Mudcat Café message #3180892 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65990   Message #3180892
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
03-Jul-11 - 05:34 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Billy Boy
Subject: Lyr Add: BILLY BOY (Opie & Opie)
Lyr. Add: BILLY BOY
Opie & Opie, The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book

Where have you been al the day, Billy boy, Billy boy?
Where have you been all the day, my boy Billy?
I have been all the day
Courting of a lady gay,
But oh ! she is too young
To be taken from her mammy.
2
Is she fit to be thy love, Billy boy, Billy boy?
Is she fit to be thy love, my boy Billy?
She's as fit to be my love
As my hand is for my glove,
But oh ! she is too young
To be taken from her mammy.
3
Can she brew and can she bake, Billy boy, Billy boy?
Can she brew and can she bake, my boy Billy?
She can brew and she can bake,
And she can make a wedding cake,
But oh ! she is too young
To be taken from her mammy.
4
Is she fit to be thy wife, Billy boy, Billy boy?
Is she fit to be thy wife, my boy Billy?
She's as fit to be my wife
As a sheath is for a knife,
But oh ! she is too young
To be taken from her mammy.
5
How old may she be, Billy boy, Billy boy?
How old may she be, my boy Billy?
Twice six, twice seven,
Twice twenty and eleven,
But oh ! she is too young
To be taken from her mammy.

Iona and Peter Opie, 1955 and reprints, The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, Oxford University Press.

No date given for the rhyme.