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Billericay Dickie

Billericay Dickie

Billericay Dickie is a song by Ian Dury, from his debut album New Boots and Panties!!. It is narrated by a bragging bricklayer from Billericay, and is filled with name-checks for places in Essex. The song is based around naughty rhymes such as:

I had a love affair with Nina
In the back of my Cortina
A seasoned up Hyena
could not have been more obscener

Each verse tells a different short story, relating one of Dickie's sexual conquests around the country, while in the choruses the character insists he is a caring, conscientious lover and 'not a thickie', even giving the names of two girls as references to attest this. Dickie is a character most commonly referred to in the media as an 'Essex lad'. Ironically the song, perhaps the best example of Dury's 'Englishness' and 'Essexness', was given its oompah, fairground like arrangement by an American, Steve Nugent. On the original album release a third writing credit was given to Chas Jankel (in common with all the songs written by Dury and Nugent on New Boots and Panties!!), but this credit has gradually been phased out as the song has been re-released over the years. The current re-issue of the album credits Dury/Nugent solely.

Ian Dury has stated on numerous occasions (as mentioned in both his biographies, Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll: The Life Of Ian Dury and Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Song By Song) that he saw Dickie as a pathetic figure. He would reflect this on-stage by breaking down, as if he were about to cry during the final part of the song, before returning to normal, to shout the final lines of the final verse. The song was rarely used as an opening track for live sets (another song from New Boots and Panties!!" Wake Up And Make Love With Me was used instead), but it does open the set recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, in 1985, that was released as the Hold Onto Your Structure VHS/DVD. Live versions can be found on both of Dury's live albums Warts 'n' Audience and Straight From The Desk.

Sources

  • Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll: The Life Of Ian Dury by Richard Balls, first published 2000, Omnibus Press
  • Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Song By Song by Jim Drury, first published 2003, Sanctuary Publishing.
  • Reasons To Be Cheerful 2-Disc Compilation first released 1996, Repertoire Records
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