Billy Boy (English Version)
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
The tune is probably from 19th century England and was originally Willie Lad and Charming William. It is a variant of Lord Randall. Where have you been all the day,
my boy Willie?
Where have you been all the day,
Willie, won't you tell me now?
I have been all the day
Courtin' of a lady gay.
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Is she fit to be a wife?
my boy Willie.
Is she fit to be a wife,
Willie won't you tell me now?
She's as fit to be a wife
As a fork fits to a knife,
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Can she cook and can she spin,
my boy Willie?
Can she cook and can she spin,
Willie won't you tell me now?
She can cook, she can spin,
she can do most anything.
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Can she bake a cherry pie,
my boy Willie?
Can she bake a cherry pie,
Willie won't you tell me now?
She can bake a cherry pie,
Quick's a cat can wink his eye.
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Does she often go to church,
my boy Willie?
Does she often go to church,
Willie won't you tell me now?
Yes, she often goes to church
In a bonnet white as birch.
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Can she make a feather-bed,
my boy Willie?
Can she make a feather-bed
Willie won't you tell me now?
She can make a feather-bed
And put pillows at the head.
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Did she ask you to come in,
my boy Willie?
Did she ask you to come in,
Willie won't you tell me now?
Yes, she asked me to come in,
She has a dimple in her chin.
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Did she tell how old she is,
my boy Willie?
Did she tell how old she is,
Willie won't you tell me now?
She's three time six, seven times seven,
twenty-eight and eleven.
But she is too young to be
Taken from her mother.

Variants at this site:

From The Burl Ives Song Book
See Bibliography for full information.