Tuesday, June 12, 2007
6/12/07- Grace's Song
As you know already, Grace Brown got her nickname "Billy" from a song called "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey." Well today I just happened to come across the lyrics to that song on Google and I have just added it to my ever-growing collection of links on this site if anyone is interested in viewing them.
I just learned that the song was originally published in 1902 by Hughie Cannon (1877-1912). Grace was about 16 at the time so she could not have heard that song any earlier than that. At any rate, the song must have stuck with her because as a result of family and friends listening to her sing that tune, she was given the nickname "Billy."
In a way, I can see why she liked the song so much. I had the privilege of listening to an earlier recording of the song on a recently released Gillette documentary called "An American Murder," currently available at the Herkimer County Historical Society. It does have a really jazzy beat which you can dance to and it definitely fit the times. In Grace's time, ragtime music was all the rage. Over the years, the song had been recorded countless times by different artists, including Louis Armstrong, Patsy Cline, Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, and most recently by Harry Connick, Jr. His version can be found on his latest CD, "Oh, My Nola." If you have a chance, check it out.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia.- http://en.wikipedia.org.