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Origins: Sir Eglamore

DigiTrad:
JOVIAL HUNTER or SIR LIONEL
OLD BANGUM
SIR EGLAMORE
WILD BOAR
WILD BOAR (3)


Related threads:
(origins) Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion-Child #18 (105)
Lyr Add: Bold Sir Rylas: a few new stanzas (4)
Lyr Add: Wild Hog in the Woods (15)
Folklore: the wampus cat (35) (closed)
Lyr Add: Wild Hog's Den (10)
Chord Req: Wild Hog in the Woods (4)
Folklore: rackabello/sir lionel (7)
Lyr Req: Wild Hog in the Woods (4)


Joe Offer 26 Nov 23 - 06:20 PM
Robert B. Waltz 26 Nov 23 - 06:57 PM
Joe Offer 26 Nov 23 - 07:26 PM
Robert B. Waltz 26 Nov 23 - 07:54 PM
Robert B. Waltz 26 Nov 23 - 08:09 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Nov 23 - 01:27 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Nov 23 - 01:31 AM
Robert B. Waltz 27 Nov 23 - 03:06 AM
Joe Offer 27 Nov 23 - 03:33 AM
Joe Offer 27 Nov 23 - 03:58 AM
Robert B. Waltz 27 Nov 23 - 04:06 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Nov 23 - 04:20 AM
Joe Offer 27 Nov 23 - 04:29 AM
Paul Burke 28 Nov 23 - 02:52 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Kate Rusby - Sir Eglamore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 06:20 PM

Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics. Any corrections?


SIR EGLAMORE (DT Lyrics)

Sir Eglamore, that valiant knight
Fa la, lanky down dilly
He took up his sword and he went to fight
Fa la, lanky down dilly
And as he rode o'er Hill and Dale
All Armed with a coat of Male
Fa la, la, la, la, la, lanky down dilly

There leap'd a Dragon outof her Den
That had slain God knows how many men
But when she saw Sir Eglamore
Oh that you had but heard her roar!

Then the trees began to shake,
Horses did tremble, Man did quake,
The birds betook them all to peeping
Oh! t'would have made one fall a-weeping.

But all in vain it was to fear
For now they fall to't, fight Dog, fight Bear
And to't they go and soundly fight
A live-long day from Morn to Night.

This Dragon had on a plaguey Hide
That cou'd the sharpest steel abide
No Sword cou'd enter her with cuts
Which vex'd the Knight unto the Guts.

But as in Choler he did burn,
He watch'd the Dragon a great good turn
For as a Yawning she did fall
He thrust his Sword up Hilt and all.

Then like a Coward she did fly
Unto her den which was haerd by;
And there she lay all night and roar's
The Knight was sorry for his Sword.
But riding away, he cries," I forsake it,
He that will fetch it, let him take it."

Child #18
Roud-20
From D'Urfey III, 1719-1720
@myth @fight @dragon @animal
filename[ WLDBOAR2
TUNE FILE: WLDBOAR2
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HHLj8rKrZ8


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kate Rusby - Sir Eglamore
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 06:57 PM

Thanks for posting the link -- it was quite a recording.

Not much point in posting the lyrics, though -- for the verses which I checked, at least, it was straight out of d'Urfey, and that text is also in Bronson.

And I'm going to strike preemptively here and say that, although Bronson includes the short form of "Sir Eglamore" with "Sir Lionel" (Child #18), Child does not.

There is, to be sure, a strong relationship between "Sir Eglamore of Artois" and "Sir Lionel," but they aren't the same. "Sir Eglamore" is a romance; "Sir Lionel" is a ballad that barely existed. (Yes, there are plenty of "Bangum and the Boar" type pieces, but that's a much-reduced version of the ballad, which is itself a much-reduced version of the romance.)

"Sir Eglamore" is an odd romance; almost no one thinks it's any good, but it's among the most popular of all Middle English romances -- there are six early manuscript copies and two printed editions from 1510 or earlier:

Manuscripts:
Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 261 (Bodleian 21835), folio 26
Cambridge, University Library, MS. Ff.2.38, foio 71
London, British Library, MS. Cotton Caligula A.II, folio 5
Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral Library MS. 91 [Robert Thornton MS. 1; Lincoln Thornton MS.], folio 138
London, British Library, MS. Egerton 2862 (previously Sutherland, Trentham Hall], folio 148 (fragment, one leaf only)
Ann Arbor, University of Michigan MS. 225 (fragment)

Early prints:
1 leaf surviving of an edition by Wynken de Worde around 1500, Short Title Catalog #7542
Chepman and Myllar, 1508

William Copland reprinted it (probably the De Worde text, since that was Copland's usual source, though I don't think we can prove that) perhaps in the 1550s; J. Walley printed it again c. 1570.

There is also a Percy Folio version, cut down as usual.

That makes it the best-attested Middle English romance not by Chaucer; it's very rare to find more than three copies of a Middle English romance, and many exist only on one.

The authoritative edition is: Frances E. Richardson, editor, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Early English Text Society/Oxford University Press, 1965, which has parallel texts of the two best manuscripts.

An accessible, slightly modernized edition, with glosses, is Harriet Hudson, Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour, second edition, TEAMS (Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages), Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2006. This is also available online.

For a truly complete bibliography, here is the Digital Index of Middle English Verse page:

https://www.dimev.net/record.php?recID=2867.

I could go on, but no doubt I've already worn out my welcome. :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kate Rusby - Sir Eglamore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 07:26 PM

You're Always Welcome at Our House, Bob. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kate Rusby - Sir Eglamore
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 07:54 PM

Joe Offer wrote: Here are the Digital Tradition lyrics. Any corrections?

The orthography differs at many points from the D'Urfey/Bronson text, but the only substantives (the textual critic's term for the actual words of the text, as opposed to punctuation, capitalization, etc. -- also italics, of which there are many in the text) that I noticed are as follows. I'll use the standard text-critical form of lemma ] variant, i.e. what is in that text is to the left of the bracket, what is to the right is the alternative. So my first one is

2.1 outof ] out of

means that in stanza 2, line 1, your text has "outof"; Bronson has "out of"

So the collation is:
2.1 outof ] out of
3.2 Horses ] Horse
5.1 plaguey ] plagey
7.2 haerd ] hard
7.3 roar's ] roar'd


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kate Rusby - Sir Eglamore
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 08:09 PM

Incidentally, if anyone wants to know how different the romance of "Sir Eglamore of Artois" is from the D'Urfey text, here is the first stanza as given in Lincoln MS. 91, the Lincoln Thornton MS, which is one of the great sources of Middle English romances.

Recall that þ=th; Ȝ=y or gh or g or just Ȝ

Ihesu, þat es heuens Kyng,
Gyff vs alle his blyssyng
   And beyld vs in his boure;
And giff þam ioye þat will here
Of eldirs þat byfore vs were,
   þat lyued in grete honoure.
I will Ȝow telle of a knyghte
þat was bothe hardy and wyght,
   And stythe in ilk a stoure:
Whare dedis of armes were, fere or nere,
þe gre he wynnes wyth iornaye clere,
   And euir in felde þe floure.

(If there are any typos in there, blame it on me having to juggle all those HTML entities because Mudcat has unicode problems. :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kate Rusby - Sir Eglamore
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 01:27 AM

”All Armed with a coat of Male

‘MAIL’, surely?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Kate Rusby - Sir Eglamore
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 01:31 AM

‘MAIL’, surely - it being a contraction of ‘chain-mail’?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sir Eglamore^^^
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 03:06 AM

Backwoodsman wrote: ”All Armed with a coat of Male”

‘MAIL’, surely?

No, it's "Male." It means armor, but it was spelled Male.

D'Urfey published his book in the early 1700s. Many of the pieces being from older manuscripts. The text does not conform to modern spellings.

The text as given here actually looks much more modern than the version in D'Urfey, which capitalizes a lot of nouns that are in lowecase in the transcription here. The punctuation was also different. I didn't note orthographic differences in my collation, since they are not substantives. There were several in each verse.


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Subject: Origins: Sir Eglamore^^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 03:33 AM

The Digital Tradition lyrics are on the right. As you can see, there are only a couple of OCR errors in the DT lyrics.

SIR EGLAMORE (from Pills)

SIR Eglamore, that valiant Knight,
Fa la, lanky down dilly;
He took up his Sword, and he went to fight,
Fa la, lanky down dilly;
And as he rode o'er Hill and Dale,
All Armed with a Coat of Male,
Fa la la, la la la, lanky down dilly.

There leap'd a Dragon out of her Den,
That had slain God knows how many Men;
But when she saw Sir Eglamore,
Oh that you had but heard her roar!

Then the Trees began to shake,
Horse did Tremble, Man did quake;
The Birds betook them all to peeping,
Oh! 'twould have made one fall a weeping.

But all in vain it was to fear,
For now they fall to't, fight Dog, fight Bear;
And to't they go, and soundly fight,
A live-long day, from Morn till Night.

This Dragon had on a plaguy Hide,
That cou'd the sharpest steel abide;
No sword cou'd enter her with cuts,
Which vex'd the Knight unto the Guts.

But as in Choler he did burn,
He watch'd the Dragon a great good turn;
For as a Yawning she did fall,
He thrust his Sword up Hilt and all.

Then like a Coward she did fly,
Unto her Den, which was hard by;
And there she lay all Night and roar'd,
The Knight was sorry for his Sword:
But riding away, he cries, I forsake it,
He that will fetch it, let him take it.
SIR EGLAMORE (DT Lyrics)

Sir Eglamore, that valiant knight
Fa la, lanky down dilly
He took up his sword and he went to fight
Fa la, lanky down dilly
And as he rode o'er Hill and Dale
All Armed with a coat of Male
Fa la, la, la, la, la, lanky down dilly

There leap'd a Dragon outof her Den
That had slain God knows how many men
But when she saw Sir Eglamore
Oh that you had but heard her roar!

Then the trees began to shake,
Horses did tremble, Man did quake,
The birds betook them all to peeping
Oh! t'would have made one fall a-weeping.

But all in vain it was to fear
For now they fall to't, fight Dog, fight Bear
And to't they go and soundly fight
A live-long day from Morn to Night.

This Dragon had on a plaguey Hide
That cou'd the sharpest steel abide
No Sword cou'd enter her with cuts
Which vex'd the Knight unto the Guts.

But as in Choler he did burn,
He watch'd the Dragon a great good turn
For as a Yawning she did fall
He thrust his Sword up Hilt and all.

Then like a Coward she did fly
Unto her den which was haerd by;
And there she lay all night and roar's
The Knight was sorry for his Sword.
But riding away, he cries," I forsake it,
He that will fetch it, let him take it."


from Wit and mirth: or, Pills to purge melancholy
New York: Folklore Library Publishers
Vol 3-4, p. 293
Facsimile reproduction of the 1876 reprint of the original edition of 1719-1720

https://archive.org/details/witmirthorpillst34newy/page/n306/mode/1up

And here is the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Sir Lionel [Child 18]

DESCRIPTION: (Sir Lionel) hears report (from a lady in distress?) of a murderous boar. Meeting the boar, he slays the beast. In the older versions, the boar's keeper then comes out to demand a price, and the knight then slays the keeper also.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1750 (Percy Folio), but see the notes about the "Bangum" versions
KEYWORDS: animal fight magic
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(High),England) US(Ap,NE,SE,So)
REFERENCES (55 citations):
Child 18, "Sir Lionel" (6 texts)
Bronson 18, "Sir Lionel" (17 versions)
Bronson-SingingTraditionOfChildsPopularBallads 18, "Sir Lionel" (6 versions: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #10)
Hales/Furnival-BishopPercysFolioManuscript, volume I, pp. 74-78, "Sir Lionell" (1 text)
Bell-Combined-EarlyBallads-CustomsBalladsSongsPeasantryEngland, pp. 344-346, "The Jovial Hunter of Bromsgrove" (1 text); p. 470, "The Old Man and His Three Sons" (1 fragment)
Leather-FolkLoreOfHerefordshire, pp. 203-204, "Brangywell"; p. 204, "Dilly Dove" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #5, 13}
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 118-119, "Bold Sir Rylas" (1 text) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 322)
Barry/Eckstorm/Smyth-BritishBalladsFromMaine pp. 434-435, "Sir Lionel" (notes plus a partial reprint of Child A)
Flanders/Olney-BalladsMigrantInNewEngland, pp. 60-61, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #17}
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland1, pp. 226-229, "Sir Lionel" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #17}
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 29-31, "Sir Lionel" (2 texts, 1 tune, plus fragments of 1 stanza and 1 line respectively) {Bronson's #7}
Randolph 7, "Lord Bangum" (1 fragmentary text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #14}
Davis-TraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 8, "Sir Lionel" (7 texts, 4 tunes entitled "Bangum and the Boar," "Old Bang'em," "Ole Bangim," "Sir Lionel") {Bronson's #12, #10, #8, #15}
Davis-MoreTraditionalBalladsOfVirginia 10, pp. 72-78, "Sir Lionel" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
Gainer-FolkSongsFromTheWestVirginiaHills, pp. 24-25, "Old Badman" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains, pp. 191-191, "Sir Lionel" (1 text reprinted from Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, and found also in Davis and Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, with local title "Old Bangum"; 1 tune on p. 407) {Bronson's #8}
Scarborough-OnTheTrailOfNegroFolkSongs, pp. 51-52, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune, the same as that in Scarborough-ASongCatcherInSouthernMountains) {Bronson's #8}
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 9 "Sir Lionel" (4 fragments, 4 tunes) {Bronson's #16, #15, #11, #9}
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, p. 85, "Bangum Rid by the Riverside" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolfe/Boswell-FolkSongsOfMiddleTennessee 8, pp. 18-20, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol2, p. 44, "The Jobal Hunter" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 10A, "Bangum Rode the Riverside"; 10B, "Old Bangum" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Leach-TheBalladBook, pp. 100-103, "Sir Lionel" (2 texts)
McNeil-SouthernFolkBalladsVol2, pp. 157-159, "Ole Banghum" (1 text, 1 tune)
Grigson-PenguinBookOfBallads 19, "The Jovial Hunter of Bromsgrove" (1 text)
Lomax/Lomax-OurSingingCountry, pp. 149-150, "Old Bangham" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 272, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson't #8}
Niles-BalladBookOfJohnJacobNiles 13, "Sir Lionel" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
Chase-AmericanFolkTalesAndSongs, pp. 126-127, "Old Bangum and the Boar" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Foss-AngloAmericanFolksongStyle, p. 60, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morgan-MedievalBallads-ChivalryRomanceAndEverydayLife, pp. 117-119, "Sir Lionel" (1 text)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 217, "Old Bangum" (1 text)
cf. Chappell-PopularMusicOfTheOldenTime, pp. 475-477, "Sir Eglamore" (1 text, 1 tune)
GirlScouts-SingTogether, pp. 72-73, "Sir Eglamore" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 18, JOVHUNTR* OLBANGUM*
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 24, #2 (1975), p, 5, "Quil O'Quay" (1 short text, 1 tune, from the singing of Nimrod Workman)
RELATED: Versions of the Romance "Sir Eglamour of Artois" --
Frances E. Richardson, editor, _Sir Eglamour of Artois_, Early English Text Society/Oxford University Press, 1965, (2 parallel texts, of Lincoln Cathedral MS. 91 and Cotton Caligula A.2, with an appendix containing British Library MS. Egerton 2862 and some readings from the other manuscripts; the two main texts are given a common numbering to bring the total to 1375 lines but L in particular omits some of these lines)
Harriet Hudson, _Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour_, second edition, TEAMS (Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages), Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2006. Much of the material in this book is also available online), pp. 101-132, "Sir Eglamour of Artois" (1 text, of 1320 lines, based mostly on British Library MS. Cotton Caligula A.2)
(William Beattie), _The Chepman and Myllar Prints: A Facsimile with a Bibliographical Note by William Beattie_, Edinburg Bibliographical Society, 1950, pp. 53-88, "(no title)" (1 text, a facsimile of the Advocates Library copy, STC #7542 below)
John Edwin Wells, _A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1400_, 1916 (references are to the 1930 fifth printing with three supplements), pp. 115-116, "Sir Eglamour of Artois" (a prose summary)
Brown/Robbins-IndexOfMiddleEnglishVerse, #1725
DigitalIndexOfMiddleEnglishVerse #2867
MANUSCRIPT: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 261 (Bodleian 21835), folio 26
MANUSCRIPT: Cambridge, University Library, MS. Ff.2.38, foio 71
MANUSCRIPT: London, British Library, MS. Cotton Caligula A.II, folio 5
MANUSCRIPT: {MSLincolnThornton}, Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral Library MS. 91 [Robert Thornton MS. 1; Lincoln Thornton MS.], folio 138
MANUSCRIPT: {MSPercyFolio}, The Percy Folio, London, British Library, MS. Additional 27879, page 296 (cf. Hales/Furnival-BishopPercysFolioManuscript, volume II, pp. 338-389, "Eglamore")
MANUSCRIPT: London, British Library, MS. Egerton 2862 (previously Sutherland, Trentham Hall], folio 148 (fragment, one leaf only)
MANUSCRIPT: Ann Arbor, University of Michigan MS. 225 (fragment)
EARLY PRINT EDITIONS:
Published by Wynken de Words, 1500? -- one leaf, not the first leaf, 1 line missing at the top of the page; begins "If that he be a crysten man") (STC #7542, p. 168)
Syr Eglamoure of Artoys, Published by Chepman and Myller, 1508 (STC #7542, p. 168)
Published by W. Copland (1548-1569) (STC #7543, p. 168)
Published by J. Walley (c. 1570?) and entered to J. Carlewood, Jan. 15, 1582 (STC #7544, p. 168)

Roud #29
RECORDINGS:
Bentley Ball, "Bangum and the Boar" (Columbia A3084, 1920)
Logan English, "Bangum and the Boar" (on LEnglish01)
Samuel Harmon, "The Wild Boar" (AFS 2805B; on LC57) {Bronson's #2}
Frank Hutchison, "Wild Hog in the Woods" (OKeh 45274, 1928)
Eunice Yeatts MacAlexander, "Wild Hog in the Woods" (on FarMtns1)
Jean Ritchie, "Old Bangum" (on JRitchie01)
Lonesome Luke [D. C. Decker] & his Farm Boys, "Wild Hog in the Woods" (Champion 16229, 1931; on KMM)
G. D. Vowell, "Bangum and the Boar" (AFS; on LC57)

ALTERNATE TITLES:
Wild Hog
The Jovial Hunter
Rurey Bain
Bangum and the Bo'
Wild Hog in the Woods
Rackabello
NOTES [2599 words]: Many versions of this song have been stripped down to descriptions of the [boar] hunt and the fight. Others have subplots concerning Sir Lionel's brothers.
The versions of this called "Wild Hog in the Woods" should not be confused with the fiddle tune of the same name, which is unrelated to any tune I've ever heard with the ballad. Great tune, though - PJS
Fowler, p. 160, goes beyond what Paul says about the ballad being stripped down and cites Bronson as saying "that a ballad was re-created from the romance, probably in 1615 by Samuel Rowlands, and that modern survivals of the 'old Bangum' type, usually considered descendants of the [Percy] folio version, are actually independent of it." This in fact goes somewhat beyond what Bronson said; Bronson merely pointed out that serious versions are very rare, and that Rowlands produced a serious version, and the two types may be independent. Still, I think Fowler is largely correct: the connection between "Sir Lionel" and "Bangum" is slight.
Flanders, in her notes in "Ancient Ballads," makes the astonishing (for her) admission of how different the common version of this is from the alleged roots: "If 'Old Bangum' can be considered as a direct descendant of the romance Sir Eglamour of Artois, it is surely a classic example of degeneration through oral tradition.... Although the Child 'Sir Lionel' is probably related to the medieval romance, scholars have just as probably been over-enthusiastic in relating 'Old Bangum' songs too closely to 'Sir Lionel.' As Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, 29, suggests, a song-book or music hall rewriting may well lie between the two."
She adds, "The 'Old Bangum' texts are the only American forms of Child 18. They are known in... England as well, and are characterized by a nonsense refrain which Alfred Williams... notes is meant to sound like a bugle."
Note that D'Urfey's version (Bronson's #3; not given by Child) actually calls the hero "Sir Eglamore," although this might be editorial.
Child mentions several analogies to the boar-hunting tale in the romances, including part of the story of "Culhwych and Olwen" in the Mabinogion (in which Culywych is given seemingly-impossible tasks in order to win Olwyn) and the tale of "The Avowing of [King] Arthur."
Louis B. Hall, p. 130 in his introduction to the "The Avowing of Arthur," says the following:
"With the wolf practically extinct in England, the wild boar had no enemies except the hunter, and a number of tales describe that hunt. The boar is a fearsome beast today and was even more so in the fifteenth century. Archaeological evidence indicates that it then stood four feet tall at the shoulder and weighted about 300 pounds. Its two tusks were like butcher knives, and the boar could use them to either stab or rip. Its successive layers of bristles, hide, muscle, and fat were impenetrable to arrows. To attack this beast alone with only spear and sword was exceedingly dangerous."
Of "Culhwych and Olwen" Child has little to say except to compare it with other tales of battles with a boar: "But both these, and even the Erymanthian, must lower their bristles before the boar in 'Kilhwch and Olwen,' Mabinogion, part iv, pp. 309-316." This is true as far as it goes; Ford-Mabinogi, p. 119, observes that "The story ostensibly deals with the love of Culhwych for Olwen, the giant's daughter, and describes how, with the help of his cousin Arthur, the impossible tasks imposed by the giant were accomplished and Olwen won... [but] the story is really about Arthur, his wonder-working retinue, and a series of exploits performed by them, culminating in the pursuit of the great boar, Twrch Trwyth. This last ends virtually in a draw between Arthur and the boar, although the carnage on both sides is great."
But the story may not have started there. Mabinogion/Davies, p. xxiii, points out that Arthur's boar hunt is mentioned in the ninth century History of the Britons. On p. 16 Ford-Mabinogi seems to suggest that the boar in "Culhwych" is a vague memory of a pig-god, which presumably makes his opponent semi-divine as well. This would fit well in a the world of giants and talking beasts of "Culhwych," less well with this ballad.
But Child fails to note that the fuller versions of "Sir Lionel," like "Culhwych," involves a giant, Olwen's father. This is not to suggest any direct dependence -- just that these tales of highly deadly boars often have giants somewhere in the vicinity as well.
Lionel himself is an Arthurian character, but a relatively minor one -- e.g. he does not have an entry in Lacy. Moorman/Moorman, p. 81, says of him, "In the Vulgate Lancelot, BOHORT's brother, LANCELOT's cousin. In the Queste del Saint Graal his fury almost leads him to kill BOHORT." Makes you wonder a little if Lionel and the boar didn't get their parts mixed up.
As for the romance of "Sir Eglamour," according to Hudson, p. 97, "Sir Eglamour of Artois tells a familiar story of lovers separated by a disapproving father, their vicissitudes, and their eventual marriage in a triumph of faithful love." To win the hand of Cristabelle, Eglamour has to accomplish a series of challenges set by her father, including a boar, giants, and a dragon; the father clearly wants Eglamour to fail, and probably die. When Christabelle gets pregnant, she and her son Degrebelle are set adrift. Eventually everyone is reunited after Eglamour has overthrown the wicked father and gone to Egypt to rescue Cristabelle (Hudson, pp. 97-98).
In the romance, the battle with the boar is in the middle of the list of tasks Eglamour must perform. "The boar is... in Sidon, and as Eglamour approaches, he finds the dismembered bodies of the beast's earlier opponents. The boar kills the knight's horse an requires three days to subdue, but his eradication is a great boon to the country which he had ravaged" (Hudson, p. 98).
The romance does have the interestingly "folk-ish" motif of a knight of (relatively) low status winning the hand of a girl of higher status. On the other hand, it is in the 12-line "tail rhyme" format, which for whatever reason is rarely used in romances that have relationships with ballads.
Unlike many Middle English romances, there does not seem to be a French equivalent of "Sir Eglamour." It is suggested that the piece was composed around 1350 in the northern Midlands.
There are no fewer than seven manuscripts and four early printings of the romance, making it among the most popular of all the Middle English tales, even though it has not been popular with modern editors, probably because of the "jingling verse and the general unrealness of the story" (Wells, p. 116). Derek Pearsall (Brewer, p. 31), sarcastically tells us that "Sir Eglamour is a mechanical shuffling-together of stock incidents, whisked vigorously and poured out at a pace that aims to provide little time for reflection on what rubbish it all is." This even though one of the manuscripts to include it is the famous "Percy Folio." The full list of manuscripts (from Richardson, pp. ix-xiv; see also Hudson, p. 100):
- British Library MS. Egerton 2862, c. 1400 (a fragment of the first 160 lines, often denoted "S").
- Lincoln Cathedral MS. 91, c. 1440, the "Lincoln Thornton Manuscript," after scribe Robert Thornton, who copied many romances and a few ballad-ish lyrics ("L").
- British Library MS. Cotton Caligula A.2, c. 1450 ("C").
- Cambridge University Library MS. Ff.2.38, c. 1460 ("F").
- Bodleian Library MS. Douce 261, 1564, from 1564 ("d")
- British Library MS. Additional 27879, the Percy Folio, c. 1650. ("p")
The early prints:
- National LIbrary of Scotland, Edinburgh, printed by Chepman and Myllar, 1508? (incomplete; titled "Sir Eglamore of Artoys") ("e").
- Cambridge University Library. Inc. 5.J.1.2, printed by Wynken de Worde, c. 1530? (fragment of fewer than sixty lines) ("g").
- Cambridge University Library, Syn 7.52.12, printed by Richard Bankes, c. 1530 (fragments totalling fewer than a hundred lines) ("b")
- Bodleian Library MS. Selden d 45(5), printed by William Copland, c. 1555 (this is very likely based on the Wynken de Worde edition, or perhaps an earlier, lost, Caxton edition) ("a"). There is good reason to think the Percy Folio version related to this; it contains several other romances found in Copland editions.
- British Library, C.21.C.59, John Walley, c. 1570? ("w").
It might perhaps be noted that Richardson's work was done as a thesis under none other than J. R. R. Tolkien (whose knowledge of folklore doesn't get enough attention), and it likely reflects many of Tolkien's opinions.
According to Richardson's descriptions and the stemma on p. xx, the manuscripts form three groups, S+L, the earliest and generally the best; C+F; and the late texts, e+g+w+b+a+d+p (with the Percy Folio p being especially close to a and w; Richardson in fact thinks p is derived from a, the de Worde edition).
Most printed editions have used L as their base text. Richardson prints L and C in parallel columns. Hudson, although agreeing that L is the best text, works from C because it is the fullest.
There is an interesting footnote to this, in that "Sir Eglamour" is one of the few places where we can test the quality of the text in the very valuable Percy folio. According to Richardson's stemma (p. xx), the Percy text is copied, at one remove, from the Bodleian Selden print by Copeland. Richardson, p. xix, calls it the worst of all the texts and lists a number of unique errors. We should perhaps take this with a grain of salt, since Richardson would also allow the possibility that the Percy text is derived from multiple sources, but if Richardson is correct, we should perhaps be cautious in the use we make of the Percy Folio.
Richardson thinks "Sir Eglamour" is a blending of three romance types, which he calls "Tochmarc Emire/The Wooing of Emer," "Degare," and "Octavian." In English, the first of these is best known from "Emare," the second from "Sir Degare" (Digory)." Richardson thinks the "Eglamour" poet knew specifically "Emare," "Sir Degare," and one or the other of the two English "Octavian" romances. The theme of tasks is from the "Tochmarc Emire/Emare" group; Richardson is not sure if his only source is "Emare" or if there is another source as well.
Mehl, p. 77, says sarcastically of the romance, "The story of Sir Eglamour deserves a brief examination, if only on account of its mediocrity and its highly eclectic character." On p. 78, he adds, "It would be easy to find analogues for all these motifs in earlier romance and to demonstrate that Sir Eglamour is a rather synthetic product. There are particularly close links with Guy of Warwick, Octavian, and Sir Ysumbras....
For a bibliography of references to "Emare," see Rice, pp. 253-254; for "Guy of Warwick," see pp. 277-280; for "Octavian," pp. 365-366; for "Sir Degare," pp. 409-414; for Sir "Isumbras," pp. 469-471; for "Sir Eglamour," pp. 415-416. Summaries of most of them are found in Wells.
I can't help but think, if two scholars both agree that "Eglamour" is derivative, but derive it from different sets of romances, then perhaps the actual sources are something different and now lost -- and if perhaps "Sir Lionel" is related to that.
Mehl, p. 82-83, goes on to suggest that "Eglamour" is a "minstrel poem" -- which, in this context, means a poem the outline of which was memorized but the details largely at the performer's choice, most of them being commonplaces or derived from oral tradition. And, of course, anything that borrows from tradition is likely to lend to it as well.
Or perhaps there is another, lost, "Eglamour" romance. The alliterative poem "The Parlement of the Thre Ages," has these lines:
Sir Eglamour of Artas, full euerous in armes,
And Christabelle the clere maye es crept in her graue;
(Turville-Petrie, p. 98; lines 622-623). The "Parlement" (which exists in two copies) cannot be certainly dated, but the best guess is late fourteenth century (Turville-Petrie, p. 67). The context is a list of famous lovers; Tristram and Dido are among the others mentioned.
Richardson, p. xlii, notes in addition a report of an Eglamore play that was staged at St. Alban's in 1442/43. On the same page, Richardson reports a reduced form of the story, in which Eglamour does little except kill a dragon, in Samuel Rowland's 1615 work "The Melancholy Knight," and a version from 1656 in "Wit and Drollery." Finally, Richardson mentions a version "still sung in schools and Boy Scout camps today." In the absence of a footnote, I don't know what that refers to; I would assume it's some version of this song. More secure is the link of the romance with "Sir Cawline" [Child 61], with which it shares plot elements and some lyrics. But it's an open question just how traditional "Sir Cawline" is; see the notes to that song.
Richardson, pp. xlv-v, suggests that "Sir Eglamour" also influenced the romance of "Sir Torrent of Portyngale" -- or, more correctly, that "Eglamour" influenced "Torrent" and that "Torrent" then influenced the manuscripts of "Eglamour." Wells, p. 113, says that "It has been claimed by some that Sir Torrent is a making-over of Sir Eglamour, and by others that the two are from a common source. He lists two main plot elements in both romances, the "Eustache" story of a family that is driven into poverty and exile and threatened with religious persecution and the "Constance" story of a girl whose father abuses her and forces her to flee to a foreign land where she marries a king and is again banished before reuniting with her husband; these themes are also found in the romance of Octovian, although it is clearly distinct textually, and also in Emare.
Alice B. Morgan, "'Honor & Right' in Arthur of Little Britain" (on pp. 371-384 of Benson) observes that the motif of one substituting for another in bed occurs in "Sir Degare," "Sir Torrent," "Sir Eglamour," and "Partenope of Blois," and also in the French "Arthur of Little Britain" (Benson, p. 377), which John Bourchier, Lord Berners, translated into English I the sixteenth century (Benson, pp. 371-374). So someone who researches "Sir Lionel" has a few more romance to dig into, at least casually.
The wooden knife used to kill the boar has folklore analogies. Simpson, pp. 31-32, has a story told of one Sir Goddard Oxenbridge of Brede (although she notes that it is demonstrably not true). He was somehow turned into a carnivorous giant who went around eating children. Nor could he easily be killed; he was said to be immune to normal metal weapons, plus a crow could warn him when he was about to be attacked. The children of Sussex brewed a huge vat of beer, got him drunk, and sawed him in half with a wooden saw.
A curiosity in all of this is the "Sir Eglamore" text printed in Chappell-PopularMusicOfTheOldenTime, pp. 475-477, opening something like "Sir Eglamore, that valiant knight, Fa, la, lnky down dilly, He took his sword and went to fight...." It is basically "Old Bangum" but with Sir Eglamore being the knight and fighting a dragon; in one sense, it's a link between the ballad and the romance, but it feels after-the-fact to me. Roud lists more than a dozen "Sir Eglamore" versions of this ballad, but most are from print; I really suspect they are literary work, and should perhaps be split off.
I think the funniest example of a "Sir Eglamore" text is in the 1949 Girl Scout songbook Sing Together, where it is suggested that it can be used as a dramatic skit in song. But it seems to have been quickly dropped from later songbooks. - RBW
Bibliography
  • Benson: Larry D. Benson, editor, The Learned and the Lewed: Studies in Chaucer and Medieval Literature, Harvard University Press, 1974
  • Brewer: Derek Brewer, editor, Studies in Medieval English Romance, D. S. Brewer, 1988 (I use the 1991 paperback edition)
  • Ford-Mabinogi: The Mabinogi and other Medieval Welsh Tales, Translated and Edited, with an Introduction, by Patrick K. Ford, University of California Press, 1977
  • Fowler: David C. Fowler, A Literary History of the Popular Ballad, Duke University Press, 1968
  • Hall: Louis B. Hall, The Knightly Tales of Sir Gawain, with introductions and translations by Hall, Nelson-Hall, 1976
  • Hudson: Harriet Hudson, Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour, second edition, TEAMS (Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages), Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2006. Much of the material in this book is also available online)
  • Lacy: Norris J. Lacy, Editor, The Arthurian Encyclopedia, 1986 (I use the 1987 Peter Bedrick paperback edition)
  • Mabinogion/Davies: The Mabinogion, translated [from Welsh] by Sioned Davies, 2007 (I use the 2008 Oxford University Press paperback)
  • Mehl: Dieter Mehl, The Middle English Romances of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, originally published 1967 in German as Die mittelentlischen Romanzen des 13. and 14. Jahrhunderts; English version, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1969
  • Moorman/Moorman: Charles and Ruth Moorman, An Arthurian Dictionary, University Press of Mississippi, 1978
  • Rice: Joanne A. Rice, Middle English Romance: An Annotated Bibliography, 1955-1985, Garland Publishing, 1987
  • Richardson: Frances E. Richardson, editor, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Early English Text Society/Oxford University Press, 1965
  • Simpson: Jacqueline Simpson, The Folklore of Sussex, B. T. Batsford, 1973
  • STC: A. W. Pollard, G. R. Redgrave, et al, A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland & Ireland And of English Books Printed Abroad 1475-1640, The Bibliographical Society [of London], 1963
  • Turville-Petre: Thorlac Turville-Petre, Alliterative Poetry of the Later Middle Ages: An Anthology, Routledge, 1989
  • Wells: John Edwin Wells, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1400, 1916 (references are to the 1930 fifth printing with three supplements)
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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sir Eglamore^^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 03:58 AM

Hi, Backwoodsman - we try to post uncorrected lyrics as printed in the original source. And the source has Male and other unusual spellings.

We do correct transcriptions, especially if we have the original source to refer to.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sir Eglamore
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 04:06 AM

Incidentally, I'm going to suggest that the D'Urfey text is some sort of parody -- a battle between a knight and a dragon in which nothing actually happens. With Sir Eglamore being the "hero" because he was the hero of a rather ineffective romance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sir Eglamore
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 04:20 AM

Aaaahh! Sorry Joe, I thought it was a typo. In my early working life, I was a proof-reader in the company’s Publicity Dept., proof-reading brochures, advertising material, and drawing-office technical publications. I still can’t help checking for spelling, punctuation, etc., etc.!

It’s a hard life…   ;-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sir Eglamore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 04:29 AM

Hi, Backwoodsman - I've done a lot of proofreading, too. That's what got me started on this - did the original source really have "Male"? Yes, it did.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sir Eglamore
From: Paul Burke
Date: 28 Nov 23 - 02:52 PM

I recall this on a City Waits record back in the 70s, finishing something like:

Then straightaway to a tavern he went
with his fa la...
And pretty soon his twopence he spent
with his fa la...
He was so hot from fighting the dragon
Nothing could quench him but a whole flagon
with his fa la...


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