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 »


 The easy, fast & fun way to learn how to sing:

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
Ethell was a tree
Growing off of his shoulder 

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! hack!)
Hack up a boulder
(hack! hack! hack!)
Hack up a boulder 

Now, one day, a man in a checkered suit drove up in a big 
Lincoln continental, and he laid a huge, 
Bulging envelope right at the corner of billy the mountain, 
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 over these years, 
And finally, now, at last, his royalties! 
Royalties! [repeat: x5]

Billy the mountain was rich! his eyeball-caves widened in amazement, 
His cliff (which was his jaw), it dropped thirty feet! 
Ooh, a bunch of dust puffed out! rocks and boulders hacked up, 
(hack! hack! hack! hack hack! hack! hack!) crushing 'the lincoln'! 
Now, the man in the checkered suit, well, 
Without his car he went screaming off into the desert at sunset
All the way to rosamond to get a beer and tell everybody there 
Including ronnie cook what had happened to his car. 
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 want to stand here
All night in this bar
(dear lord) 

I don't want to stand here
All night in this bar
(no shit!) 

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

By two o'clock, and the bars are already closed down, 
Billy had already broken 'the big news' to ethell. 
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, ethell just like a woman, 
Of course she was delighted! she creaked a little bit, 
And some old birds flew off of her
Hey, mr. tambourine man, play a song) 
Billy told ethell they were going to
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,
Drink a few beers,
(oh, ethell!) 

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 
"ethell, want to get a cuppa cawfee?" 
(howard johnson's! howard johnson's!
Howard johnson's! howard johnson's!) 

"there's a howard johnsons! want to eat some clams?" 
The first note worhty 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 number one and the rocket sled itself got lunched! 
By a famous mountain-in and his small, wooden wife. 
Good bye to las vegas
Farewell to the lounges 
We pulled a few handles 
We drank a few beers

Guess that george putnam
Should be on the air now 
With the biggest new story 
That has broken this year
(george putnam!) 

His biggest new story 
That has broken this year 
(take it away, george!) 

"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, and lomita, 
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. 
But it is this reporter's opinion that ethell is a former communist" 
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 denver, 
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 where they keep the pools of old poison gas, 
And obsolete germ bombs, just as a freak tornado cruised through
(my baby, my baby, my baby, my baby) [repeat: x3]

Sucking up two thirds of it (suck! suck! suck!) 
For untimely dispersal over vast stretches of the mid west! 
Now, it was about this time, I think it was right outside of columbus, ohio that billy got his notice to report for his induction physical. 
Now, believe me, ethell said she wasn't gonna let him go! 

"I'm not gonna let you go, billy!" 
And george putnam, the right-wing creepo fascist pig newscaster from los angeles said
(take it away george putnam, 
The right-wing fascist radical creepo pig newscaster from los angeles!)

"we now have confirmed reports from an informed orange county minister, 
That ethell is still an active communist, 
And it's this reporter's opinion that she also practices witch-craft!" 

It was about this time that the telephone rang in the secret briefcase 
Belonging to the one mortal man 
Who might be able to stop all of this senseless destruction and save 'america herself'! 

Now, some men say he looked like (he looked like) 
Felix pappalardi (felix pappalardi); still others say (others say), 
Bullshit, man (bullshit, man) he was just born (he was born) 
Next to the frozen beef pies at gristede's (frozen beef pies). 
Still others say (others say he was just another)
Again, he was just a crazy italian (crazy italian) who drove a red car. 
You see it was hard to tell (but nobody knows), 
Nobody knew for sure (for sure), 
He was so (so) mysterious (mysterious), 
Oh yes, he was
He was so
(he was so, he was so!)

He was so

'cause when a person gets to be
Such a hero, folks,
And marvelous beyond compute,
You can never really tell
About a guy like that
(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!)
Amazed of him! 

Time passing (right!)
January, February
1975, 1986
March, 1914

So when the phone rang (thank you)
In the secret briefcase,
(thank you)
A strong masculine hand
With a wristwatch
And flexy bracelet
Grabbed it
And answered
In a deep, calmly assured voice: 

"yes, this is he! what? a mountain with a tree growing off of its shoulder? 
You're fulla shit, man, what? what, uh, are, are you sure? 
Oh well, alright, let me write this down then, sorta take a few notes here, to new york? 
Causing untold destruction?" 
(my baby, my baby, my baby, my baby, oh!
My baby, my baby, my baby, my baby,
My baby, my baby,
My baby, my baby, my baby,
My baby, my baby)
(my baby, my baby, my baby) 

"wanted for draft evasion? 
Can I, can I fly there immediately and reason with him? 
An expense account? and per diem, too?" 
Some men say he could dance! 
Yes, he could dance. 
And here it is, ladies and gentlemen, 
The studebaker hoch dancing lesson & cosmic prayer for guidance featuring aynsley dunbar 
Twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly,  hey! 
Right hand from the heart-uh
Left hand from the heart-uh
Right hand from the heart-uh
Left hand from the left shoulder
To the heart-uh 

Twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, twirly, hey! 
There were a number of rumors circulating about studebaker hoch recently. 

 The easy, fast & fun way to learn how to sing:

Written by: Frank Vincent Zappa

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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