The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50640   Message #769072
Posted By: John Minear
21-Aug-02 - 10:12 AM
Thread Name: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion-Child #18
Subject: RE: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion
The Scarborough version, which she collected from Mrs. Dashiell of Richmond is a real gem. I'd like to see the version that Professor Kittredge is talking about!

I'd like to make a correction on some of the information given on one of the versions in the DT. It's the one titled "Jovial Hunter/Sir Lionel" and attributed to Rena Hicks. It was taken from Sandy Paton's THE TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF BEECH MOUNTAIN, NORTH CAROLINA, VOL I, from Folk-Legacy (FSA-22), Side I, Band 2, pp. 11-12. The song is sung by BUNA Hicks rather than Rena Hicks. This distinction is important for a number of reasons. Buna Vista Hicks was the wife of Robey Hicks, and the aunt of Rena Hicks. Rena Hicks was the wife of Nathan Hicks and the mother of Ray Hicks, the famous Jack Tale teller.

Sandy says that "Mrs. Hicks (Buna) recalls her fragment (of "Sir Lionel')from the singing of her late husband, Robey Hicks.

As it is printed in the DT, the song goes like this:

He looked to the east, he looked to the west,
Blow your horn, Hunter
He blowed his horn both east and west
Just like a jovial hunter. etc.

There have been two major changes made from Sandy's transcription of the song, which goes as follows:

He looked to the east, he looked to the west,
Blow your horn, CENTER;(emphasis added)
He blowed his horn both east and west,
Just like a JOBAL(jovial)hunter.

It looks like whoever added this to the DT slipped back to the Child C version for "Hunter" and "Jovial Hunter". Establishing the more accurate version as the one that uses "Center" is important because this shows that Buna Hicks' song is related to Sam Harmon's "Wild Boar" and is a variation of that song. The verses in Buna Hicks' song are out of order if compared to the Harmon version, but are basically the same lyrics.

None of this should be surprizing since Buna Hicks and Sam Harmon were related and both were from the Beech Mountain area. Sam Harmon's family "left the Valle Crucis(Beech Mountain) area before 1880."(p.19) Now let me see if I can figure out how they were related. Robey Monroe (1882-1957), Buna's husband, was the grandson of Council Harmon (1807-1896). Buna Vista Presnell Hicks(1888-1984) was the great-granddaughter of Council Harmon on both her father's and her mother's sides. Her mother and her father were first cousins to each other, and to her husband, Robey. Sam Harmon (1869-1940)was also a grandson of Council Harmon, and a first cousin of Robey, and a first cousin of Andrew Hicks and Sarah Jane Eggers, who were Buna Hicks' parents. I think this means that Buna was a second cousin to both her husband, Robey, and to Sam Harmon. Sam Harmon's mother was also a Hicks. Everybody was pretty much related in some fashion or other. Understanding how you were related was very important. As Sheila Kay Adams has said, the first question you would be asked in a mountain community would be "Who's boy/girl are you?" regardless of your age. I got most of this information from an article by James W. Thompson, entitled "The Origins of the Hicks Family Traditions", from the NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE JOURNAL, Vol. 34, No. 1, Winter-Spring 1987, pp.18-28.