The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50640   Message #769545
Posted By: John Minear
22-Aug-02 - 07:39 AM
Thread Name: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion-Child #18
Subject: RE: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion
Rich r, thanks for the Flanders text. I've not seen Old Bangum take on a bear before! Jean Ritchie sings a nice version in which he takes on a dragon on JEAN RITCHIE, CHILDHOOD SONGS (Greenhays Recordings GR90723).

Another note on the Hicks/Harmon "Wild Boar" song, with regard to the refrain, "Blow your horn, Center". I mentioned that Rena Hicks' version seems to establish that "Center" was a name, referring to Abram Bailey's youngest son. Where did it come from? Perhaps it was a family name. In her book, JANE HICKS GENTRY, A SINGER AMONG SINGERS (University Press of Kentucky), Betty Smith gives some important information about the history of the Hicks/Harmons.

Jane Gentry, who lived in Hot Springs, in Madison County, North Carolina, and from whom Cecil Sharp collected seventy songs, was also a grand-daughter of old Council Harmon, and thus a first cousin of Sam Harmon, Robey Monroe, and all those other folks up at Beech Mountain. They were all descendents of David Hix. According to Smith, David Hix had a son, Hiram, born between 1811 and 1814. Smith says that Hiram married Jane Tester in 1834, and that

"Hiram and Jennie produced two sets of twins, John and Mary, born in 1838, and Ransom and Margaret born in 1842. Other children were Melissa, Eli, Charlotte, Rhoda, Zachariah, Julia, CENTER, Jim J., Copelin (Cope), and Emily." (pp.18-19)

Ransom Hicks was Jane Hicks Gentry's father. Both of her parents were descended from David Hix. Center would have been a cousin to all these other folks. I would suggest that it was his name that got into the "Wild Boar" song in that family tradition. He was around before the Sam Harmon family left the area in 1880.

As far as I know this refrain, "Blow your horn, Center", is unique to the Hicks/Harmon family tradition. I would be very interested to find that it shows up anywhere else. In fact, I would be very interested to find this particular variation of "Sir Lionel", a descendent of Child C, showing up anywhere else in North America.