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Billy

by Workman Song

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about

This song is about the type of guy who can't get out of his head, and sometimes gets a bit too philosophical at a honky tonk while the world, and beautiful potential wives, pass him by. As always, the environmental muse for this tune was VFW Post 9261 in Oak Bluffs, MA, where we're the house band on Mystery Mondays.

The musical arrangement is kind of a hodge-podge of everything I'm into right now: big angular power chord rock, honky tonk music, outlaw country, and of course, shredding guitar solos.

This track is a bit unpolished because it is the result of a promise-project for myself: write a song, record it immediately, release it immediately. Artists need such prompts to keep things fresh and not get too precious about things, which I felt I've been recently. The lyric clearly is inspired by my mini-songwriting-depression projected onto a VFW.

At any rate, the production is charmingly wonky and I believe there is even some latency on the vocal making it a bit more laid back than usual, but what the hell -- when you put yourself on a tight timeline, shat hippens. Sounds good enough for jazz (or whatever genre this is). So here's to shaking loose and getting out of your head.

lyrics

Billy

This ole honky tonk is full of good ole boys, and their stories
They all stand for the anthem and take off their hats for old glory
And the young guns come for the cheap beer in hope of a fine lass
But Billy Budolph’s found nirvana at the bottom of his pint glass


He says, “I’ve just been playing defense
And making far too much sense
Left my heart beating on the back burner
Playin it safe on all my wagers”

Somebody buy Billy a beer, boy he needs one with a vengeance
He’s still on a monologue about everything that he’s questioning

Why you always asking questions?
Why don’t you know by now?
Well, why don’t you why don’t you why don’t you know by now, billy?

Why you gotta make it awkward?
You really ought know by now
So, why don’t you why don’t you why don’t you know by now, billy?

The lines are drawn and the music starts for a square dance
Arm in arm the ladies lunge for love like they be wielding a knight’s lance
“Arise sir knight, and alight with me” so sing the nymphlings
Billy Budolph is a-balkin at it all, just a-questioning everything

And he says, “I don’t want to be the one to tell you
But everything you see here is see-through, me too
Neither is this dancing’ everlasting
Nor is anything but shadows passin”

…somebody buy billy a beer, boy he needs one with a vengeance
We know he don’t believe but he’s ripe for divine intervention…(but he keeps questioning)

Billy why the willy nilly questions
Why don’t you know by now?
Well, why don’t you why don’t you why don’t you know by now, billy?

Why you gotta make it awkward?
You really ought know by now
So, why don’t you why don’t you why don’t you know by now, billy?

credits

released September 1, 2022
sean mcmahon aka me, everything

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Workman Song Brooklyn, New York

Workman Song is Seán McMahon. A country preacher who cut his teeth on NYC subway platforms & stages, McMahon is known for his “gritty, freewheeling folk...earnest, amber-toned songs exploring the edges of faith” (The Wild Honey Pie) & a live show that's "equal parts Rodriguez (Searching For Sugarman), Bruce, and the Dead…what Dylan would have sounded like on about six tabs of acid" (Baeblemusic). ... more

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