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Billy Don’t Be a Hero Lyrics

Enjoy This Video of Billy Don’t Be a Hero Lyrics Sung by Paper Lace

Lyrics are Below the Video – sing along if you like, or just enjoy

Billy Don’t Be a Hero Lyrics Sung by Paper Lace

 

The marchin’ band came down along Main Street
The soldier-blues fell in behind
I looked across and there I saw Billy
Waiting to go and join the line
And with her head upon his shoulder
His young and lovely fiancee
From where I stood, I saw she was cryin’
And through her tears I heard her say

“Billy, don’t be a hero, don’t be a fool with your life”
“Billy, don’t be a hero, come back and make me your wife”
And as he started to go she said “Billy, keep your head lo-o-ow”
“Billy, don’t be a hero, come back to me”

The soldier-blues were trapped on a hillside
The battle raging all around
The sergeant cried “We’ve got to hang on, boys”
“We got to hold this piece a’ground”
“I need a volunteer to ride up”
“And bring us back some extra men”
And Billy’s hand was up in a moment
Forgettin’ all the words she said

She said
“Billy, don’t be a hero, don’t be a fool with your life”
“Billy, don’t be a hero, come back and make me your wife”
And as he started to go she said “Billy, keep your head lo-o-ow”
“Billy, don’t be a hero, come back to me”

I heard his fiancee got a letter
That told how Billy died that day
The letter said that he was a hero
She should be proud he died that way
I heard she threw that letter away

Some Facts About Billy Don’t Be a Hero Lyrics and Music

Billy Don’t Be A Hero” is a 1974 anti-war pop song that was first a hit in the UK for Paper Lace and then some months later it was a hit in the USA for Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods. The song was written by two British song writers Mitch Murray and Peter Callander.

Because the song was released in 1974, it is often associated with the Vietnam War, though it actually refers to the American Civil War as evidenced by the “soldier blues” (the Union Forces) in the lyrics and on the cover of the single. Also, Paper Lace would perform the song on pop shows wearing Union uniforms. A young woman is distraught that her fiancé chooses to leave the area with an Army contingent passing through the town and go with them to fight. She laments,

“Billy, don’t be a hero, Don’t be a fool with your life
“Billy, don’t be a hero, Come back and make me your wife
“And as Billy started to go, she said, ‘Keep your pretty head low’
“Billy, don’t be a hero, Come back to me”

The song goes on to describe how Billy is killed in action in a pitched battle after volunteering to ride out and seek reinforcements (which suggests mounted infantry and a lack of modern two-way radio communications). In the end, the woman throws away the regret letter from the War Department notifying her of Billy’s “heroic” death.

Paper Lace’s version of “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” hit number one in the UK singles chart on 16 March 1974, and thereafter Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods version hit number 1 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 on 15 June 1974, and number 1 in Canada on 7 July. The US version sold over three and a half million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in June 1974. The Bo Donaldson version was a massive hit in North America but is largely unknown elsewhere.

Comments

  1. george says:

    i like the song it is ok it is not the best song in the world but its ok

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