Bill's Tune

from Snips and Snails by Leslie Hudson

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written April 2000

Reflections from 2020:

One of my oldest musician friends, Bill Craig, can entertain the socks off anyone who hears him. A true baritone who cut his teeth in rock and metal bands in Ireland, a cross-continental touring force of nature for 60 years, he knows more Trad songs by heart than I've ever heard. Now that I'm a touring musician myself I have a deeper appreciation for the patience he showed every person who every requested The Black Velvet Band and love hearing him play when he comes to town.


There once was a man who could play the guitar
You’d oft find him playing it deep in some bar
He’d smile at the crowd and he’d play them a song
And on a good night they might all sing along

Now there were some hundred-odd songs he could play
And sing with a range that could blow you away
He’d ask for a challenge in the wee hours of the morn
The call would come back for that old Unicorn

His hands strumming chords that he’d ne’er need rehearse
And just as he’s aiming to finish the verse
You’d see something twitch and his fans had no doubt
That tired old Unicorn would soon twist and shout

He’d play the itsy bitsy spider with a Metallica ring
But he wouldn’t play Johnny Cash or any old thing
The occasional Lightfoot this bard could enjoy
But a man at the bar requests Oh Danny Boy

And out of frustration this player he’d say
Why can’t you request something different today?
No more John Denver! I’m taking a stand
And no, I will not play the Black Velvet Band

So if in your travels you happen to meet
Our good friend named Bill, you’re in for a treat
He’ll let you come up, you can sing him a song
And on a good night he might just sing along

Yes, on a good night he might just sing along


from Snips and Snails, released March 15, 2010


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Leslie Hudson Stratford, Ontario

Leslie Hudson is a Canadian singer songwriter and pianist. Her albums range from storytelling styles to bluesy bar rock to dialed-up, full-band homages to pop culture. With lyrical piano skills and a voice that cuts through the crowd, her songs dive deep into archetype and folklore, modernizing ancient voices as she shines a spotlight on the shadowy paths we walk through life, myth and media. ... more

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