"Too bad I'm the bet that you lost in the reaping."
―Lucy Gray Baird in song, referring to Taupe[src]

Billy Taupe Claude was a member of the Covey, before he betrayed them and broke Lucy Gray Baird's heart for Mayfair Lipp, the daughter of Mayor Lipp. He was also the brother of Clerk Carmine.


"Oh no. If I swing, she's swinging with me!"
―Billy Taupe regarding Lucy Gray Baird, his last words[src]

Billy Taupe, a long-time member of the Covey, was in a relationship with Lucy Gray Baird, also of the Covey. He, however, struck up a relationship with the daughter of Mayor Lipp, Mayfair Lipp, thinking he could have them both. The two of them, however, found out about each other and Mayfair convinced her father to call out Lucy Gray's name at the Reaping for the 10th Hunger Games.[1]

After Lucy Gray Baird arrived back in District 12 as the victor of the Hunger Games, Taupe appeared at the Hob following a performance of the Covey. Coriolanus Snow recognized him as being the man that Lucy Gray Baird had sung about, the man who had lost in the Reaping.[2] Maude Ivory stood in front Lucy Gray, telling Taupe to get out, as nobody wanted him there anymore. Drunken and slurred, he said that they needed him and that they were sounding thin. Barb Azure Baird told him that he had made his choice. He tried to appeal to Clerk Carmine, but when Carmine didn't respond either, he claimed that he would do fine on his own. However, when a couple of Peacekeepers closed in on him, he shoved one away and then somebody pulled out the lights, resulting in a drunken brawl. Afterwards, Snow spotted Taupe inside Mayfair Lipp's home. The next day, Snow went with Sejanus Plinth to meet with Lucy Gray Baird and enjoyed a happy reunion. However, as their meeting was wrapping up, they discovered Plinth together with Taupe.[3]

Snow recognized that Plinth had drawn Taupe a map of the Peacekeepers' base. Taupe told Plinth that he could find him at the Hob if he wanted to talk more and Lucy Gray warned him to go away and not come back. Taupe asked if she would sic her Peacekeepers on him if she didn't, calling them a "pretty tame pair." She told him that there was no walking back what he had done. He said he hadn't tried to get her killed, but she replied that he was still running with the girl who did. He commented that she was "playing the kids" and told Snow that he would "learn soon enough." Afterwards, Lucy Gray told Snow that what he said wasn't true, that she did sometimes have to flirt as part of her job, and that he had a different set of rules for himself than he did for her.[4]

One evening, after another performance at the Hob, Snow stumbled into a shed, where he discovered Plinth and Billy Taupe crouched over a burlap sack with several weapons protruding out of it. Lucy Gray then spotted Snow and they ended up both getting drawn inside, where another man, Spruce, revealed his presence. Spruce asked Plinth about Snow and Plinth told him that he was like his brother. He then motioned the barrel of his gun to Lucy Gray and Taupe told him that Lucy Gray was going north with them, that she was his girlfriend. Spruce asked if Snow and Lucy Gray weren't together and Lucy Gray lied, saying that Snow was seeing Barb Azure. It seemed like everything was going to work out, until Mayfair Lipp showed up, looking for Taupe. He told her to get home and he would explain things later, that they weren't how they sounded. Spruce, however, told her to come with them, that they had no quarrel with her, only with her father. He asked Taupe what was going on and he told him that she was just talking. She commented mulishly that she was all talk and no action, sniping at Lucy Gray, asking how she enjoyed the Capitol. She then tried to flee and Spruce rose his gun to shoot her, but Billy Taupe knocked the barrel to the floor. Snow then shot Lipp instead and called for Lucy Gray to flee back onstage. Taupe, however, declared that if he swung, she would swing with him, at which point Spruce shot him through the chest, leaving him dead on the ground.[5]


  • Billy's last name "Taupe" is a reference to the color Taupe, a shade of brown-grey color.


  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 27
  2. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 23
  3. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 24
  4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 25
  5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Chapter 28
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