The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77798   Message #1391856
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
28-Jan-05 - 08:09 PM
Thread Name: What are jubal hounds?
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?

The Kipling was posted as an afterthought--so I agree, it doesn't really help in this matter. It was there to give an example different from the one other song that kept turning up.

However, I think the other stuff is quite germane, and I wouldn't toss it in favor of the expedient answer, the one that says "jubilation" should be the accepted meaning because it fits best to our modern ear. In my work with ethnographic materials (American Indian, in this case) I have learned that a lot of embedded material is contained in those stories that goes far beyond the story itself. To give an example for today, we "dial" and "hang up" a phone, yet they rarely have dials any more, and we usually push a button to turn them off. The vestigial terms, "dial" and "hang up" have become idomatic, but are perfectly understood today.

I think it is quite likely that in the way the term Boycott today implies an action but gets its name from an individual, you can look at "Jubal" hounds as a term that gets its name from a mythic character with connections to noise, and from the information I have presented here, its original meaning implies a cacophony of discordant noises, and they are hounds of Satan because they are noisy Jubal hounds. If enough people have lost contact with the Old Testement origins and instead automatically assume it's roots are the same as "jubilee," then of course you could reach that conclusion, but I think it is in error.

Bold Reynard, being in his hole and hearing of these hounds
Which made him for to prick up his ears and tread upon the ground
"Methinks me hears some jubal hounds a-pressing upon the life
Before that they should come to me, I'll tread upon the ground"

Why would the fox interpret the dogs as joyous? Wouldn't the fox interpret the hounds as agents of the devil, in his world view?

Jubal is a word with Hebrew origins.
Jubilation is a noun first seen in the 14th century.
Jubilee is from Middle French and Late Latin.

The fact that they sound alike may be because over time they have come to be prounounced alike (was the J in Jubal a "jay" sound or a "yeh" sound, and was it changed from the Hebrew pronunciation by Germanic readers?)

I haven't seen any information to tie Jubal to Jubilee, but I have come across information to tie Jubal to biblical meanings to do with origins of music and the sorting of music from noise, parallel, one would imagine, to the sorting of matters between the christian god and satan. A parallel that I think the originators of songs like Reynard the Fox were fully capable of making.