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HighPriestess Lyr Add: Bold Sir Rylas: a few new stanzas (4) Lyr Add: Bold Sir Rylas: a few new stanzas 04 Feb 19

Re: Bold Sir Rylas—roots of a new version

I first heard (this would be in the 1960’s) the version sung by A.L. Lloyd, on a 1956 LP in the MacColl and Lloyd collection The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (The Child Ballads) Volume IV.

No doubt I was under its influence when, in that folk=conscious epoch, I boldly chose to sup on “roast loin of wild boar Guilbert” at a lovely little restaurant in Santa Monica, CA. The restaurant is gone, Guilbert unmet, his recipe irrecoverable, but the taste-memory is indelible. That wild boar had fulfilled its true destiny.

Cut to 21st century!

I’m not sure when I wandered into Mainly Norfolk and found “Bold Sir Rylas” and its cognates:

Nor do I recall the moment when searching the web led me into Mudcat and its many Sir Rylas-and-brethren threads.

But both encounters persuaded me that there ought to be a version of Bold Sir Rylas that would combine the themes of the bold knight, the lady in distress, and the fell beast, to yield a romance, a battle, a wedding, and a boar-flesh dinner.( Alas thematic elements of the wicked woman, the giant, and the litter of boarlets seemed too many to address in a straightforward song of reasonable length.)

So I made the version I thought should exist.

I sang it in the studio of High Priestess Productions.

I sang it under the inspired direction of the incomparable Sasha Travis.

The track was engineered by the peerless Regan Mozingo.

And if fortune favors our endeavors it will in due course become a YouTube and a track on an HPP album, to be known as “The Jug of Punch.”

My version of the lyrics resides below.


Bold Sir Rylas a-hunting went,?   
I an dan dilly dan.?
Bold Sir Rylas a-hunting went,?   
Killy killy ko ko an.
Bold Sir Rylas a-hunting went,?
For to kill some game was his intent,?   
With an I an dan and a dilly dan,?   
Killy killy ko ko an.

He spied a Lady high in a tree
“Why do you climb so high lady?”

“There is a wild boar in this wood!
He’d eat my flesh and drink my blood!“

“He’s kilt my Lord and all his men!
I fear that he’ll come back again!”

“If I should kill this boar,” said he,
“Wilt thou come down and marry me?”

“If thou shouldst this fell beast kill,
I’ll marry thee with all good will!”

“The how might I this wild boar see?”
“Just sound thy horn, he’ll come at thee!”

He popped his bugle to his mouth,
Blew east and west and north and south.

That wild boar came on with a dash,
He broke through trees both oak and ash.

Sir Rylas on this wild boar fell;
They fought like two fiends out of hell.

Sir Rylas with his little pen knife,
He freed that wild boar of his life.

And when they held their wedding feast,
They dined on roast flesh of that beast!

David Ormond

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