Now they're singing all about Billy

BY JEFF TOLLAN
Last updated 05:00 28/04/2009

Billy the Hunted One

NATASHA MARTIN/Timaru Herald
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: All for a bit of fun, Robbie Robertson wrote a song about wanted man William Stewart.

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He may be hunted, he may be hiding, but it hasn't stopped him being the inspiration for a song Billy The Hunted One.

As William Stewart continues to elude police, one Timaru man has written the song about his antics, all in the name of fun.

The song's a light-hearted take on the situation, Robbie Robertson said, and it's one that is getting a few toes tapping.

"He's a bit of a legend in this place at the moment ... and he's obviously got a lot of followers out there," Mr Robertson said of Stewart.

"It's a talking point for people in the pubs."

The song mentions Stewart's penchant for slipping through police dragnets, his knowledge of the South and Mid Canterbury region and also the fact that he carved his thanks into someone's table after grabbing some food.

At just under three minutes long, the ballad took Mr Robertson about three days to write, with most of it created in his head while he worked on one of the chains at the Smithfield freezing works.

"[I work on songs] when the head-banging music comes on at work, I go into my own little world," he said. "Yes, the boss knows," he added.

The song was completed the week before Easter, just in time for Mr Robertson to play it at a party. Billy The Hunted One has grown in popularity ever since.

Not wanting them to miss out on the opportunity to hear it, police were even given a copy.

"He [the policeman] gave me a bit of a wry smile and then said, `By the way, you don't know where he is do you?' as I walked out.

"I haven't heard anything back from them yet," Mr Robertson said, "but I probably will though."

Mr Robertson has also asked Port FM to play his song when New Zealand Music Month kicks off on Friday.

"Hopefully it will get a bit of exposure out there; it's just a bit of fun."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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