The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50640   Message #771466
Posted By: John Minear
25-Aug-02 - 08:16 PM
Thread Name: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion-Child #18
Subject: RE: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion
This is a good summary of both Bronson and other sources with regard to "Sir Lionel", from MORE TRADITIONAL BALLADS OF VIRGINIA, edited by Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr., 1960, pp. 72-73. Obviously, there has been some progress since this was written, but probably not much, and that was 42 years ago now! When were most of our resourcs printed? Has there been much of anything in the last 30 or 40 years?

"Child prints four more or less full texts and two fragmentary ones, none of them having much in common with the American ones. His texts are all English, except one which is Scottish. A few English texts have been found in recent tradition (see Margaret Dean-Smith) but none in Scotland (see LAST LEAVES). Coffin indicates rather meager gleanings in America. Sharp prints four tunes with very brief texts from the Southern Appalachians. Only one two-stanza text (no tune) appears in the Brown Collection (II, 46). TRADITIONAL BALLADS OF VIRGINIA prints seven texts and four tunes. From more recent collection in Viriginia, there are six additional items, including four tunes, three of them from records....

Bronson (I,265-74) prints seventeen tunes (with texts) and divides them into three groups: Group A, of only two members, one mid-nineteenth-century Scottish and one twentieth-century American[Harmon], either retains the more dignified romantic tone of the ballad or the interlaced refrain concerning the hunter; Group B, with only a single specimen from D'Urfey, harks back to the seventeenth-century ballad of "Sir Eglamore" and has a distinctinve stanzaic pattern with interlaced refrain lines; and Group C contains fourteen numbers, two British and the rest American, all collected in this century and representing the "Bangum and the Boar" tradition, with stanzaic patterns and elaborate nonsense refrains with suggest either the "Sir Eglamore" pattern or a crossing with "The Frog's Wedding." The four texts with tunes from TRADITIONAL BALLADS OF VIRGINIA all fall into Group C.

After a quick survey of older and more recent versions, chiefly with respect to words and stanzaic patterns, Bronson concludes: "Obviously, there has either been a complete break here with older tradition, or the traditional antecedents are not represented in the examples printed by Child." He inclines to the latter alternative, and supports his case by an account of what has happened to the narrative before the proceeds to his musical analysis and classification indicated above."