My Girl Bill by Jim Stafford (MGM, 1974)

Subversive and political: 2 words that have never been used to describe Jim Stafford. But when this song was released that may have evoked shades of those thoughts from people. Who would have expected that from a guy who sang about dropping frogs down a chic’s shirt? Or who would later sing about a buddy’s alcoholic dog? The idea was to write something funny and harmless. Actually what Jim did was exploit the fear that America still had against homosexuals in 1974.

Public acceptance of gay men and women was in its very beginning stages in the early 70s. In a world where minorities and women were gaining more equal rights, those that were threatened [straight white male bigots] were wrongly left the feeling that their ‘power’ was slipping away. Their spokesman, Archie Bunker, was confirming that fact for them every Sunday night on CBS. So when a song like My Girl Bill was released, it ended up causing a more of a stir than was intended.

The funny part really is how soft and unassuming the song is as well as the way Jim plainly sings, “ Bill walked me home last night….”. I would think this would work on a 12-year old level, as if it was funny to think of these two guys as boyfriends and then at the end, they’re not. Cause she’s my girl….Bill. Get it? Ha-ha-ha. But I guess the trick worked on lots of the public because the song peaked at #12. I also wonder if Jim subconsciously chose Bill as the guy’s name because the original songwriter for the Temptation’s My Girl was William Robinson aka Smokey.

I also like that Bill’s hands were shaking. Can you not offer this guy an hors d’oeuvre? C’mon man, his blood sugar’s dropping. Or maybe Bill thinks after a few quick games of backgammon, Jim’s gonna rub Parkay all over him and wear his skin like a coat.

That being said, this is the least imbecilic of Jim’s songs. Not as dumb as Cow Patti, but still it’s pretty infantile.

Watch the video and stare at Jim’s psychotic eyes and then have a good laugh to know that it’s 2 guys fighting over a girl, not 2 guys in love. What a relief!