- This article is about the 1924 Yellen / Ager song, not the "Big Bad Bill" song recorded by Spike Jones
"Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)" is a song with music by Milton Ager and lyrics by Jack Yellen, written in 1924. The song became a vocal hit for Margaret Young accompanied by Rube Bloom, and an instrumental hit for the Don Clark Orchestra. The song has also been recorded by Ernest Hare (1924), Billy Murray (1924), Clementine Smith (1924), Emmett Miller (1929), Glen Gray & the Casa Loma Orchestra (1940), Peggy Lee (1962), Merle Haggard (1973), Ry Cooder (1978), Leon Redbone (1978), Van Halen (1982) and others and has been a popular song in barbershop quartet and chorus competitions.
The lyrics describe a man "in the town of Louisville..." who was once a fearsome and rough character known for getting into fights, who, after getting married, becomes a peaceable person who devotes his time to domestic activities such as washing dishes and mopping the floor.
- Sugar 'n' Spice (1962) Peggy Lee
- I Love Dixie Blues (1973) Merle Haggard
- Balladtown USA presents 30 Years of Barbershop Harmony (1975) Various / The Lions Share
- Jazz (1978) Ry Cooder
- Champagne Charlie (1978) Leon Redbone
- Diver Down (1982) Van Halen
- Bursting With Pride, Pride Of Baltimore Chorus
- 2009 International Barbershop Harmony Society Quartet Contest, Vol. 1 (2009) Various / The Harmonious Hunks
- Sung by Sam Amidon and Shahzad Ismaily during the credits of the 2009 documentary film William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe.
- Boardwalk Empire, Season 2
- Jasen, David A. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). New York: Routledge. p. 21. ISBN 0-415-93700-0. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
- Blue Amberol Records 4947 (1924 Edison cylinder) Ernest Hare
- "Big Bad Bill is Sweet William Now" at allmusic.com (link). Accessed 2011 January 2
- Balladtown USA presents 30 Years of Barbershop Harmony (1975) RCS Records RCS-71, 1975 All Northwest Barbershop Ballad Contest, Forest Grove, OR - "The Lions Share"
- Naked Voice Records NVR 409 (link Archived 2010-01-16 at the Wayback Machine)
- Warner Brothers Records BSK 3197
- CD 5608 at Singers.com (link)