Saturday, July 16, 2011


PAT GARRET, the Sherif who shot Billy
BILLY THE KID (november 22,1859 - July 14, 1881)

The day before yesterday, was July 14.
Also on a July 14, (but 130 years ago),
died the famous Billy the Kid, aged, 21.

So....This is a MEMORIAL, and also a comment about music

--------- "THE BALLAD OF BILLY THE KID" --------------

"The Ballad of Billy the Kid" is a Billy Joel song from the album Piano Man.

It is a fictionalized story of Billy The Kid.

In an interview from 1975, Joel admitted:
"Basically [the song] was an experiment with an impressionist type of lyric.

It was historically totally inaccurate as a story."

Examples of these inaccuracies include when Joel sings that, "[Billy the Kid was] from a town know as Wheeling, West Virginia" and that "he robbed his way from Utah to Oklahoma."

However, the actual "Billy the Kid" never robbed a bank and although his birthplace is incertain, no account suggests that he was from West Virginia.

The song also says that Billy the Kid was captured and hanged, with many people attending the hanging, while in reality, he was shot and killed by Pat Garrett.

Joel has stated in interviews and concerts that he wrote the song when he was traveling west from New York to California for the first time, and has cited Aaron Copland as a musical influence on the song.

Copland himself wrote the music for a ballet, Billy The Kid.

In 1983, Joel's song was released in a live version on the album
'Songs from the Attic'.

In the liner notes for the album, Joel insists that the "Billy" from Oyster Bay in the lyric was not Joel, but rather a bartender who worked there.




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