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Billy Boy facts for kids

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"Billy Boy" is a traditional folk song and nursery rhyme found in the United States, in which "Billy Boy" is asked various questions, and the answers all center on his quest to marry a girl who is said to be too young to leave her mother.

It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 326. It is a variant of the traditional English folk song "My Boy Billy", collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams and published by him in 1912 as number 232 in Novello's School Songs.


  • Further variants have been recorded, that greatly extend the number of verses and tasks that the wife can perform. An extended version of the song in which the lover performs many tasks besides the cherry pie was collected by Alan Lomax and John Avery Lomax: it appears in American Ballads and Folk Songs. The Lomax version names the woman being courted Betsy Jane.
  • A version of the song by Jerry Lee Lewis was released on the 1975 album, Rare, Vol. 1.
  • Ahmad Jamal covered the song in his Poinciana album from 1951.
  • Miles Davis covered Ahmad Jamal's version in his 1958 album Milestones.
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