Carolina Drama

Album: Consolers Of The Lonely (2008)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This Southern gothic ballad tells of a kid named Billy, his brother and their mother, who witnesses her loser boyfriend attacking a priest with a hammer. The London Times asked Jack White where this song came from. He replied: "Brendan (Benson) was over at my house a year ago, and we were playing acoustic guitar, and I just said this line: 'This is a story about Billy and his brother and I'm going to tell it again…' That line isn't even in the song any more but that's what generated the whole story. That line gave me the job to do - it told me to get to work. Billy and his brother - what's going on there?"
  • White was reluctant to name the main character in the song Billy, since that name shows up in so many songs ("Which Way You Goin' Billy?," "Billy Don't Be A Hero"). According to the notes for White's Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 album, which includes an acoustic mix of this track, Bob Dylan suggested he name the character Eddie, but that's the name of White's brother, so he stuck with Billy.
  • The working title of the song was "Battle of the Bottle."
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Comments: 3

  • Bay from Weaverville, CaI think its a funny story!
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniai heard bob dylan helped him with the lyrics?
  • Alex from Hometown, PaI read somewhere else that Jack probably got the idea from a kind of folktale similar to this. Stressing the word probably, because the person didn't know for sure, but had a hunch.

    There was a big deal about this on a site that has people analyze lyrics. They wanted to know who the priest and the milkman really were and things like that. (:
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