"The Ballad Of Billy The Kid" as written by and Billy Joel....
From a town known as Wheeling, West Virginia
Rode a boy with a six gun in his hand
And his daring life of crime
made him a legend in his time
east and west of the Rio Grande.

Well he started with a bank in Colorado
in the pocket of his vest, a Colt he hid
and his age and his size
took the teller by surprise
and, the word spread of Billy the kid

Well he never travelled heavy
yes he always rode alone
and he soon put many older guns to shame
and he never had a sweetheart
and he never had a home
but the cowboy and the rancher knew his name

Well he robbed his way from Utah to Oklahoma
and the largest could not seem to track him down
and it served his legend well
For the folks they loved to tell about
When Billy the kid came to town

Well one cold day a posse captured Billy
and the judge said "String him up for what he did"
And the cowboys and their kin
like the sea, came pouring in
to watch the hanging of Billy the kid.

Well he never travelled heavy
yes he always rode alone
and he soon put many older guns to shame
and he never had a sweetheart
but he finally found a home
under the boothill grave that bears his name.

From a town known as Oyster Bay Long Island
Rode a boy with a six pack in his hand
and his daring life of crime
made him a legend in his time
east and west of the Rio Grande


Lyrics submitted by fletch699

"The Ballad Of Billy The Kid" as written by Billy Joel

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Ballad Of Billy The Kid song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentfor the record, its Oyster Bay, Long Island

    and the boy with the six pack is Billy Joel
    Twinb1983on September 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsix pack of beer maybe ;-)
    LolaBaton November 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand FYI, historical content is completely incorrect, but we'll forgive Billy because the song is AWESOME!
    LolaBaton November 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDuring a recent concert, Billy Joel mentioned his moving to the West Coast, and this was his attempt of articulating the whole concept of the "Wild Wild West," and he also did mention that he is aware that it is completely incorrect :)
    mauroraon February 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentActually, the "boy with the six-pack in his hand" is actually another Bill that Joel knew growing up. If I remember right he was a bartender.
    Quigleyon May 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne cold day a posse captured Billy
    And the judge said string him up for what he did
    And the cowboys and their kin
    Like the sea came pouring in to watch
    The hangin' of Billy the Kid

    One of the best story tellers I've even had the pleasure to listen to.
    grumpyrhondaon November 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUGH. The song is Ballad of Billy the Kid.
    smellingtheroses12on February 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom a town known as Wheeling, West Virginia
    Rode a boy with a six-gun in his hand
    And his daring life of crime
    Made him a legend in his time
    East and west of the Rio Grande

    Well, he started with a bank in Colorado
    In the pocket of his vest, a Colt he hid
    And his age and his size
    Took the teller by surprise
    And the word spread of Billy the Kid

    Well, he never traveled heavy
    Yes, he always rode alone
    And he soon put many older guns to shame
    And he never had a sweetheart
    And he never had a home
    But the cowboy and the rancher knew his name

    Well, he robbed his way from Utah to Oklahoma
    And the law just could not seem to track him down
    And it served his legend well
    For the folks, they'd love to tell
    'Bout when Billy the Kid came to town

    (PIANO INTERLUDE)

    Well, one cold day a posse captured Billy
    And the judge said, "String 'im up for what he did!"
    And the cowboys and their kin
    Like the sea came pourin' in
    To watch the hangin' of Billy the Kid

    Well, he never traveled heavy
    Yes, he always rode alone
    And he soon put many older guns to shame
    And he never had a sweetheart
    But he finally found a home
    Underneath the boothill grave that bears his name

    From a town known as Oyster Bay, Long Island
    Rode a boy with a six-pack in his hand
    And his daring life of crime
    Made him a legend in his time
    East and west of the Rio Grande

    -----------

    I love Joel. He's made a killing on his music (and rightfully so), but these lyrics are already all over the Internet. (Sorry Billy:). If you get a chance to listen to this song, do. It's as though you're listening to historical poetry. Just a great song!
    smellingtheroses12on February 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAt a first glance, this is just an amazing western song by the most AWESOME musician ever. But at the end where it says:
    "From a town known Oyster Bay Long Island
    Rode a boy with a six pack in his hand
    And a daring life of crime
    Made him a legend in his time
    East and west of the Rio Grande" It makes me think that there is at least some biographical meaning to it. Last I checked, a "six pack" referred to someones abs or six cans of beer which probably weren't very popular back in the 1800's. Plus Billy the Kid being a wild west icon, probably never was even close to Long Island.
    computer37on May 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn this song Billy Joel poetically shows A change in the times By putting subtlety unsubtle changes Between the first and last verses. The first verse takes place In the 1800s with Billy the kid During which time a daring life of crime meant carrying around a 6 gun and robbing banks. Meanwhile in the last verse taking place During the late 20th-early 21st century he reffers to carrying around a "6 pack" (reffering to beer) As a daring life of crime trying to show a distinction between the times.
    jsimion December 15, 2016   Link

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