The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50640   Message #774759
Posted By: John Minear
31-Aug-02 - 08:08 AM
Thread Name: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion-Child #18
Subject: Lyr Add: OLD BANGHAM
rich r posted a version from Middlebury, Vermont, where Old Bangum goes after a bear: Vermont Bangham. The Lomaxes publish a very similar version by Adelaide Hemingway of Washington D.C., in OUR SINGING COUNTRY, pp. 149-150. They quote Adelaide Hemingway as saying:

"My grandmother learned to sing 'Old Bangham' from her mother, who had traveled out to the Sioux Indian country from her girlhood home in western Massachusetts. She was a Longley, and the song must have been brought from England when the family came to Massachusetts in the early 1630's. In 1866 my grandmother sailed round the Cape of Good Hope in one of the last clipper ships to come to the Far East. She brought the song to the dry plains of North China, to her new home at Kalgan, the gateway to Mongolia, where she sang it to her six children, lulling them to sleep many a time as they swung along in a mule litter or jolted over the rough roads in a Peking cart.

As a little girl I also was sung to sleep by the minor tones of 'Old Bangham' as our cart went bump, bump, over even rougher Shansi roads which brought us gradually nearer to supper and bed in a willow-shaded Chinese inn or at home in our mission compound." (p.149)


Old Bangham did a hunting ride,
Derrum, derrum, derrum,
Old Bangham did a hunting ride,
Kimmy qua,
Old Bangham did a hunting ride,
A sword and pistol by his side,
Derrum, Kimmy quo qua.

He rode unto the riverside,
And there a pretty maid he spied.

"Fair maid," said he, "will you marry me?"
"Oh, no," said she, "for we can't agree."

"There lives a bear in yonder wood,
He'll grind your bones and suck your blood."

He rode unto the wild boar's den,
There lay the bones of a hundred men.

Old Bangham and the wild bear fought,
By set of sun the bear was naught.

He rode unto the riverside
And there a pretty maid he spied.

"Fair maid," said he, "will you marry me?"
"Oh, yes," said she, "for now we agree."

The Vermont version, sung by Dr. Alfed Ferguson, on July 14, 1942, was one he learned from his mother, whose ancestors came from Massachusetts. This seems to be a Massachusetts version. There are only minor differences between the Hemingway and the Ferguson versions. F. has "Kili-ko" and H. has "kimmy qua" in the fourth lines of each verse. And in the last refrain, this is repeated with "Derrum kili ko ko" in F. and "Derrum, kimmy quo qua" in H. H. adds the last verse where the fair maid agrees to be Bangham's bride. Ferguson's version, which was printed in Helen Hartness Flanders and Marguerite Olney's BALLADS MIGRANT IN NEW ENGLAND, can also be found in Vol. I of Bronson's volumes on the tunes of the Child ballads. It is his #17, on page 274.

Peggy Seeger sings a very nice version of this on Record Four in THE LONG HARVEST series that she did with her husband, Ewan MacColl. She says, "tune learned in childhood, from singing of Dr. Alfred Ferguson, Middlebury, Vermont, 1942..." She changes the bear to a boar. She also prints a version of this song in her book, FOLK SONGS OF PEGGY SEEGER, published by Oak in 1964. There, she says that the song comes "from the singing of Adelaide Hemingway, Washington, D.C..." So it would appear that her version is a collation of both the Ferguson and the Hemingway versions, changing the bear to a boar. Peggy Seeger also recorded Sam Harmon's version of "Wild Boar", and Dorothy Scarborough's version of "Ole Bangum" on THE LONG HARVEST, and Ewan MacColl recorded "Sir Eglamore" from D'Urfey as printed in Bronson.