“Maw Canny Hinny”


"Where hes te been, maw canny hinny? An where hes te been, maw bonny bairn?" The singer tells of all the places she(?) has looked for him, and the people she has talked to. He describes what he has been doing

Supplemental text

Maw Canny Hinny
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Stokoe/Reay, Songs and Ballads of Northern England, pp. 156-157.

    Where hes te been, maw canny hinny?
      An where hes te been, maw bonny bairn?
    I was up an' doon, seekin' maw hinny;
      Aw was throo' the toon, seekin' for maw bairn.

Aw went up the Butcher Bank an' doon Grindin' Chare,
Caw'd a the "Dun Cow," but aw cuddent find thee there.
      Where hes te been? etc.

  Where hev aw been! I can suen tell yet that.
  Cummin' up the Kee aw met wi' Peter Pratt;
  Meetin' Peter Pratt, we met wi' Tommy Wear,
  And went te Hume's te get a gill o' beer.
      That's where aw've been, maw canny hinny!
        That's where aw've been, maw bonny lamb!
      Was tu up an' doon seekin' for thee hinny?
        Was tu up and doon seeking for thee lamb?

(Stanzas 1 and 7 of 8)


This is a difficult song to describe; it spends to much time talking about people and places that it becomes almost a moniker song. The Stokoe version, at least, has a curious change in mid-song: After seven verses with the same chorus, the last two use two different choruses. - RBW


  1. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 156-157, "Maw Cann Hinny" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST StoR156 (Partial)
  3. Roud #3168
  4. BI, StoR156


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1900 (Stokoe/Reay)
Keywords: questions reunion
Found in: Britain(England(Scotland)