Billy from the Hills - Greg Brown

    No one now knows too much about these woods,
    If they got lost, they wouldn't know where to go.
    Tribes been gone a long time, small farmers got blowed out,
    Maybe there ain't even that much left to know.
    You can strip the trees, foul the streams, try to hide in the progressive ream.
    Ease into the comfort that kills.
    'Fore I do that, I'll grab my pack,
    And disappear with Billy from the hills.

    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.
    Women sing in me that song from the ancient choir,
    I just open my mouth and what comes out gives me 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 and a cane pack on his back.
    Eighteen years old, surrounded by the Ozarks,
    Ain't one little bit of that boy that's slack.
    If you're lookin' for a helpin' hand,
    He'll give you one, you know he will.
    If you're lookin' for trouble, huh-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 kinda jump around and grin.
    I know a guy, he doesn't dance too much,
    But when he does, he gives everybody a thrill
    You might run away or suck it up and stay,
    When he dances, Billy from the hills.
    Ah, dance, Bill.

    There's a lantern lit on a Missouri night,
    A woman writing poems by stove.
    She knows the fox's whereabouts by knoll, by gulch, by yelp,
    As he runs at night through her mother love.
    Her memory to me is like 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.
    Tonight I feel somethin' on the wind,
    Or 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.
    Billy from the hills.
    Billy from the hills.

    Copyright © 1994 Brown-Feldman Publishing


    Marco Giunco
    Work Basket Music Words