party for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. I still do a few gigs every year, but these days it’s very much a hobby job and obviously I don’t have the 70s hair, well in fact I don’t have hair full stop!


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