New! Read & write lyrics explanations
  • Highlight lyrics and explain them to earn Karma points.

Oh, where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
Oh, where have you been, charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife, she's the joy of my life,
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to come in, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
Did she ask you to come in, charming Billy?
Yes, she asked me to come in, there's a dimple in her chin.
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
Can she make a cherry pie, charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie, quick as a cat can wink an eye,
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

How old is she, Billy Boy, Billy Boy,
How old is she, charming Billy?
Three times six and four times seven, twenty-eight and eleven,
She's a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Lyrics taken from

Correct | Report

Please input the reason why these lyrics are bad:


  • U
    UnregisteredSep 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm
    I have to think that this song refers to the girl"s virginity. He is asked if she asked him in, and also if she can bake a cherry pie. His mother wishes to know if the girl is pure or if she sleeps around. As for the ages he gives in mathematic form, I can't come up with the answer for that. Anyone?
  • U
    UnregisteredOct 4, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    I think it means that she can behave all these different ages. I assume since she's too young to leave her mother, she might be a little too young in years to marry but he's got his eye on her. But she has women's wiles and childlike charm at the same time.
  • U
    UnregisteredOct 3, 2013 at 2:34 am
    We sang this song in my family when I was a child (about 50 years ago), and I'm sure it has been in the family for at least 50 years more. I was taught that the numbers in the last verse are the answer to the question, "How old is she?". Although I admit the math is not straight-forward, I was taught to multiply the numbers and add all of them together, resulting in an age of 85! It is meant to be humorous, and we would all sing the final refrain slowly, loudly and with much irony: "She a young thing and cannot leave her mother!"

    Write about your feelings and thoughts

    Know what this song is about? Does it mean anything special hidden between the lines to you? Share your meaning with community, make it interesting and valuable. Make sure you've read our simple tips.
    Min 50 words
    Not bad

    Write an explanation

    Your explanation
    Add image by pasting the URLBoldItalicLink
    10 words
    Explanation guidelines:
    • Describe what artist is trying to say in a certain line, whether it's personal feelings, strong statement or something else.
    • Provide song facts, names, places and other worthy info that may give readers a perfect insight on the song's meaning.
    • Add links, pictures and videos to make your explanation more appealing. Provide quotes to support the facts you mention.
    Before you get started, be sure to check out these explanations created by our users: good, very good, great.