Billy from the Hills - Greg Brown

    No one now knows too much about these woods,
    They got lost, they wouldn't know where to go.
    Tribe's 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 a progressive dream.
    Ease into the comfort that kills.
    Before 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 fire,
    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 in 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 looking for a helping hand,
    He'll give you one, you know he will.
    If you're looking for trouble, huh-uh, turn around,
    You don't want to 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.
    I know a guy, he 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.

    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.
    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 are fascinated by 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 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.


    Copyright © 1997 Hacklebarney Music


    Marco Giunco
    Work Basket Music Words