Common Bill, Lyric Variant 03


“Common Bill, Lyric Variant 03,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 23, 2024,

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Common Bill, Lyric Variant 03


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Ballads, English
Courtship--Songs and music
Nonsense songs

Alternative Title

Silly Billy


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








Common Bill.

I'm in love with a fellow, a fellow you have seen,
Who is neither white nor yellow, but is altogether green.
His name is not so charming-it is only common Bill,
He asked me to wed him, but I hardly think I will.

He whispers of devotion, devotion pure and deep,
It sounds so mighty silly that I almost fall asleep.
He thinks it would be pleasant as we journey down the hill,
To go hand in hand together, but I hardly think I will.

He tells me of a cottage among the grass and trees,
And don't you think that fellow tumbled down upon his knees,
The tears the creature wasted was enough to turn a mill,
He asked me for wed him, but I hardly think I will.

He came last night to see me and made so long a stay,
I began to think the blockhead would never go away.
At first I learned to hate him, and I know I'll hate him still,
He asked me to wed him, but I hardly think I will.

I'm sure I would not choose him if it were in my power,
But he said if I refused him, he could not live an hour.
Now you know the Bible teaches it's very wrong to kill,
So I thought the matter over and I 'spect I'll marry Bill.


Poor Bill, poor silly Bill, he urged me to wed him,
But I hardly think I will.

Scholarly Classification

Brown, Older Ballads - 195 Randolph, 119

File name


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