Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy Cover Billie Eilish’s “Wish You Were Gay”: Stream

With additional help from Sean O'Hagan of The High Llamas

bill callahan cover wish you were gay billie eilish bonnie prince billy sean o'hagan the high llamas
Billie Eilish, Bill Callahan, and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

    Bill Callahan has shared a new cover of Billie Eilish’s “Wish You Were Gay” with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and The High Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan.

    Now, Callahan, is a quirky guy — the opening line of his new album Gold Record has the veteran songwriter saying, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” — but his quirks tend to manifest in humorous lyrics rather than musical eccentricities. Well, for anyone expecting a song like “Pigeons”, his take on Eilish’s tale of unrequited love is going to ruffle some feathers.

    It starts off simple enough, with an acoustic guitar and Callahan’s gravelly vocals. The first hint that all is not business-as-usual comes when synths start wobbling like an electronic accordion. Billy joins in on the chorus, which is around the same time that the drums launch into a disco-tinged dance floor frenzy. It sounds like someone took too much acid while listening to pop and country radio simultaneously; it also sounds like a fairly normal song by Ween. Check out “Wish You Were Gay” below.


    Callahan has released a string of covers over the last year, including Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne”. But things have accelerated in the last month, and together he and Billy have put out four covers in October, including “Blackness of the Night” by Yusuf/Cat Stevens, “OD’d in Denver” by Hank Williams Jr., and Dave Rich’s “I’ve Made Up My Mind”.

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