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Lyr Req: Billy Bee -- think it's Appalachian

Tonnvane Wiswell 17 Nov 99 - 09:00 PM
Áine 18 Nov 99 - 09:01 PM
Jim Dixon 10 May 11 - 09:18 PM
Jim Dixon 12 May 11 - 03:15 PM
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Subject: Billy Bee -- think it's Appalachian
From: Tonnvane Wiswell
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 09:00 PM

I am looking for the lyrics to Billy Bee. The song starts, "Who you buzzin' round now, Billy Bee, Billy Bee, who you buzzin round now? Why you buzzin round her and not me?" The whole song builds on the bee metaphor, referring to building a hive, another "queen bee," and, um, pollination.

I actually heard this on a punk compilation in about 1990. Any help would be appreciated!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bee -- think it's Appalachian
From: Áine
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 09:01 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Billy Bee -- think it's Appalachian
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 May 11 - 09:18 PM

This song is on YouTube. I might transcribe it later.

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BILLY BEE SONG (Sheenah Fair)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 May 11 - 03:15 PM

You can hear this song at WFMU's Beware of the Blog. (Or click for an MP3.) It is also on YouTube. It sounds like a field recording. It's a very unusual "song," more like a chant or rhythmic recitation, but it does have a very simple tune. The singer keeps time by clapping. The lyrics were provided with the YouTube "video," but I was dissatisfied with the formatting, since it didn't reveal the rhythmic structure of the piece. I have rearranged the line breaks so that every line has two major beats (corresponding to handclaps), and the second beat comes as near as possible to the end of the line, without breaking words. Presented this way, the piece falls neatly into 4-line verses. I have also underlined the syllables that correspond to handclaps.

The song comes from an out-of-print various-artists collection called "Potatoes" published on vinyl by Ralph Records in 1987, and on a CD in 1989. The description at WFMU says "(Ed. note: song credited to Sheenah Fair)."—I presume that credit was added by the WFMU editor and is not on the album, which says "Unknown artist." It's not clear to me whether that means she is the singer, writer, or both.

Sheenah Fair

Who you buzzin' round now, Billy Bee?
Billy Bee, who you buzzin' round now?
Who you buzzin' round now, Billy Bee?
Why you buzzin' round her, not me?

Could it be your honey, Billy? It ain't good
Enough, enough for me, Billy, honeybee.
Could it be you got enough for a lot
O' queen bees, Billy, honey, Billy Bee?

Why you telling me, Billy, that you want
To be with me, Billy? Oh, you lied to me!
Why you say you gonna pollinate my flower,
Billy, say you gonna make a hive with me?

Then I hear you're buzzin' round with another
Yellow-jacket bee. Bee wasn't me,
Billy. Made a pick o' bee. Bee wasn't
Me, Billy Bee. Bee wasn't me.

Now I got to tell you that this little baby
Bee, she ain't cryin' in her honey tea,
'Cause she knows she got another boy bee
That's a hornet, got a real stinger, he.

Oh, I promise that I'll never think of you,
Bee. Billy, promise not to think of me
'Cause it's with you, Billy, that I'll never be,
Billy. I don't want to be with Billy Bee.

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Mudcat time: 23 September 12:32 PM EDT

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