Charming Billy

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					Where Have You Gone Charming Billy? By Tim O’Brien


Characters: Private First Class Paul Berlin, Billy Boy
Setting: Vietnam, 1960’s
Plot: a young soldier has to face his fears the first night he
is in the field in the Vietnam War
Theme: Half the battle in war is overcoming your fear
Genre: Historical fiction
Point of view: 3rd person limited narrator
BILLY BOY
(Traditional)

Oh, where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Oh, where have you been, Charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife, she's the joy of my whole life
But she's a young thing and cannot leave her mother

Where does she live, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Oh, where does she live, Charming Billy?
She lives on the hill, forty miles from the mill
But she's a young thing and cannot leave her mother

Did she take your hat, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she take your hat, Charming Billy?
Yes, she took my hat and she threw it at the cat
But she's a young thing and cannot leave her mother

Did she bid you to come in, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she bid you to come in, Charming Billy?
Yes, she asked me to come in, she’s got a dimple in her chin
But she's a young thing and cannot leave her mother

Did she make for you a stew Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she make for you a stew, Charming Billy?
Yes, she set for me a stew, and it tasted like a shoe
But she's a young thing and cannot leave her mother
10th Grade English
Where Have You Gone Charming Billy?
Lesson: Introduce with powerpoint
1. discuss what they already know
2. go over the song and talk about what they think it is about and then after the story
if it seems ironic or why they chose the title the author did for this story.
3. listen to the story; stop periodically to check for comprehension (be sure to write
down the time for where you stop if class ends)
4. Read the poem on page 629 and compare it to the story. Are there any similarities?
A common theme?
5. p. 632 – do a quick check to see if they remember with primary and secondary
sources are. Listen to the three stories. Stop and discuss as needed.


Assignment: The students will use the four sources in the book to answer the
following question, using the correct format. (restate the question, three complete
separate details with an example each, a good conclusion.) Skip lines, be detailed.
Who is the greatest victim of the Vietnam War or suffers the most because of the
events that occur?
Paragraph Assignment: Use the four sources in the book to answer the following question
in a well written paragraph with a topic sentence, 3 examples and a concluding sentence.
Who is the greatest victim of the Vietnam War or suffers the most because of the events that
occur?
Soldiers – away from home, killing others, guilt, conscience, treated poorly when they return
home, injured or killed, no purpose to the war, gone for long periods of time, psychological
problems, just doing their jobs
Poor - no money for programs because of war, attention and focus on others not the US,
the ones that go to war because they have no money and aren’t in college
Blacks - no money for programs because of war, attention and focus on others not the US,
the ones that go to war because they have no money and aren’t in college, just got the Civil
Rights movement working and loses momentum
Families – missing relatives, deaths, don’t get information, gone for long periods of time,
don’t see children, relationships suffer, breakups, the draft forcing people to go or desert to
Canada/Mexico
Government – takes a lot of money, trying to do what is right – fight communism, can’t take
care of its own, more taxes, not supported, protests against them, decisions not liked
Economy – rationing, can’t get all the things you want or limited, higher taxes, unstable,
protests, higher costs of products
Vietnamese – country invaded, destroyed, people killed – not just soldiers, land mines,
asked for US help, fighting against own people

				
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posted:9/22/2012
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