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Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now

Peter 24 Aug 99 - 02:17 PM
Tiger 24 Aug 99 - 03:11 PM
Peter 24 Aug 99 - 05:09 PM
Helen 26 Aug 99 - 06:15 PM
Mike Billo 26 Aug 99 - 06:27 PM
Helen 26 Aug 99 - 06:55 PM
Helen 26 Aug 99 - 07:16 PM
Tiger 26 Aug 99 - 07:28 PM
Helen 27 Aug 99 - 11:10 PM
Tiger 28 Aug 99 - 09:03 AM
Helen 28 Aug 99 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,Col.Sanders 18 Sep 01 - 04:40 PM
Louie Roy 18 Sep 01 - 07:55 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Aug 08 - 01:35 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Aug 08 - 04:59 AM
GUEST 29 Jun 11 - 05:23 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Jul 11 - 08:05 AM
Helen 08 Jul 11 - 03:55 PM
Janie 07 Aug 12 - 12:27 AM
Rusty Dobro 07 Aug 12 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,Andy Duke 09 Jan 14 - 04:17 AM
Jim Dixon 10 Jan 14 - 09:58 PM
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Subject: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: Peter
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 02:17 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics and most importantly the chord changes for "Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now" by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen? Thanks so much in advance.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: BIG BAD BILL (IS SWEET WILLIAM NOW
From: Tiger
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 03:11 PM

Here's how I play it, in C.

Big Bad Bill From Louisville Performed by Merle Haggard

In the [C]town of [A7]Louisville,
They [D]got a man they call Big Bad Bill.
I [G]want to tell you, he sure was [C]tough,
And he [C]sure did strut his [G7]stuff.
He had [C]folks all scared to [A7]death,
When [D]they walked by, they held their breath.
He was a [D7]mighty man, sure e-[G7]nough.

Now [G7]Bill took himself a wife
Now [D]he's a different [G7]guy
Big Bad [C]Bill is [G7]Sweet William, [C]now.
[C]Married life has changed him, some-[C7]how.
Well, [F]he's the man they all [F7]used to fear,
Now the [C]people call him "Sweet Poppa, Willie [A7]Dear"
[D]Stronger than Samson, I declare,
Until a [G]brown-skinned mama [G7]bobbed his hair.

Big Bad [C]Bill don't [G7]fight any-[C]more, [C7]
[F]Washes dishes, and he mops up the [E7]floor,
Used to [F]spend his evenings, [F7]looking for a fight,
But [C]now he's got to see his mama [A7]every night.
Big Bad [C]Bill is Sweet [G7]William [C]now.

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK

Used to [F]spend his evenings, [F7]looking for a fight,
But [C]now he's got to see his mama [A7]every night.
Big Bad [C]Bill is Sweet [G7]William [C]now.
^^


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Peter
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 05:09 PM

Thank you very much for taking the time to write out the chords and lyrics. I have been looking for this song for years! Hope I can return the favor one day. Thank you again.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Helen
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 06:15 PM

Hi Peter & Tiger,

Can you tell me some more about this song? Who sang it? Where can I get to hear the tune, or do you know of any CD's or albums it is on?

I'm getting married in 3 weeks to a man whose first name is William, but he uses his second name instead. I'd like to be able to play it at the party after the wedding. I especially like the bit about him Washing dishes, and mopping up the floor.... "Used to [F]spend his evenings, [F7]looking for a fight, But [C]now he's got to see his mama [A7]every night."

He's got a good sense of humour, and he certainly isn't a fighting man so I think he'll see the funny side of this one.

Any help you can give me would be really good.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Mike Billo
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 06:27 PM

originally recorded by Emmet Miller(who many believe is the real author), and available on Columbia Roots 'n Blues CD "That Georgia Minstrel Man. Next, by Merle Haggard on the "I love Dixie Blues" album( don't know if that's been reissued on CD). Ry Cooder does it on his album "Jazz". Finally, i seem to recall Leon Redbone singing it, but I'm not sure.

I HIGHLY recommend the Emmet Miller, who Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel calls, "The Rosetta Stone of American Music".The true link between the 19th and 20th century.

Hope this has helped.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Helen
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 06:55 PM

Thanks Mike, especially for your recommendation of the Emmett Miller album. I had never heard of him until today and the review I saw on CD Now was a bit scathing. I'll go back and see if it is still available.

I just did a check on a couple of CD sites. Leon Redbone sang it on Champagne Charlie [1978]

It was also on:

Spike Jones - Louder and Funnier

Female Blues Singers, Vol. 14: S-Z (192 [97] - Female Blues Singers, Vol. 14: S-Z (192

Diver Down [82] - Van Halen

I Love Dixie Blues...So I Recorded =Liv [73] - Haggard, Merle

and a search of the net showed that it was also sung by Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline

All I have to do now is find a copy of it within the next 3 weeks.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Helen
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 07:16 PM

Sorry,

It was All-Music Guide which was a bit scathing - of the Minstrel style more than of Miller himself. The CD is available from CD Now but I don't think I'd get it in time for the wedding - delivery by airmail was estimated to take 2-5 weeks to Australia.

Does anyone have a midi file of this song?

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Tiger
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 07:28 PM

Helen.....

What you need is Mudcat Express. Send me your address, to:

rsbassoc@neca.com

and I'll make you a copy of the Merle Haggard album "I Love Dixie Blues", plenty of time to learn it B4 the wedding.

You too, Peter.

......Tiger

P.S. There's a good sound clip, Ry Cooder of all people, at:

http://www.cdworld.com/cgi-bin/prodinfo?0759900031972&7065137


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Helen
Date: 27 Aug 99 - 11:10 PM

Tiger

I listened to the sound clip. Then when I was at my fiance's house last night I casually asked if he had any Van Halen or Ry Cooder CD's and he said yes to both. So when he was out of the room I checked them out and there was the Ry Cooder CD. So now I have smuggled it out to tape the song so I can play it at the wedding.

Thanks for your help. I would never have realised that Ry Cooder sang it. I'll let you know how it goes when I play it at the wedding. (He might get mad, but I think he'll just laugh about it.)

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Tiger
Date: 28 Aug 99 - 09:03 AM

Helen.....

Isn't electronics wonderful? A couple of 12,000 mile E-mails and....bingo, it was right under your nose.

Of course, you have to file a follow-up report telling how this goes over with Bill.

Best to you and Sweet William.....Tiger


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Helen
Date: 28 Aug 99 - 09:23 PM

Thanks Tiger.

Yes, you're right: right under my nose but I wouldn't even know the song existed or that it was right here without the 'Cat and the 'Catters like you.

I'll definitely be posting the results. I told his Mother today about the song and she thought it was funny, so we should be able to set the whole thing up quite well.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: GUEST,Col.Sanders
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 04:40 PM

Don't forget the Billy Murray version from 1924 or so. Does anyone have the full lyrics? The second half always seem to get dropped in later recordings (perhaps due to the 'Darkie puts away his dice' line?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William
From: Louie Roy
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 07:55 PM

I don't know the original artist but this song came out on an edison record in the early 1920s Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 01:35 AM

The Red Hot Jazz Archive has a Real-Audio file of Emmett Miller accompanied by his Georgia Crackers singing BIG BAD BILL IS SWEET WILLIAM NOW in 1929.

I listened, and I find one line different from the transcription above:

Now Bill took himself a wife.
Now he leads a diff'rent life,
'Cause
Big Bad Bill is Sweet William now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 04:59 AM

The version I have, from Ry Cooder, is the same as your line Jim.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 11 - 05:23 PM

Hi Tiger,

Hope you still exist. I've liked the song forever, and decided to figure it out. I do it in the key of G, but am having a hard time converting your key of C to G. Is there a web site that will do it, or do you know it right off?

Annie


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 08:05 AM

Guest Annie: You need to learn about the circle of fifths. See this article in Wikipedia.

The article tells you way more than you need to know and is full of technical jargon. Never mind that. Just look at the illustration.

In the circle, note that the C is on top, and the chords on each side are G on the right and F on the left. This means that when you play in the key of C, the chords you will use most often are C, G (or G7) and F. The G chord has D and C on each side; therefore, when you play in the key of G, you will use G, D (or D7) and C.

To transpose any song from C to G, you just move every note and every chord one step clockwise around the circle.

That is, C becomes G, G becomes D, a-minor becomes e-minor, and so on.

To transpose from C to D, you move everything two steps around the circle, and so on.

Happy transposing!


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: Helen
Date: 08 Jul 11 - 03:55 PM

Hi all,

I obviously forgot to post the details of what happened at our wedding reception. As it turned out, one of our friends knew the song, and sang it at the reception. It was perfect.

Every now and then I ease Hubby about it, so I'm still getting value out of the song. :-)

BTW, LouieRoy, I just bought Hubby an Edison wax cylinder player, which we found in an antique sale. I'll have to see if I can find a wax cylinder of Big Bad Bill for him. More teasing on the way, I hope!

Helen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: Janie
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 12:27 AM

I love this song, though I couldn't say why.

I can't remember if I first heard Leon Redbone or Ry Cooder's version, both obviously very contemporary, and had been aware of the Emmet Miller version, but not the (I believe) earlier Bill Murray version which has much more extensive lyrics.

I'll link to both the Murray and Miller recordings on youtube below.

Murray's Big Bad Bill


Emmett Miller Big Bad Bill

More info at wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bad_Bill_%28is_Sweet_William_Now%29

It really is interesting to see how truncated the lyrics become after Murray's recording.    I understand why Miller's recording is so popular - the reeds are really unsurpassed on any other recordings I have heard. Would be very interested in links to other really good arrangements.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 10:55 AM

Our own, our very own Will Fly plays an immaculate version of this song. Catch him live, or find it on Youtube.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Req: Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
From: GUEST,Andy Duke
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 04:17 AM

Have to agree, Will Fly's version does him credit!
http://youtu.be/Kn2L_Xo6oIg


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG BAD BILL (IS SWEET WILLIAM NOW)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Jan 14 - 09:58 PM

This recording, though not the first, was made the same year the sheet music was published. Other recordings released that year were by Margaret Young, Isabella Patricola, Ernest Hare, the Synco Jazz Band. Later recordings, but still on 78-rpm records, were by Finzel's Arcadia Orchestra, Don Clark and His Orchestra, Emmett Miller and His Georgia Crackers, Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, and Texas Jim Lewis. That takes us up to 1942. This information is from The Online 78-rpm Discographical Project, which lists mainly American discs.


BIG BAD BILL (IS SWEET WILLIAM NOW)
Words by Jack Yellen, music by Milton Ager.
As recorded by Clementine Smith (as Gladys Murray) on Regal 9760, 1924.

In the town of Louisville
They've got a man called big bad Bill.
I want to tell you he sure was tough.
Brother, he was rough.
He had folks all scared to death.
When he walked by, they held their breath.
He was a fightin' man, sure enough.
Bill took himself a wife.
Now he leads a diff'rent life.

Big bad Bill is sweet William now.
Married life has changed him somehow.
He's a man they all used to fear.
Now the people call him Willie dear.
He was stronger than Samson, I declare,
Till a brown-skinned Delilah bobbed his hair.
Big bad Bill don't fight anymore,
Washes dishes and he mops the floor.
He used to spend his evenings looking for a fight.
Now he's gotta see his mama ev'ry night,
'Cause big bad Bill is sweet William now.

When Bill was in his prime he sure was one bad boy.
A great big forty-four, that was his fav'rite toy.
He had a deep bass voice I never will forget,
But now he sings soprano in the church quartet.

He weighed two hundred pounds and was as hard as nails.
He specialized in shooting cops and breaking jails,
But let me tell you, brother, something must be wrong
When a darky puts his dice away and plays mahjong.

He was the red-hot papa that you've heard about
Till an asbestos mama put his fire out,
And big bad Bill is sweet William now.


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