Billy the Mountain

Frank Zappa

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Frank Zappa

Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern along with 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands… more »


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BILLY the Mountain
BILLY the Mountain
A regular picturesque
Postcardy mountain
Residing between lovely
Rosamond and Gorman
With his stunning wife ETHELL,
A tree!
A tree!

BILLY was a mountain
ETHELL was a tree
Growing off of his shoulder

BILLY was a mountain
(BILLY was a mountain!)
ETHELL was a tree
Growing off of his shoulder
(ETHELL was a tree growing off of his shoulder)
(hey, hey hey!)

Billy had two big
Caves for eyes,
With a cliff for a jaw
That would go up 'n down,
And whenever it did,
He'd puff out some dust,
And hack up a boulder
Hack up a boulder
Hack up a boulder
Up a boulder

Now, one day, now I believe it was on a Tuesday, a man in a checkered double-knit suit drove up in a large El Dorado Cadillac, leased from BOB SPREEN...

("Where the freeways meet in Downey!")

...And he laid a HUGE, BULGING ENVELOPE right at the corner of BILLY THE MOUNTAIN, that was right where his 'foot' was supposed to be.

Now, BILLY THE MOUNTAIN, he couldn't believe it! All those postcards he'd posed for, for ALL OF THOSE YEARS, and finally, now, AT LAST, his Royalties!

Royalty check is in, honey!

Yes, BILLY THE MOUNTAIN was RICH! Yes, and his eyeball-caves, they widened in amazement, and his jaw (which was a cliff), well it dropped thirty feet!

A bunch of dust puffed out! Rocks and boulders hacked up, (hack! hack!) crushing 'The LINCOLN'!

I gave him the money
He acted real funny
He hocked up a rock and
It TOTALLED my car!

Oh, do you
Know any trucks
Might be bound for THE VALLEY?
I don't wanna stand here
All night in this bar
(Dear Lord)

I don't wanna stand here
All night in this bar
(No shit!)

I don't wanna stand here
All night in this bar!

By two o'clock, when the bars are already closed down, BILLY had broken 'THE BIG NEWS' to ETHELL. And with dust and boulders everywhere, BILLY, choked with excitement, announced...

"ETHELL, we're going on a VACATION!"

Yes, and they WERE going on a vacation! (Oh, and ETHELL, ETHELL, ETHELL, like every little woman, she of course was very excited! She creaked a little bit, and some old birds flew off of her.) BILLY told ETHELL they were going to... Yes! They were going to NEW YORK!

"ETHELL, we're going to... New York!"

But first they were gonna stop in LAS VEGAS...

It's off to LAS VEGAS
To check out the lounges
Pull a few handles,
And drink a few beers,

ETHELL, my darling,
You know that I love you!
I'm glad we could have a
Vacation this year!
(Oh, NEET-O!)

Glad we could have a
Vacation this year!

They left that night, crunchin' across the Mojave Desert... their voices echoing through the canyons of your minds (POO-AAH!)

"ETHELL, wanna get a cuppa cawfee?"

(Howard Johnson's! Howard Johnson's!
Howard Johnson's! Howard Johnson's!)

"Ahhh! there's a HOWARD JOHNSONS! Wanna eat some CLAMS?"

The first noteworthy piece of real estate they destroyed was EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE...

And TO THIS VERY DAY, 'Wing Nuts' and Data Reduction Clerks alike, speak in reverent whispers about that fateful night when TEST STAND #1 and THE ROCKET SLED ITSELF... (We have ignition!)... got LUNCHED! I said LUNCHED! (Lunched!) By a FAMOUS MOUNTAIN-IN and his SMALL, WOODEN WIFE.

"Word just in to the KTTV News Service undeniably links THIS MOUNTAIN and HIS WIFE to drug abuse and pay-offs as part of a San Joaquin Valley SMUT RING! However, we can assure parents in the Southern California area that a recent NARCOTICS CRACK-DOWN, in Torrance, Hawthorne, Lomita, Westchester, Playa Del Rey, Santa Monica, Tujunga, Sunland, San Fernando, Pacoima, Sylmar, Newhall, Canoga Park, Palmdale, Glendale, Irwindale, Rolling Hills, Granada Hills, Shadow Hills,Cheviot Hills, will provide the SECRET EVIDENCE the Palmdale Grand Jury has needed to seek a CRIMINAL INDICTMENT, and pave the way for STIFFER LEGISLATION, increased FEDERAL AID, and AVERT A CRIPPLING STRIKE of Bartenders and Veterinarians throughout the INLAND EMPIRE... "

WITHIN THE WEEK, Jerry Lewis had hosted a Telethon ("Wah wah wah, nice lady!") to raise funds for the injured (injured...) and homeless (homeless...) in Glendale, as BILLY had just levelled it, and, a few miles right outside of town, BILLY caused a 'Oh Mein Papa' in the Earth's crust, right over the SECRET UNDERGROUND DUMPS (right near the 'Jack-In-The-Box' on Glenoaks) where they keep the POOLS OF OLD POISON GAS, and OBSOLETE GERM BOMBS, just as a FREAK TORNADO cruised through...

Yes, it was about three o'clock in the afternoon when little Howard Kaplan was sitting on his porch ( "Toto... !") just playing ( "Come on, Toto... !") and having a nice time with his little accordion ("Toto... !"), and this weird wind came up ("Toto... !"), direct from Glendale ("Toto... ! Toto... !"), blowing these terrible germs in his direction ("Come here, Toto... !"), and all of this caused ("Toto... !") by a huge mountain ("Aunty Em!")!

"Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly..."

...sucking up two thirds of it (SUCK! SUCK! SUCK!) for UNTIMELY DISPERSAL over VAST STRETCHES of WATTS!!!

Now, unless I misunderstood, it was right outside of Columbus, Ohio when BILLY received his NOTICE TO REPORT for his INDUCTION PHYSICAL. Now, lemme tell ya, ETHELL said, now ETHELL, ETHELL said she wasn't gonna let him go!

"I'm not gonna let you go, BILLY!"

"THAT'S RIGHT! We now have CONFIRMED REPORTS from an INFORMED ORANGE COUNTY MINISTER, that ETHELL is still an ACTIVE COMMUNIST, and it is This Reporter's Opinion that she also practices (COVEN!) WITCH-CRAFT!"

It was about this time that the telephone rang inside of the SECRET BRIEFCASE belonging to THE ONE MORTAL MAN who might be able to stop all of this senseless destruction and save 'AMERICA HERSELF'! (And I'm sorry to disappoint some of you, it was not Chief Reddin) This one MAN was STUDEBAKER HOCH, fantastic new SUPER HERO of the CURRENT ECONOMIC SLUMP.

(Oh) Now, some folks say he looked like (he was like, he was like) ZUBIN MEHTA (Zubin Mehta); still others say (others say he), bullshit, honey (bullshit, man) he's just another greasy guy who happened to be born next to the Frozen Beef Pies at BONEY'S MARKET. (Others say he was just a, just a) Still others say, John, piss on you, Jack! (crazy Italian) He's just a crazy Italian who drove a RED CAR. You see (nobody knows for sure 'cause he was so), nobody ever really knew for sure, because STUDEBAKER was so-o-o-o-o-o mysterious (mysterious)...

(He was so, he was so!)

(He was so, he was so!)

'Cuz when a person gets to be
Such a HERO, folks,
You can never REALLY TELL
(Whether he's really a NICE PERSON
Or if he just SMILES A LOT),
Or if he has a son named 'PINOCCHIO',
Or what?

Whether he's really a NICE PERSON or if he has a son named 'PINOCCHIO' or what?

Some men say he could FLY
Some men say he could SWIM
Others say he could SING (like NEIL SEDAKA),
And all the girls in FLUSHING
Would be AMAZED of HIM
(Two, Three!)

Time passes...
January, February, March, July...
...2:30 in the afternoon, Sunday, Monday...
Funny Cars!
City of Industry...
Big John Mazmanian!

So when the phone rang
In the secret briefcase,
A strong masculine hand
With a Dudley Do-Right wristwatch
And flexy bracelet
And answered
In a deep, calmly assured voice:

"So... ah... yeah, yeah, hello already... what?... Well, yeah?... Ah, are you kidding... ? You're not kidding... a mountain... ? With a tree growing off of its shoulder... ? Aw, you're fulla shit, man... ah, listen, by the way, before I go on; did you get those white albums I sent ya with the pencil on the front... ? Yeah... ? Yeah, you should move some of those for me, we're having a lot of... listen, so kiss little Jakee on the head... and, ah, how's your wife's hemorrhoids? Oh, that's too bad... Listen... so you'

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Written by: Frank Vincent Zappa

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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    Billy the Mountain

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