Album: The Buoys (1971)
Charted: 17
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  • This was written by Rupert Holmes, who in addition to his hit "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)," has written a novel called Where The Truth Lies, an Emmy-winning TV series called Remember WENN, and several plays, including The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, which won five Tony awards.
  • Rupert was 20 years old and had been in the record business for about a year. He was struggling and willing to do just about anything in the music business. He arranged the Charlie Pride song folio, wrote lead sheets for The Blind Boys Of Alabama, wrote the marching band arrangement for "Jingle Bell Rock" and the high school arrangement of "Oye Como Va" by Santana. He was the voice of studio groups and wrote shampoo commercials for Dorothy Hamill. His friend, Michael Wright, was a junior engineer at Scepter Records recording studio, which was at 254 W. 54th, in the same building that Studio 54 was later in.

    Michael had the keys to a recording studio on the weekend when it wasn't in use and would go in and record songs with Rupert. He found a group out of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania named The Buoys, and somehow Scepter Records, which was the label of Dionne Warwick and BJ Thomas, agreed to release one single that they would record. Michael knew the label would not promote the song, but wanted to make the most of the opportunity. Rupert suggested they record a song that would get banned. That way, there would at least be some controversy about the group and another label might sign them and promote them. So Rupert tried to write a song that would get banned.
  • Holmes told Songfacts: "At the time, I was working on an arrangement of 'Sixteen Tons,' the Tennessee Ernie Ford hit from the '50s, for an artist named Andy Kim. While I was working on the arrangement, there was a cooking show on the TV in the kitchen. It was called The Galloping Gourmet with Graham Kerr. It's on in the background and I'm singing the lyrics to '16 Tons,' playing it to a kind of vamp sort of like 'Proud Mary,' and I sing:

    Some people say a man is made out of mud
    A coal man's made out of muscle and blood
    Muscle and blood and skin and bones
    A mind that's weak and a back that's...

    And I think, you know, that almost sounds like a recipe - muscle and blood and skin and bones, bake in a moderate oven for two hours, top with Miracle Whip. I had seen the movie Suddenly Last Summer about a week earlier on TV, and it had a revelation about cannibalism in it, and I thought, If it's good enough for Tennessee Williams, it's good enough for The Buoys. So I thought, Cannibalism during a mining disaster, that'll get banned. It's not like I'm really telling people to go out and eat someone, this is just this dark, horrible thing that happened in this story. So I write this lyric: 'Timothy, Timothy, where on Earth did you go?' It's about three boys who are trapped in a mine with water but no food for maybe a week. When they're pulled free, they don't remember what happened, but they know they're not hungry. One of them is missing, and that's Timothy. We record this on the weekend and I don't think about it again."
  • When this was released, some little radio stations played it and kids would hear it and figure out what it was about. They would call and request the song, and the radio stations, surprised by the phone response, would then listen to the song to find out what it was about.

    Said Holmes: "They played the song originally because it had a nice rhythm, kind of like a Creedence Clearwater Revival feel. It was catchy enough, but then they'd hear what the song was about and say 'We can't be playing this, it's about cannibalism!' and they'd pull the song off the air. The kids would call in and say 'Why'd you pull the song off the air,' and they'd say, 'Because it's disgusting, you shouldn't be listening to stuff like that.' Well, all you have to do is tell a teenage kid that he shouldn't be listening to something because it's disgusting and vile and loathsome, and he'll demand it. So the record, unlike 'Piña Colada,' which vaulted up the charts, went up like one or two digits every week. It was on the charts forever. Stations were playing it, kids were clamoring for it, it would move up the charts, then the station would pull it, the kids would clamor more and some other station would go on it to satisfy that demand. It just kept going up the charts."
  • This song posed a problem for the record label. Said Holmes: "Scepter Records in the beginning did not even know it was on their label. The promotion men for Scepter Records, who were trying to break a Beverly Bremers single, would say, 'We couldn't get it on that station, they went with this stupid song called Timothy.' Finally, someone said, 'You idiot, it's on our label.'

    Now they have a problem, because now they're getting up towards the Top 20, and they know there are some big stations that are simply not going to play this record. WABC-AM, the biggest station at the time, they never played it. Scepter Records started a rumor that Timothy was a mule to try to get the taint of cannibalism out of the picture and try to make it a Top 10 record. Someone called me and said, 'Was Timothy a mule? You wrote it.' And I said 'No, what can I tell you, they ate him.'
  • Holmes explained: "It did better than we intended it to do. It was supposed to just start the controversy, instead it actually was a hit. I was a 20 year old kid hungry not for human flesh, but hungry to do something successful in the music business. I think I diagnosed a dilemma that a friend of mine had and found an effective way of solving his problem."
  • This was the only Top 40 hit for the Buoys. They did get an LP deal from Scepter Records out of it, they had a couple of other records that placed in the Top 100.
  • In a Songfacts interview, Holmes said: "Whenever people talk about Timothy, I always say, 'Where did you come from?' Because that always lets me know. If they were from Florida, it was big there, if they were from Pennsylvania, very big. Texas, they know it. But if you're from New York you've never heard of it."
  • There are two known edited versions of this song released as white label promo 45s on Scepter. The A-side of both promos feature the unedited version. The B-side of SDR-12275 indicates "REVISED LYRIC" under the song title. The "My stomach was full" lyric is changed to "Both of us fine as we could be." The B-side of the other promo (SDJ-12275) indicates "EDITED, BLEEPED OUT" under the song title. While the "My stomach..." lyric is kept in this one, the word "hell" in the second verse is covered up with a quick bleep. Unless confirmed, there is no known "third edited version" with both edits combined into one mix. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Denny - Pittsburgh, PA

Comments: 82

  • Amy From Nepa from Scranton, PaSomething magical about Bill Kelly's vocals, he makes cannibalism sound amazing! Lol
  • Heather A-c from Frankfort NyThose were wonderful tymes… .whether you thought the songs were silly or not… still great tymes/tunes! Short People… DOA… Rubber Band Man… Get Down (Gilbert O Sullivan)… Mr Sun Mr Moon… Timothy… Midnight at the Oasis… Harper Valley PTA… Nobody… (remember that one? Sylvia. It was a big one! Country I believe!) Yummy,Yummy,Yummy..the list goes on! (can’t forget my favorite..Oh Heather Honey)… man, I miss those songs and those wonderful days… :
  • Rael from MaineI was 19 when this song came out and I loved it. I'd play it in the car while I was driving around, which is what we did in those days. The catchy tune caught me at first, and then I listened closely to the lyrics and thought they were hilarious. I'm 71 now, and I still do!
  • Tess from MiamiI remember that song, and it was a a good one, did't take much to figure out that the 2 guys ate Timothy, wow! that was very creepy, what made this band record those lyrics!!
    go figure...
  • Susan from KentuckyTimothy was a horse.
  • Mike from Syracuse NyI remember hearing this all the time on AM radio when it came out. I still love it !
  • Nancy from Niagara Falls I always loved thst song when I was little, not really knowing what it really was about, after I kind of knew I was was trying to think positive that "Timothy" was the Canary that was kept in a mineshaft. I didn't realize that"Timothy" was another guy trapped in the mineshaft til a few years ago when I read about it I still love the song probably because of the tune, but it is a little bit gross now knowing what it really is about
  • Vincent from Norfolk VaEvery time I ask someone if they remember this song about canibalism in a mine, they tell me it never existed, no way. I finally met a lady who knew the song, and that it was called Timothy. Vindication!!
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenThis song should inspire everyone to serve their fellow men.
  • Snap from PittsburghOriginally from Allentown, PA., I was an intern at WNEP-TV 16 in 1987 and had no idea that The Buoys were from Wilkes-Barre. The song had gotten a lot of play in the Allentown area, and one morning it played on the radio at the TV station and Frank Andrews (a noon news anchor at the time) assured me that it was about a mule. Apparently he swallowed the KoolAid as well, as we now know that it WAS about a person. Ironically, I got a job at WNEP after the internship and moved to Wilkes-Barre, right across the bridge from Kingston, PA., where many of the bandmates were from (The Crackerbox!!). I spent a lot of time at the Playboy Steakhouse and Murray's, as well. I wanted to say, that YES, they DID release a 45 with a donkey picture and name of the band above as some folks wondered...Jerry's Records here in Pittsburgh had several. Big fan of Bloodrock and Sugarloaf as well.
  • Christi from ArizonaI named my son Timothy. I guess I could have said his name was from the Bible, but it came from the song about cannibalism. He tells everyone to get their reaction, then plays the song for them. Now he has since legally changed his name to Tim but that's in the song too. Let's face it, we all loved the song for one reason or another.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 28th 1969, "Jennifer Tomkins" by the Street People entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on March 1st, 1970 it peaked at #36 (for 1 week) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    Rupert Holmes was a member of Street People and also composed "Jennifer Tomkins"...
    Exactly a year later "Timothy" entered the Top 100 (note the connection to the next post below).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyDOUBLE SEVENTEENS!!!!
    On December 27th, 1970 "Timothy" by the Buoys entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on April 25th, 1971 it peaked at #17 (for 2 weeks) and also spent 17 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was composed by Rupert Homes; who reached #1 on the Top 100 on December 22nd, 1979 with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)"...
    Bloodrock's "D.O.A." also debut on the Top 100 on December 27th, 1970.
  • Lars from Las Vegas, NvThis song has haunted me since 4th grade,but I didn't know enough about it to find it.So I thought Sound like something from Jesus Christ Super Star to me now. which isn't a bad thing. m/
  • Timothy from Ashburn, VaI seem to remember, along with the label attempting to convince people that Timothy was a mule or donkey, that there was a record sleeve (I believe for the 45) which showed a picture of a donkey, with "Timothy" written in crude script above it, and an arrow pointing down. Does anyone else remember such a thing? I have been searching the internet for an image of it, but have had no success. And yes, my name is also Timothy. The song scared the crap out of me when people explained what it was about.
  • Jennifer from Scottsdale, AzI have always loved this song and I probably did not know what it was about on first listen when I was a kid but I have always been a lyrics junkie and soon figured it out. I first heard the unedited version in Chicago. My family moved to Phoenix in '73 (I was 12) and I remember feeling gypped when they played the edited version here. Thank god THAT didn't last long. I also got here at a time when Alice Cooper was getting really big. He had some really sick songs and I totally got into it. I have always liked macabre, offbeat music. Maybe that's why I like punk rock too. Any other Timothy/Alice Cooper/Punk Rock fans out there or am I an enigma?
  • Rob from Pittsburgh, PaCan you imagine the conversation down at the record label?
    "Hey man, I just wrote a new rock & roll song. I think it could be a hit!"
    "Oh, yeah? What's it about -- beautiful girls walking on the beach?"
    "Fast cars and motorbikes?"
    "Well, then, what's it about?"
    "Mineshaft cannibalism."
    "Mmm, sounds like a hit!"
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxScepter Records attempted to deflect criticism about the song by claiming Timothy was actually a mule.
  • Linda from Cincinnati, Oh"Who remembers "Billy, Don't Be a Hero", "The Night Chicago Died", "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia". Then, there were the Jim Stafford ones, "I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes" and "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road". Seriously! What were we listening to back then? Lots of silly stuff, when I look back on it, but the serious stuff was born of the Vietnam war like "Four Dead in Ohio" by Neil Young. Overall, though, I guess, "Timothy" will always be one of the most nostalgic of the time.
  • Linda from Cincinnati, OhI was very young when this came out--first grade, but I was already a music lover and into the Grass Roots and Three Dog Night. I was talking in the lunch room to friends about picking out names for my sons and how I really liked the name Timothy, but just couldn't use it because of this song. The melody was so catchy and the main idea was completely foreign and mysterious to me at such a young age. I was asking if anyone remembered the "ballad" songs of the 70's. There were many.
  • Debbie from Colo Springs, CoTimothy was on the radio the same year DOA was on the radio..and I loved them both.
  • Rick from Belfast, MeThis song and DOA by Bloodrock are 2 of the morbid songs from the 1970's....I liked how they pulled it off....
  • Don from Manville, NjWABC in NYC may have never played the song but their competition at the time, WMCA must have. I grew up on Long Island and I still have the single of the song. I'm 56 now and sadly still chew my fingers and nails. When I'm gnawing at my fingers I wonder how Joe and the narrator managed to chow down on an uncooked Timothy.
  • Richard from Tacoma, WaWho cares about whether Timothy was a man or a mule. It didn't matter when you were a freshman in high school. All that mattered was listening to Timothy on the radio as I rode in my dad's beat up, old pick-up going some place. It's about the tune, man!
  • Marie from Va Beach, VaI wonder if Alice Cooper would play it on his radio show he does at night.... if I was to request it!!! I think I will try it!!
  • Marie from Va Beach, VaI too have told people about this song, and they look at me like I'm crazy, but I loved it too!! I was pretty young when it came out, but hey, I still have the 45!!! I recently requested it on BOBFM, the "we play anything station", but I have yet to hear it.... I think it might be just out of their realm of "anything"!
  • Niles from Belpre, OhKaren I remember wjps very well
  • Barry from Grand Rapids, Mi"Donner party of 5 your table is ready Donner party of.....uh, Donner party of three your table is ready..."
  • Irven from Bremerton,, WaI saw the Bouys at Satsop River Fair & Tin cup Races/1971, they performed "timothy", I bought the album it was on ( I thought timothy was a mule or a donkey) the song helped inspire me to write a song about a mine disaster in Washington state (1899)in Carbonado ,Wa.called Black Diamonds( about the reflection of coal in the eyes of a mule) Irven Lorance
  • Greg from Fairless Hill, Pathe website, www.laststandingman.com had extensive information about the song Timothy; the band, The Buoys; the writer, Rupert Holmes as well as photographs and other information about all things related to "Timothy." And, the song was ABSOLUTELY about cannibalism. Rupert Holmes deliberately wrote the song to be controversial to generate buzz and create airplay for The Buoys. Jerry Hludzik and Bill Kelly left The Buoys to form the Jerry-Kelly Band, then changed the band name to Dakota.
  • Karen from Chicago, IlHave always loved this song; listening to it on WJPS AM takes me back to my first year of highschool in Evansville, IN. I have told people about this song for years and most look at me like I'm crazy. Two things I just found out while reading this on Songfacts: 1. I thought it same out in '69 or '70
    2. The same guy that wrote the Pina Colada song wrote this?
    No way!
  • Dale from Pittsburgh, PaThis song is sometimes being replayed here at a local Pittsburgh radio station. It's amazing how, even today, it still causes a stir with human emotion. Got to love controversy!
  • Joe from Laredo, TxI remember this song being played on WGNI Wilmington, N.C. back in 1971 when I was a kid. It had such a catchy tone to it you can't help but hum it or say it over and over T i m o t h e y - T i m o t h y. Too bad they could not write a horror film out of this song (like chucky).
  • Eryc from Minneapolis, MnOh come on people, like you never ate anybody? Not even in college? We used to go out and pick up a drifter or a quiet freshman and a keg of beer...good times.
  • Farrah from Elon, NcIt was definitely about cannibalism. The song was great nonetheless.
  • Bob from Scranton, PaThis is my favorite song off the album Timothy. I have the autographs of all the band members. They signed the album cover at a reunion in Kingston,Pa. where the band members came from. The drummer Cris Hanlon still lives in the area. Bob,Jessup,Pa
  • Ric from Chicago, IlI was a sophomore in high school in the late spring of 71 when this song was climbing the top-40 charts. Since it debuted on Billboard in January of 71 and was on for 17 weeks (even longer as a re-current at some radio stations) it played well into late spring.
    This song was well played on WCFL, Chicago (Super CFL). I don't recall if it was played on WLS. It might have been, then taken off. WCFL didn't care as they always had a "hip" in your face attitude with their format. As with most kids I didn't care what the lyrics were about. I liked the music!
  • Jesse from San Diego, CaThis is for Amy from Myrtle Beach SC, Ares is where I found it.
  • Jesse from San Diego, CaI was 18 when heard that song first time (1971), in fact I do not understand very well what the song mean, but I really like the rithm, tru the years I heard very few times the song untill I buy a radio satelite and that song show up with the name and title so i find on the internet and download. Is when I knew what the song means.
  • Jim from St. Louis, MoHey you guys from the Chicago area: hum the first few notes of the "Timothy", lyrics lines, then hum the WBBM Newsradio 78 theme. They're the same!!!
  • Jim from Kingston, PaAbout 10 years prior to this song's release, just south of the Buoys' hometown was the "Sheppton Mine Disaster" where 3 miners were trapped in a coal mine cave-in. Two got out and one was never heard from again. It was on the national news for weeks until they were able to get to the miners. Strange stuff happened while they were trapped underground...but no cannibalism. Do a Google search or follow this link: http://members.fortunecity.com/margush/sheppton03.htm
  • Amy from Myrtle Beach, ScI'm with Leigh...I just told my musician fiance'(professional) about this song, and he didn't remember it all that well. Thought it was bubble-gum. But then he went to his collection and found 2 Rupert Holmes albums...but "Timothy" isn't on either of them! Ack! Where can I find it online? YouTube isn't listing it.
  • Leigh from St Louis, MoI remember this song really well. Through the years I had told people about it and they looked at me like I was crazy! I've printed out this page so I could prove to people it really exists. And I just heard on an oldies station the other day. (at 4:30 in the morning!)
  • Mike from Baltimore, Mdi can't remember when i first heard timothy, but i liked it from the start. then i figured out what they were singing and loved it. a few years later i got to see the buoys perform timothy a few times at a bar in newark, delaware called the stone balloon. showing my age here.
  • Megan from Flowery Branch, GaMy dad, Howard Reeves, wrote the horn arrangement for this song. He also played piano in the touring band with B.J. Thomas in the 60's. He conducted the Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was on, numerous times. Hope this adds some authentic and interesting details to your blog!
  • Norbert from Milwaukee, WiDave Barry in his book about bad songs that the readers suggested mentions this song. I was like 4 when it came out but I hunted it down on limewire and found it uncensored. Strange idea for a song... the book also mentions the song Him by Rupert Holmes as being bad. I like them anyway.
  • Mary from Red Wing, MnMust have heard this in '74 probably on a Milwaukee, WI station. Seems late, but I know I was in high school, and the song wasn't edited at that time. My older brother told me to listen carefully and then I discovered what the song was really about. Shortly after, I had an assignment on using dialogue in a high school Creative Writing class and decided to use this song as the basis for my characters and their dialogue. The teacher gave me an "A", but commented that it was such a macabre topic and where did I ever get the idea for it? I never told her, but I really laughed that she asked. :-) I wish I still had the story lying around somewhere, but I don't think I do.
  • Pete from St. Paul, MnThis tune is on Rhino's "Super Hits of the 70's - Have a Nice Day Vol. 6." R2 70926, which I bought just for this tune several years ago. The CD version is exactly the same (I assume unexpurgated) version I remember from the radio in St. Paul MN in the early '70's.
  • James from Yucaipa, CaI remember this song well in 1971 on wcro-am/johnstown,pa.I always knew timothy was a human & not a mule.Great song.I would like to hear the uncensored version.
  • Chuck from Lock Haven, PaTalking about Timothy for some reason at a break at work today, and found myself searching ... good for me ... Jerry Kelly played a small tavern in Lock Haven probably in about '80, and were playing originals in a place where Styx covers were the rage ... Someone in the crowd hollered "Free Bird" and the lads broke out of what they were playing, paused, and drilled into a song I remember as "You Only Get What You Pay For." It was a no-cover night. Never forgot it. They can sing and think and they made people smile.
  • Jim from Nanticoke, PaTimothy great song...check out Dakota's website at www.dakotajerrykelly.com
    You'll be able to hear this group....they are great.
    You have to hear Brothers In Arms....
  • Stephen from Scranton, PaYou can hear Dakota's version (a couple of the guys from the Buoys went on to form Dakota) at http://rhaplinks.real.com/rhaplink?rhapid=3761749&type=playlist&title=Playlist&from=real
    Just click Play Now in the Rhapsody pop up window -- you don't have to sign up for an account.
  • Roger from Albany, NyThe song first charted on 1/2/1971, and stayed on the charts for 17 weeks. If it had the slow ascent everyone's talking about, perhaps it WAS released in the summer of '70.
  • Duanne from Morris, IlI'll never forget John "Records" Landecker introducing this on Tru Oldies 94.7: "Nothing like a good ol' song about cannibalism!" I was like, "Huh???"
  • Joe from Wilkes-barre, PaBilly Kelly and the other Buoys used to play Saturday night dances at the Wilkes-Barre CYC, where I could see them for 50 cents. Best Beatles & (later) Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young imitators I've ever seen.

    "Timothy" became a local smash in summer of 1969, about two years before it hit nationally, as Rupert Holmes intimates above. In fact, by the time the Buoys recorded the album that Holmes mentions -- including Timothy -- their lineup had changed fairly dramatically, adding Jerry Hludzik on bass and Carl Siracuse (from the Glass Prism) on guitars and keyboards.

    I'm proud to say I have both their albums, one including that other Holmes-penned hit "Give Up Your Guns," which never became a national hit but was big locally in NE Pa.

    I also saw them called back for seven encores -- SEVEN -- at a concert at Bloomsburg State College in '72 or '73.

    I loved these guys.

  • Erin from Bellingham, WaI found myself humming the Timothy melody today and thought I should see what became of the song and/or band. Great background information here. I listened to this song in '71-72 from radio stations in North Carolina....maybe Rocky Mount where I was living at the time (west coast transplant). They played it a lot and when I realized the theme of the song, I always wondered how it got on the air. The lyrics never creeped me out because the song itself was really tight. But then I also liked, "They're Coming to Take Me Away..." in the '60's.
  • Jim from Ridgewood, NjI never heard this song, and the radio was on all day long in `70/`71. I was 9 years old in NJ, but in the NYC radio market... Now, the real question is: did Timothy die in the mine collapse or did Joe and our friend need to do him in? Maybe he was badly injured and Joe just put him out of his misery? Or maybe Tim had the same idea for Joe and it was gonna be one or the other? So many questions.
  • Bari from Brookings, OrI was just looking at the lyrics & maybe I made up my own as a kid but I seem to remember a verse that went... "Hungry as Hell no food to eat. Joe said that he would sell his soul for just a peice of meat.Timothy Timothy Joe was looking at you. Timothy Timothy God what did we do"

    The Lyrics I read are all screwed up from what I remember.
  • Charles from Lincoln, NeI heard the song in 4th grade in 1971. It was played as the revised lyric version that I possess today. A friend told me what the song meant, I kind of figured. Still a great song today & is still played once in a while by request on FM stations. Chas Lincoln,Ne.
  • Mark from West Wyoming, Pa (toy Town), PaGreat song. henna?! I lived one block over from Billy Kelly and down the street for Fran Brozena growing up. Billy's little brother Mike was one of My little league buddies. Tommy and Teresa were Billy's other siblings -- like everyone else in our neighborhood -- not rich in money, but rich in family values. In the late 60's The Buoys practiced at Hose Company No.2 on Stites Street one block any from Billy's parent', house in Toy Town also known as Atherton Park section of West Wyoming, PA located in the Wyoming Valley between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton - just north of the Poconos. After their brief national exposure they more or less found a niche even doing cruise ship shows. As a senior in Wyoming Area high school in 1979-80, they routinely played local gigs, eve-playing for Our high shcool dances. Their covers of Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, The Doobies, The Eagles and others were beyond comparison. In the 1990's Bill Kelly and Jerry Hludzik formed the Jerry-Kelly Band and either that album or the previous Dakota band lp was produced by Danny Seraphim (sp.), drummer for Chicago and actually recorded at their Caribou studies where Elton John recorded Caribou (duh). That band was also locally-based , primarily acoustic and a perennial act at The Station
    in Wilkes- Barre. Once on the way to a gig leaving his Mon's house in about 1977, I saw Bill with a banjo case -On the spot he stopped and played the banjo intro to The Eagles' "Midnight Flyer" just because I asked him to. I had no $ to buy the Timothy 45 So Bill's mom made sure I got one free signed by all band members. (Cool, henna?)
  • Denny from Watertown, NyI know it says 1971 as the Date of this song release, but I remember listening to it on on AM station out of Syracuse,NY during the summer of 1970, just before I left home for college at SU (Syracuse University).
  • Rhonda from Denver, CoI'm still wondering about the year it first came out. I remember it coming out at the same time in 1970 as "I'll Be There" by the Jackson Five, "Our House" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and "Indiana Wants Me". Someone, maybe even Rupert Holmes could straighten this out.

    Rhonda again, still in Denver, CO
  • Brian from Nanticoke, PaI am from Nanticoke Pa, just down the road from Wilkes-Barre, I remember how much airplay this song got in this area. The Buoys broke up and Bill Kelly and Jerry Hludzik went to form a band Dakota. Recently they opened for the Beach Boys at Kirby Park, in Wilkes-Barre.
  • Rhonda from Denver, CoI was 15 when Timothy first came out, and I remember it coming out in the fall of 1970, but all of the things I've read says 1971. Am I right or wrong?
  • Tracy from Longmeadow, MaThe best mix of this song can be found on THE SCEPTER BOX SET. In reality, the song is mostly mixed in monaural with the strings separated. An excellent tune... and top 10 up here in Springfield, Mass. I also recall seeing the picture sleeve with the question as to whether or not Timothy was a bull or human.
  • Tabbycat from Orange County, CaA new (2005) recording of the song performed by writer Rupert Holmes can be found on the 5-CD "Cast of Characters" box set.
  • Tabbycat from Orange County, CaSong was all over the radio in So Cal.

    For those looking for the recording, it's available on this Rhino CD: http://www.rhino.com/store/ProductDetail.lasso?Number=72124

    It used to be on one of the individual "Have a Nice Day" CDs also, but not sure which one. It's not listed on the box set.
  • Berk from Syracuse, NySaw this band in N.Syracuse (1971-72?) at a club named "The Place".The Buoys played Timothy to great applause and did covers very well for the resr of the night. They rocked pretty well.
  • Maureen from Columbus, OhWe were discussing cannibals last night and I mentioned Timothy. I had a brother Tim. We teased him about being a 'Tasty little morse" because of the song.
  • Armitage112 from Monroe Twp., NjHeard about this for the first time referenced in an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Grew up in the NYC area and NEVER heard it (that I can remember, that is--I was 2 when it was released). Anyway, came here looking for the lyrics, and the link doesn't work, so I found them someplace else:

    Artist: The Buoys

    The Buoys
    (Rupert Holmes)

    Trapped in a mine that had caved in
    And everyone knows the only ones left
    Were Joe and me and Tim
    When they broke through to pull us free
    The only ones left to tell the tale
    Were Joe and me

    Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?
    Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?

    Hungry as hell no food to eat
    And Joe said that he would sell his soul
    For just a piece of meat
    Water enough to drink for two
    And Joe said to me, "I'll have a swig
    And then there's some for you."

    Timothy, Timothy, Joe was looking at you
    Timothy, Timothy, God what did we do?

    I must have blacked out just around then
    'Cause the very next thing that I could see
    Was the light of the day again
    My stomach was full as it could be
    And nobody ever got around
    To finding Timothy
  • Barry from Hanover, IlI woke up this morning with the lyrics of Timothy in my head, tried to find it in ITunes, no luck, googled the lyrics, now I'm on a mission to add it to my collection. I remember the song while listening to it on WLS in Chicago.
  • Kathy from Buffalo, NyI'm from Buffalo, NY also. It was my favorite song back then. Don't remember exactly how old I was but it stayed in my head to this day. My husband who's been in Phoenix most of his life NEVER heard the song. Poor guy. Then he got to listen to me sing the song to him! Kathy, Phoenix, AZ
  • Gary from Buffalo, NdI'm from Buffalo, NY....this song was all over local AM in the '70s. A friend of mine's band did a cover in the '90s that was well received. This song was available on numerous local radio station's "greatest hits albums. I have it on various cd's of my own making. Good tune...was then...is now!....gary z //buffalo, ny
  • Al from Dallas, PaI was in my late teens when the Bouys came out with Timothy. Being a local group the song got tons of air play on the old AM radio dial. Oddly enough, several years before Rupert Holmes wrote Timothy there was a mine disaster in northeastern PA where three men were trapped in a mine cave-in, but only two were ever found. The fate of the third man was never known.
  • Tom from Cambridge, MdI heard this song quite a bit on Baltimore WCAO in the early 70s when I was a teenager.
  • Timothy L. from San Diego, CaHey Jesse from Camden NY and Tim near Philly PA,
    I was born in late 1966. That would've made me about 5 - 6 years old when The Buoys song Timothy came out. I've always had memories of my 8 older siblings and all the older neighbor kids singing this song to me. This prompted me to search for and download it a few years ago when Napster was still around.
  • Jesse from Camden, NyYour facts quote Rupert Holmes as saying "if you're from New York, you've never heard of it" referring to "Timothy". I am New York born and raised and I not only remember "Timothy", I remember all the words and tune. I was 14 in 1971 and it got airplay in the Utica/Rome/Syracuse area with the original lyrics even back then. Mr. Rupert's song was more popular than even he knows! - Jesse, Camden, NY
  • Clarke from Pittsburgh, PaThis was a #1 song in 1971 on KQV in Pittsburgh PA, just across the state from the Buoys' town of Wilkes-Barre. A "picture sleeve" for this 45 shows a letter from a girl asking what the song was all about, further stirring the controversy.
  • Tim from Near Philly, PaI was 9 years old when the song came out, and the youngest of five. My older siblings tortured me with this song telling me things like, "people named Tim get eaten" or "this song is about you! It's your future!"
    A few more decades of therapy should fix me right up!

    Tim - PA
  • Karmin from Garden Grove, CaThere is a completely uncensored version of this song. It was played on the Doctor Demento show on 02-09-1975.
  • Jim from Hanover, PaYes, With Lyrics Like That, Who Was Going To Believe That Story About The Mule ??
  • David from Greencastle, Pa3 men trapped in a cave-only 2 left when rescued.
    they ate timothy; "God,what did we do"!was the key phrase.
see more comments

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