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Billy Don’t be a Hero

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An anti-war single released in 1974 by Paper Lace, which because of its date of release is often associated with the Vietnam War. Instead, the lyrics tell the story of a young woman distraught at her fiancé’s call up to active duty during the American Civil War. The words are timeless and could be spoken by any woman in any conflict:

"Billy, don't be a hero! Don't be a fool with your life!
"Billy, don't be a hero! Come back and make me your wife!
"And as he started to go, she said, 'Billy, keep your pretty head low!'
"Billy, don't be a hero! Come back to me!"


This simple lament has inspired many translations through the years. War is, sadly, a continuing part of our existence and many a young and distraught lady has echoed those words in her own, and so more personal way.


  • Had away n shite, n divvn’t come back unless you’ve kept ya cock in ya pants.


  • You fackin’ off somewhere?! My mavver was right ‘bout you, you cant.


  • Yeah, see ya, chuck. Crrrrrrr [radio static-like noise]


  • Aye, right! Feck off then ‘an leave us and the feckin wains. I telt ya, oor next bairn is gonni look like ya uncle Tam.

Angels, one and all.