Mudcat Café message #3630874 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65990   Message #3630874
Posted By: Steve Gardham
06-Jun-14 - 04:29 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Billy Boy
Subject: RE: Origins: Billy Boy
This conversation is surely pointless. Magherafelt Hiring Fair which has the chorus 'Tam bo' is definitely a version of Roud 366 otherwise known as:
Bargain with me
The Wanton Widow
Billy Boy II
Tom Boy
My Boy Billy II
The Rigwiddy Carlin

It is known in England, Scotland and Ireland in oral tradition though no broadside has surfaced yet. Scottish versions dating back to the early nineteenth century are probably closest to the original. The mention of eels in the NI version is pure coincidence. None of the other versions mentions eels. The English version is much more explicit and comic and nothing at all to do with either LR or BB.