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Songs: Billy Jones Is Dead

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<a href="http://mjhibbett.bandcamp.com/track/billy-jones-is-dead">Billy Jones Is Dead by MJ Hibbett &amp; The Validators</a>
Martin works in Mark's and Spencers
Sharon stocks up cash dispensers
Mary married a man who hears
Voices in his head
Your mate Brian knocks down buildings
Sean and Sally had six children
I'm ensconced in academia
And you, you're still in bed

But do you remember when we'd go to town
Meet our friends and hang around
And talk about what we'd like to be?
We slowly went our separate ways
Meeting up on holidays
To talk about the way it used to be

Our headmaster's back in prison
Peter plays for the first division
No-one's heard from Fred
Sexy Sadie's put on weight
Michael's working in Kuwait
Billy Jones is dead

And do you remember when we'd go to town
Meet our friends and hang around
And talk about what we'd like to be?
We slowly went our separate ways
Meeting up on holidays
To talk about the way it used to be

You said that you'd be famous and drive a flashy car
I thought that I would be the first man on Mars
But you couldn't pay your insurance and had to sell your guitar
And I'm stuck in the Midlands
I guess I didn't get too far
No I didn't get too far
No I didn't get too far

But do you remember when we'd go to town
Meet our friends and hang around
And talk about what we'd like to be?
We slowly went our separate ways
Meeting up on holidays
To talk about the way it used to be


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

This song was co-written with Dr Neil Brown whilst we were in The Council. He came round my house one day for a practice, and we retired to my LOFT, where such things were done. Things went OK and so we decided to have a go at writing a new song. "You try and work out something to play, and I'll go and make a cup of tea" I said. I soon heard this very song being played and was STRUCK very suddenly by how the words would go - a lad from my school, Steven York, had recently died and I wanted to sing about it, while the name Billy Jones came from an old song we'd done in Voon, "Billy Jones (apparently)" which I'd always liked but we'd never played much. By the time I got back upstairs again it was pretty much WRITTEN. We played around with it a bit, stuck the MIDDLE section in (which, again, Neil came up with very easily), I tidied up the words shortly afterwards, and soon we were playing it at gigs.

Not long after that Tim joined the band and this was one of the songs we learnt, although that middle bit with the guitar changes took us AGES to get our heads round. He always liked the song and so a couple of years later when we were recording the "Born With The Century" single he suggested it for a b-side. I'd been playing it in my new solo sets (and had recorded yet another version as a possible contender for my debut single from Fortuna Pop!), Tim still remembered it and Frankie is a quick learner, so it made sense!

We carried on playing it at most gigs after that as we all liked it and it seemed to go down pretty well, and when The Validators finally SOLIDIFIED we got a pretty good arrangement of it going, so much so that the version we'd originally recorded sounded a bit weedy. People would occasionally ask us for a recording of it and we didn't really want to give them that so we recorded it yet again for Shed Anthems and, I think, made a pretty good job of it. Hopefully that'll be the last time thought!


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