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DREAMERS, LOVERS, OUTLAWS: The Listening Room

The Ballad of Bill Ballou (Click for Lyrics)

(Siobhan Quinn and Michael Bowers)
2007-04
Michael Bowers (ASCAP)
We had the privilege of doing some writing in Santa Fe last year. During a visit with a great friend we made while there (Jerry Faires, a wonderful silversmith--see Siobhan's necklace in the photo and my bracelet--and also musician/ songwriter extraordinaire in his own right), Jerry, who is also a master storyteller, got on a roll about the characters and events (myth or true, who knows) in the southwest. Michael couldn't sleep the night after that, all the characters swimming around in his head. Out of that sleepless night, grew this tale...tall or not? Who knows?
The Ballad of Bill Ballou

The story up in Pecos is told until this day
And folks swear on their Bibles that it's true
Of the meanest, baddest hombre the town had ever seen
And he went by the name of Bill Ballou

Now Billy wasn't handsome and he wasn't all that tall
The only thing he'd mastered was the knife
But if you were passing through, and you crossed Bill Ballou
The payment he exacted was your life.

Oh, Billy, Billy Ballou
Jealous lovers, angry brothers all declare your day is due
Oh, Billy, Billy Ballou
The best that you can hope for is a graveyard--with a view

His punch was filled with nitro and his eyes could light a fuse
He had a subtle swagger in his drawl
And you would never know that he was pushin' ninety-two
You'd think that he was seventy, that's all

Now Billy liked the action at the Barking Dog Saloon
He'd be there every night at half past eight
And the locals they all knew, if you went to have a brew
You'd listen to Ballou pontificate.

(Chorus)
Oh Billy.....

Then one day a traveler who did not know the score
They say it was a night in early June
Came in a little early, sat in Billy's favorite chair, and shockingly, used Bill Ballou's spitoon............

(YES, THERE'S MORE, BUT YOU'LL HAVE TO COME HEAR US, OR BUY THE CD, TO GET THE FULL STORY, AND IT ISN'T EXACTLY WHAT YOU'D EXPECT.