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A simple rhyming song which I heard growing up and which still gets stuck in my head every so often:

My friend Billy had a ten foot willy.
He stuck it through the neighbour's door. OR He showed it to the girl next door.
She thought it was a snake,
Hit it with a rake,
And now it's only four foot four.

A little searching on the internet has convinced me that this is a somewhat well-known ditty, at least in England, so not just made up by someone I knew.

What is the origin of this song? Where and when did it first appear, and is there any hint of an original author?

(I've found the same question asked on another forum, Who Wrote The Naughty Rhyme "My Friend Billy Had a Ten Foot...", but without any serious answers (the top answer "My mate did. Yours sincerely, Billy." is absolutely hilarious and absolutely useless). I've also found an article crediting it to one James "Nipper" Jenkins, but given that the same site has an article "Pfizer cuts research into Alzheimer's, but can't remember why - more soon", I'd consider it somewhat less than reliable.)

  • This is a pretty good time to start learning about folklore studies. This article is certainly relevant: jstor.org/stable/1499891 i also recommend the book Folklore Matters. And i definitely remember reading something by a colorist who researched this very rhyme. – user111 Jan 12 '18 at 3:19
  • All such verses are composed by a branch of The Splendid Source, the secret society which supplies the world with dirty jokes. – user14111 Jan 12 '18 at 6:45
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    When and where did you first hear this song, and to what tune was it sung? – user14111 Jan 12 '18 at 7:31
  • @user14111 I don't even remember how I first heard it; it's just one of those things I knew growing up (in England). My internet research shows that it goes back to the 1970s at least. I'm rubbish with tunes, but it's something like: "My friend Billy had a ten foot willy. He stuck it through the neighbour's door. She thought it was a snake, Hit it with a rake, And now it's only four foot four." – Rand al'Thor Jan 12 '18 at 12:14
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    @AE I've cited their book a couple of times, but I don't actually have a copy of it - been relying on Google Books and such. – Rand al'Thor Jun 24 '18 at 19:01

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