Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)Words & Music by Jack Yellen and Milton Ager, 1924
Recorded by Leon Redbone, 1978
D A7 D B7 In the town of Louie-ville E7 Bm7-5 G G/F# E7 Lived a man they called Big Bad Bill; A7 Em7 G A7 A7+5 D I want to tell you, he sure was tough -- Cdim Em7 A7 He certainly did strut that stuff. D A7 D B7 He had folks scared to death; E7 Bm7-5 G G/F# E7 When he walked by they held their breath. E7 Bm7-5 E7 Em7/9 Fdim A7 He was a fightin' man, sure e - nough. G B7 E7 Now Bill took himself a wife, G/B A7 G/B Cdim A7 Just to lead a dif'frent life. D Em7 D A7 G Em7 A7 D G D A7 Big Bad Bill is Sweet William now; D Em7 D A7 D Cdim A7 Married life has changed him somehow. G G/F# Em7 Gdim He's the man that they all used to fear D F#7 B7 Now the people call him sweet Papa Willy Dear E7 Bm7-5 B7 E7 Stronger than Samson, I declare, A7 G/B A7 Em7 A7 Til a soft-skinned Delilah bobbed his hair. D Em7 D A7 D Em7 A7 D G D A7 Big Bad Bill don't fight an - y - more; D Em7 D A7 D F#7 B7 Wash - es dish - es and he mops up the floor. G Em7 C#7 Used to spend his ev'nings lookin' for a fight; D F#7 B7 Now he's got to see his momma ev'ry night. G Em7 A7 Em7 A7 D Big Bad Bill is Sweet William now.
Thanks once again to frequent visitor Mal Ginn -- for the request, the audio source, and even a chart to work from. I transposed it and then fiddled with it a good deal more than necessary (to tell the truth, it didn't need tweaking, but I can't leave anything alone.) I did take a couple of liberties with the lyrics, relying in part on a Doris Day version that is slightly more politically correct.