Common Bill

DESCRIPTION: The singer says Bill "isn't charming," and is "altogether green." He courts her relentlessly, to her scorn. At last he says that he will kill himself if she does not wed him. Citing the Bible's injunction against killing, she consents
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (Broadwood/Maitland)
KEYWORDS: courting marriage
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE,SE,So) Britain(England,Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (19 citations):
GreigDuncan4 891, "I Will Tell You of a Fellow" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 52-53, "I'll Tell You of a Fellow" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 119, "Common Bill" (2 texts)
Eddy 57, "Common Bill" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering 178, "Common Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Stout 66, p. 90, "Common Bill" (1 text)
Linscott, pp. 187-188, "Common Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 195, "Common Bill" (1 text plus 1 excerpt and mention of 3 more)
BrownSchinhanIV 195, "Common Bill" (4 excerpts, 4 tunes)
Morris, #199, "Common Bill" (1 text)
Browne 80, "Common Bill" (1 text plus an excerpt and mention of 3 more, 1 tune)
Hudson 57, pp. 173-174, "Common Bill" (1 text)
Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 308-310, "Common Bill" (2 texts, 1 tune on pp. 437-438)
Sandburg, pp. 62-63, "Common Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 325-326, "Hardly Think I Will" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 76, "Silly Bill" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 104, pp. 214-215, "I Will Tell You of a Fellow" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 172, "Common Bill" (1 text)

Roud #442
I. G. Greer w. Mrs. I. G. Greer, "Common Bill" (AFS; on LC14)
Hill Billies, "Silly Bill" (OKeh 40294, 1925)
McGee Brothers, "Charming Bill" (Vocalion 5166, 1927)
McGee Brothers & Todd, "Common Bill" (on CrowTold02)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Common Bill" (on NLCR10)
Ernest Thompson & Connie Sides, "Silly Bill" (Columbia 15002-D, rec. 1924)

cf. "Barney O'Hea" (theme)
File: R119

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.