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Published on Aug 29, 2007
This song from 1911 was composed by Lucien Denni, with lyrics by Roger Lewis.
Frederick does not sing the song here, but he plays it in a way where you could sing along, before changing key and really opening up.
So, here are the lyrics:
Billy McCoy Was a musical boy On the cruiser Alabama He was there at that piana Like a fish down in the sea He would rattle off some harmony, Ev'ry night out on the ocean He would get that raggy notion Start that syncopated motion lovingly, No one could sleep Way out there on the deep When Billy cut loose out at sea.
[Refrain] Each fish and worm Begins to twist and squirm The ship goes in a dip And does a corkscrew turn, You see that smoke so black Sneak from that old smokestack? It's floatin' right to heaven And it won't come back. Now here and there You'll see a stool and chair A-slippin' round the cabin Sayin' "I don't care!" Then the hammock starts a-swingin' And the bell begins a-ringin' While he's sittin' at that piana There on the Alabama Playin' the Oceana Roll!
England or Spain It was always the same He'd be there at that piana On the cruiser Alabama Ev'ry morning, noon and night He would keep it up with all his might, Ev'ry time he'd start a-playin' All the boys would start a-swayin' Ev'ry one would keep on sayin' "Don't you stop!" Sailors take care Oh, sailors beware For Bill will play on 'til you drop!
Recorded Friday 10 August 2007 during the 9th annual Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival.