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Discussion » Questions » Music » I will handsomely reward anyone who reads this Frank Zappa song in it's entirety and tells me what it is about. It is good. Really.

I will handsomely reward anyone who reads this Frank Zappa song in it's entirety and tells me what it is about. It is good. Really.

Billy the Mountain
Billy the Mountain
A regular picturesque
Postcardy mountain
Residing between lovely
Rosamond and Gorman
With his stunning wife Ethel
A tree, a tree.

 

Billy was a Mountain
Ethel was a tree growing off of his shoulder
Billy was a Mountain
Billy was a Mountain
Ethel was a tree growing off of his shoulder
Ethel 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 or down
And whenever it did
He'd puff out some dust
And hack up a boulder, hack.
Hack up a boulder, hack, hack.
Hack up a boulder, hack, hack.
Hack up a boulder.

Now, one day, and I believe it was on Tuesday, a man in checkered double-knit suit drove up in large El Dorado Cadillac leased from Bob Spreene ("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! "Royalties, royalties, royalties! The 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 ... 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 hacked up a rock and
It totaled 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 sh*t)
I don't wanna stand here
All night in this bar

By two o'clock, when bars had already closed down, Billy had broken the big news to Ethel, AHHHH, and with dust and boulders everywhere, Billy, choked with exitement, announced: "Ethel, we're going on a vacation!"... Yes, and they were going on a vacation, oh, and Ethel, Ethel, Ethel, like any little woman, she of course was very excited ... she creaked a little bit, and some old birds flew off of her. Billy told Ethel they were going to... yes, they where going to New York! "Ethel, 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, oh Ethel,
Ethel, my darling, you know that I love you,
I'm glad we could have a vacation this year,
Oh neat-o, glad we could have a vacation this year."

They left that night, crunchin' across the Mojave Desert, their voices echoing thru the canyons of your minds... "Ethel, wanna get a cuppa cawfee? Howard Johnson's, ahhh there's a Howard Johnson's! ... 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 Number One and the rocket sled itself got LUNCHED, I said LUNCHED, by a famous mountain and his small wooden wife ...

"Word just in to the KTTV news service undeniably links this mountain and his wife to drug abuse and payoffs as part of San Joaquin Valley smut ring. However, we can assure parents in the Southern California area that a recent narcotic crackdown in Torrence ... 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 indictement 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 (La La La 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 mine/my(?) 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 germs 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 here, Toto ...!") and having a nice time with his little accordion, ("Toto...!") and this weird wind came up, direct from Glendale, blowing those terrible germs in his direction ... and all this caused by huge mountain ("Aunty Em") somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly, sucking up two-thirds of it (suck, suck, suck) for an 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, Ethel said, now Ethel, Ethel 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 Ethel is still an active communist and it is this reporter's opinion that she also practices covert WITCH-CRAFT ...

It was about this time that the telephone rang inside of the secret briefcase belonging to 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 Redden. This one man was Studebacher Hoch, fantastic new super hero of the current economic slump. Now, some folks say he looked like Zubin Mehta (Zubin Mehta); still others say "Bullshit, honey, it was just another greasy guy who happened to be born next to the frozen beef pies at Boney's Market..."; still others say "Pshaw, and piss on you, Jack, he's just a crazy Italian who drove a red car ..." You see, nobody ever really knew for sure because Studebacher was sooooo mysterious ...

He was so (he was so, he was so) mysterious
He was so (he was so, he was so) mysterious
'Cuz when a person gets to be such a hero, folks
And marvelouse 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 ... amazed ...

Time passed. January, February, March, July, Wednesday, August, Irwindale, two-thirty in the afternoon, Sunday, Monday, Funny Cars, Walnuts, City of Industry, Big John Masamanian ... So when the phone ring in the secret briefcase, a strong masculine hand with a Dudley Do-Right wristwatch and flexy braclet grabbed it 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 you 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 how's your wife's hemorrhoids?...ah, that's too bad... Listen... so you've got a mountain, with a tree, listen, causing... well, let me write this down... sorta take a few notes here... yeah? ...to El Segundo, huh?...causing

untold destruction.(my baby, my baby)...wanted for draft evasion?... an expense account? ... and per diem, too?..."

SOME MEN SAY HE COULD DANCE
They said he could dance
And of course they were right ...

Ladies and gentelmen, this is it: The Studebacher Hoch Dancing Lesson & Cosmic Prayer For Guidence, featuring Aynsley Dunbar! ... HIT IT! ...
TWIRLY, TWIRLY, TWIRLY, TWIRLY, TWIRLY, Fillmore ...
Hey, right hand from a heart
Left hand from a heart
Right hand from a heart
Left hand from a left shoulder
To the heart. Fillmore, Fillmore ...
Nobody can dance like Studebacher Hoch ...
So many rumors have spread about Studebacher Hoch ... consider this rumor which was published about three weeks ago in ROLLING STONE ("oh, it's gotta be true!) ... Studebacher Hoch can write the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin!" (NO!) do-do-do do-do-doot doot do-do-do ... ... I'm so hip ... beef pies ... he was born next to the beef pies, underneath Joni Mitchell's autographed picture, right beside Elliot Robert's big bank book, next to the boat where Crosby flushed away all his stash and the cops got him in the boat and drove away, to the can where Neil Young slipped another disc ...

(Frozen? pie
Frozen? pie
Frozen? pie
And that was the main influence on him
The influence of a frozen beef pie)

Boldly springing into action he phoned his wife who ran a modeling school, whereupon he... yes, he ran around the back of the Broadway at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine to see if he could find himself some big, large, unused cardboard boxes (no shit!)... after which he hit up the Ralph's on Sunset for some Aunt Jemima syrup, some Kaiser boiler foil and pair of blunt sissors, yeah! ... yes, and in the parking lot of Ralph's ... where no prices are lower prices than Ralph's... in the parking lot of Ralph's, in between a pair of customized trucks where nobody was looking, he cut out some really, really, really nice wings and he covered them thoroughly with foil ...

Then he took those wings and wedged one under each of his powerful arms and sneaked into a telephone booth .YES, YES! And then he shut the f*cking door! ... And he pulled down his blue denim policeman-type trouser pants, and he spread even amounts of Aunt Jemima maple syrup all over the inside of his legs! ... Soon the booth was filling with flies (help me! help me! help me!) ... He held open the legs of his boxer shorts so they could all get in, and when each and every one of those little cocksucking flies had gone into his pants and they were lapping up all that maple syrup, he bent over and he put his head between his legs and he said in a very clear, impressive, Ron Hubbard-type voice: "New York" ... And the booth and everything lifted up, out of parking lot, and into the sky.

Studebacher Hoch
YEAH, YEAH,
Studebacher Hoch
Studebacher Hoch
Studebacher Hoch
YEAH, YEAH,
Studebacher Hoch
Studebacher Hoch
He's coating his legs
With Aunt Jemima syrup up and down
His shorts will be filled with flies
That will be buzzing all around
Studebacher Hoch is really outa sight
Studebacher Hoch, he does it every night
Studebacher Hoch, he treats the flies all right
Studebacher Hoch
That's why they never bite, hey!

Hey please to New York
Fly to New York

He could be a dog
Or a frog
Or a lesbian queen
(Fly to New York)
He could be a narc
Or a lady marine
Or he might play dirty
He's over thirty
Getting old ...
I don't know
His peculiar attire
And the flies he requires
Keep leading him on
'Cuz Ethel is gone
They keep leading him on
'Cuz Ethel is gone
And the mountain she's on

And speaking of mountains - - we'll join Studebacher Hoch on the edge of BILLY THE MOUNTAIN's mouth . take it away! ...

"Ah ... ya, ya, ya, hey-ah, Billy, listen ... I've come to reason with you ... our great country needs you in the armed forces ... Your number came up ... ya can't go on running like this forever ..."

Ah, but Ethel just shook her twigs angrily. But Studebacher Hoch, calm, cool, collected and unperturbed, continued:

"Ya, well listen ... listen you communist sonofabi*ch ... you better get your a$s down there for your fuc*in' physical or I'll see to it that you get used for fill dirt in some impending New Jersey marsh reclamation ... And your girlfiend there will wind up disguised as series of brooms, primative ironing boards or a dog house ... get the (cough, cough) get the picture?"

Ya, well Billy just laughed:

"Ha, ha, ha. If they think they're gonna draft me, they're crazy."

Unfortunately, because Studebacher Hoch was standing on the edge of BILLY THE MOUNTAIN's mouth when the giant mountain laughed ... Studebacher Hoch lost his footing and fell screaming, two hundred feet into the rubble below ... ("Aaahhhhh, oh f*ck, I'm gonna need a truss ...")

Ah listen, that only goes to show you
And it'l show you once again that
A mountain is something you don't wanna f*ck with
You don't wanna f*ck with
Don't f*ck around
Don't f*ck around
Don't f*ck with Billy, No
And don't f*ck with Ethel
You saw what just happened
To the guy with the flies

Don't uck around
Don't uck around
Don't uck around
Don't uck around
Don't uck around
Don't uck around
Don't uck around
With Biddilly, Biddilly
Biddilly The Mountain

Eddie, are you kidding?
Eddie, are you kidding?
Oh I forgot to mention this is where we take our intermission.
we will see you in a few minutes
Thank you, We'll be back.

 
 

Posted - November 26

Responses


  • 26526

      (it’s its entirety)
      November 27, 2019 12:06 AM MST
    1

  • 44071
    I was too busy taking the "f's" out so My 2 doesn't flag this.

    Ah listen, that only goes to show you
    And it'l show you once again that
    A mountain is something you don't wanna f*ck with
    You don't wanna f*ck with
    Don't f*ck around
    Don't f*ck around
    Don't f*ck with Billy, No
    And don't f*ck with Ethel
    You saw what just happened
    To the guy with the flies

    Don't uck around
    Don't uck around
    Don't uck around
    Don't uck around
    Don't uck around
    Don't uck around
    Don't uck around
    With Biddilly, Biddilly
    Biddilly The Mountain

    This post was edited by Trump is toast tic tic tic tic at November 27, 2019 9:48 AM MST
      November 27, 2019 9:47 AM MST
    0

  • 26546
    NO!
      November 27, 2019 7:21 AM MST
    1

  • 4461
    I think Billy and Ethel was a metaphor for the common people of the United States. And the song was about if the common folk luck out and get some extra money and they want to have some fun and go on vacation but the powers that be don't like it they will try to stop them with propaganda by labelling them as drug dealers and communist. And if that doesn't work they will send out special agents like  Studebacer  Hock to destroy them. But the moral of the story is a mountain (the common folk) is something you don't want to F with. Cheers!
      November 27, 2019 9:43 AM MST
    2

  • 44071
    No fair. You had time to study this.  LOL  But.... I think Frank was doing an autobio.  The getting famous part makes me think so.  
      November 27, 2019 9:46 AM MST
    1

  • 4461
    Bit of Zappa trivia - In the 70's or 80's the US Government took Zappa to court claiming his music was inappropriate and they tried telling him what he could or couldn't  say in his music. Zappa represented himself and he made them look like foolish out of touch dictators. I think Zappa is part of the reason why we still have freedom of musical speech these days. You can find the transcripts of Zappa's hearings on line. Cheers! 
      November 27, 2019 10:13 AM MST
    1

  • 44071
    I was wondering later on, why he was so INCENDIARY regarding freedom of speech.  

    I don't think back then, that he realized that words can be so corrupting.  I was totally behind him and anti-Tipper (self-righteous housewife) Gore when she wanted to censor music by labeling it.  Now I think it is a good idea.  Now that we have taken freedom of speech to such lows that it is easy for a kid to learn all about hating and killing an enemy put to music.... well, I don't think Zappa considered that aspect, it was another era.   I would like to think that he would have softened up a tad when he saw how out of control Free speech by anyone anywhere, has become.  We need better tools.  
      November 27, 2019 10:26 AM MST
    1

  • 17188
    I think it is the ramblings of a high man. 
    Ties into environment....if you mess up with the earth...it will mess you up too. 

    I do have to confess I did not get all the way through it.
      November 27, 2019 10:12 AM MST
    2

  • 44071
    I don't blame you.  But Frank Zappa never did a drug, nor took a drink.  He was a composer of music and he never learned any music traditionally.  He wrote for every instrument and he was self-taught.  This was the 60's and he looked like the biggest freak imaginable, but he was a serious musician who spent his days composing.  And he taught himself.  His hippie band was worn out in his service because if you did not love and live music, you would just lose the energy and go elsewhere.  

    So, when he writes seeming gibberish?  It is hilarious.  Because there is a message.  Behind the insanity.  He was big on insanity, with a message.  If you read Nanoose, I think you can get a clearer picture.  
      November 27, 2019 10:30 AM MST
    2

  • 44071
    You DID NOT????? GET THROUGH IT?  THAT IS YOUR JOB.   How will you know that there is not swear words?  

    I spent a good 20 minutes editing the swear words and you did not even see them???   OH MAN.  
      November 27, 2019 10:31 AM MST
    2

  • 17188
    I seen and appreciate that you edited them. 
    I do not have to read it to spot the curse words just quick skim and they jump out to me. 
    (You missed two but I got them) 
      November 27, 2019 10:35 AM MST
    1

  • 1839
    Frank Zappa was a musical genius who never indulged in illegal or legal narcotics
      November 27, 2019 4:34 PM MST
    0

  • 17188
    Well that is good for him. But thiss song sounds like someone doped up. Maybe he was just sleep deprived. 
      November 27, 2019 4:38 PM MST
    0

  • 1839
    Zappa was a musical genius.

    "Billy The Mountain" is classic Zappa that was released in 1972 on the Just Another Band from L.A. album

    If you think this sounds like it's from someone who is "Sleep Deprived", you obviously don't listen to that A$$hole in the Whitehouse. When he talks he sounds as though he has a parasite nesting in his tiny brain laying eggs in his left frontal lobe This post was edited by Goatzart De Composing at November 27, 2019 7:22 PM MST
      November 27, 2019 7:21 PM MST
    0

  • 4461
    His album Apostrophe is my favorite - loved Dynamo Hum. Cheers!
      November 27, 2019 7:27 PM MST
    1

  • 44071
    Apostrophe is also mine.  The one before it was amazing too.   This was supposed to be Bobby Brown on Sheik Yerbouti.  I give up.  Screw it.
    This post was edited by Trump is toast tic tic tic tic at November 27, 2019 7:35 PM MST
      November 27, 2019 7:30 PM MST
    1

  • 1839
    Bobby Brown is a slug. He killed Whitney Houston
      November 27, 2019 7:36 PM MST
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  • 1839
    Oh yes! That is an excellent album, Nanoose. Zappa has always intrigued me and made me smile. I have a particular fondness for the album "Burnt Weeny Sandwich".  Weeny is interesting because of how structured and tight the musical arrangements are. I like how it is more focused on the music than the storytelling stylism like his other works.
    This post was edited by Goatzart De Composing at November 27, 2019 7:35 PM MST
      November 27, 2019 7:34 PM MST
    0

  • 1839
    "Where can I go to get organic Vasoline for my menopause?"

    lol
      November 27, 2019 4:35 PM MST
    1

  • 26546
    Vasoline...or petroleum jelly, is already organic. It is 1,1,2-Trimethylbenzeindole. I only use it to lubricate scews when I am joining wood.
      November 27, 2019 7:35 PM MST
    2

  • 1839
    Vasoline or "petroleum jelly" makes for a terrible personal lubricant. I used it once and set someone on fire
      November 27, 2019 7:42 PM MST
    1

  • 44071
    It is petroleum.  LOL  I don't want it.  
      November 27, 2019 7:48 PM MST
    2

  • 26546
    What? Your car uses carrot juice?
      November 27, 2019 7:55 PM MST
    0

  • 44071
    Then you can tell all the girls they can kiss your hiney. 

    (Bobby Brown Sheik Yerbouti)  I saw Zappa.  I SAW HIM LIVE.  It was AM AZ ING.  1974
      November 27, 2019 7:36 PM MST
    1