To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
66 messages

What are jubal hounds?

28 Jan 05 - 11:09 AM (#1391313)
Subject: What are jubal hounds?
From: Arnie

Listening to the song Bold Reynard the other day, I'd always thought he was chased by ducal hounds (ie belonging to a Duke) but now I've looked up the lyrics, they are jubal hounds. What on earth is/are jubal??

28 Jan 05 - 11:48 AM (#1391363)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: TheBigPinkLad

Not certain, but in the North East of England local dialect (Geordie)uses 'jugal' for dog. It comes directly from the Romany (gypsy) and is related to 'jackal.'

28 Jan 05 - 11:55 AM (#1391380)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: GUEST,ClaireBear

Sometimes I know too much about language for my own good, but I always assumed the word was "jubile" (which would, I thought, be a regional cousin to "jubilant") and that it meant "baying" -- from the Latin iubilater, to shout joyously.

Mind you, I can't find any dictionary that backs me up on's just something that kind of makes sense from an etymological perspective.

28 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM (#1391391)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: open mike

i insist it is jugal....or going after the jugular veins...

28 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM (#1391392)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Vixen

ClaireBear--that's a lovely etymology. I have no idea about "jubal," but along similar lines as yours above, I had always believed "twa" to mean "three" as in the French "trois". Since joining mudcat, I've learned that "twa" means "two"...just amazing!

ain't language fascinatin'?!


28 Jan 05 - 12:05 PM (#1391398)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Uncle_DaveO

"Twa" is "two".

Dave Oesterreich

28 Jan 05 - 12:10 PM (#1391408)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Amos

Related: People Biographies

(joo´b?l) , in the Bible, son of Lamech and originator of musical instruments.

A wild speculation: they were named for their musical baying call?


28 Jan 05 - 12:13 PM (#1391413)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: fogie

So what is the technical expression for mute mutts?

28 Jan 05 - 12:22 PM (#1391421)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: John MacKenzie


28 Jan 05 - 12:44 PM (#1391449)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Amos

I dunno, but it really bugs me I haven't been able to find out what jubal hounds are with any certainty!!


28 Jan 05 - 12:53 PM (#1391463)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Malcolm Douglas

So far as I can tell, "Jubal" occurs in one example only of the song, noted by Ralph Vaughan Williams from a Stephen Pole in Norfolk. The Young Tradition recorded an arrangement of it, and I expect a lot of people learned it that way (Brass Monkey recorded it as well, though much later).

In other traditional versions where that form of words occurs (Copper Family, for instance), it's usually sung "joyful". That may be all there is to it.

28 Jan 05 - 01:27 PM (#1391506)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Amos

Malcolm -- if you put "jubal hounds" into Google (include quotation marks) and ask for the whole list you get dozens of references to several diffgerent songs on common themes with this phrase, all of which appear to be descended from Bold Reynard.

Are these all part of the umbrella you refer to as one song?



28 Jan 05 - 01:48 PM (#1391524)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Malcolm Douglas

So far as I can see, every single one of those references traces back to Mr Pole's set (or Poll; both spellings appear), though only a very few (those at folkinfo, for example) acknowledge him. I haven't looked at every text in detail, but they are all the same song (actually, all the same version of the song),though many with mistakes of transcription. I hadn't known, or had forgotten, that Fairport Convention recorded an arrangement of it as well, and a lot of websites have copied the text from them. Others are copied from the Young Tradition arrangement, and a few from Brass Monkey.

No help to be got in that direction, then. Whether Mr Poll had misheard "joyful", or whether RVW misheard him; or whether he had a specific meaning in mind, I wouldn't like to guess, though the last possibility seems the least likely. I don't know of any broadside or songster texts.

28 Jan 05 - 02:38 PM (#1391564)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Amos

Thanks very much, Malcolm!!Always enjoy your scholarly insights.

As for jubal, unless it an obscure dialect, I am inclined to agree with you that it was an error in hearing or transcribing.


28 Jan 05 - 03:43 PM (#1391609)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: DonMeixner

Here is what I found Googling Jubal Hound


The Foxhunt

You gentlemen of high renown come listen unto me
That take delight in foxhunting in every high degree
A story true to you I'll tell concerning of a fox
Of Royston Hills and mountains high and over stony rocks

Old Reynold being in his den and hearing of these hounds
Which made him for to prick his ears and tread upon the ground
Methinks me hears some jubal hounds pressing upon my life
Before that they to me shall come I'll tread upon the ground

We hunted full four hours or more by parishes sixteen
We hunted full four hours or more and come by Parkworth Green
Oh if you'll only spare my life I promise and fulfil
I'll touch no more of your feathered fowl nor lamb in yonder fold

Old Reynold beat and out of breath and dreading of these hounds
Thinking that he might lose his life before the jubal hounds
Oh here's adieu to duck and geese likewise young lamb also
They've got old Reynold by the brush and will not let him go

28 Jan 05 - 03:50 PM (#1391613)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: GUEST,Com Seangan

I think ClaireBear was first in with the best suggestion. But the Latin verb is jubilare (or iubilare) to rejoice. The word Jubilee comes from it. Allelu you jubal hounds of Geordie land.

28 Jan 05 - 04:08 PM (#1391623)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Teresa

Not a tribute to Robert Heinlein? Sorry. :)

It's interesting that you don't see mention of these "jubal hounds" outside of this set of songs. I haven't noticed reference to "jubal" at all.


28 Jan 05 - 04:13 PM (#1391632)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Stilly River Sage

I looked at this as the use of a Biblical term, not a musical term. Google Jubal hounds Bible and you find some interesting stuff. I'm working on this, but here is a short snippit:

Yôbâl (Jubal) and Tôbalkin (Tubal-Cain), the two brethren, the sons of Lamech, the blind man, who killed Cain, invented and made all kinds of instruments of music.
Jôbâl made reed instruments, and harps, and flutes, and whistles,
and the devils went and dwelt inside them.
When men blew into the pipes, the devils sang inside them,
and sent out sounds from inside them.


28 Jan 05 - 04:25 PM (#1391645)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Amos

That IS interesting, SRS -- because it is the first basis I have ever run across for the old Puritan assertion that dancing was the devil's music.


28 Jan 05 - 04:28 PM (#1391649)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Sorcha

Jubal is a popular name for a hound, red tick, coon, the deep South, US

28 Jan 05 - 04:52 PM (#1391659)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Malcolm Douglas

That's interesting; there may be some bearing on this, but, given the structure of the line, the word is adjectival, so "joyful" is still more likely unless "jubal" was ever used to refer to a breed or type of dog, which would seem not to be the case. So far I don't see any reason to think that there are any real problems or obscure meanings here.

28 Jan 05 - 05:11 PM (#1391670)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Amos

I think that is the lefacy of Jubal Early, a remowned Confederate colonel. There may be other Jubals in the Southern tradition as well -- I am sure they are drawn from the old testament originally.


28 Jan 05 - 05:34 PM (#1391694)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Stilly River Sage

I'll note at the beginning of this collection of bits I picked up in a few searches that quite a few hits go to and I tried to figure out just what it is--the site seems to have no statement of ownership, management, or raison d'etre, except that it seems to promoting scholarship to do with biblical details, to be debunking some forms of christian belief, and seems to be tied to a particular pastor named Rubel Shelly.

    Rubel Shelly is the most visible participant in an effort to restructure churches of Christ into Community Churches. Because negative comments are blacklisted from FaithMatters on perhaps to allow judgmental and negative comments to stand unchallenged, we offer the following Biblical corrections to published or posted sermons.

With this puzzlment regarding the source of some really interesting information noted, here is some of what I uncovered regarding the term "jubal hounds." --SRS Pepperdine link

    Victor Knowles, Teacher Victor Knowles, like many instrumental churches, seems obsessed with UNITING with what they despairingly call "a cappella churches." This is consistent with the oldest story, told in many forms, about the Jubal or Genun character. Satan seduces him into leading people into using instruments (weapons) to enchant others to steal their "sheep." When he discovers that he has fallen beyond redemption, his life's work is to try to seduce everyone else to AFFIRM his own repudiation of the Living Word. Perhaps there is a clue about the MARK in that CAIN means "a musical note" and Jubal "handled" musical instruments meaning WITHOUT AUTHORITY. We have collected three dozen versions of this story including that of The Book of Enoch which Jude used to warn that God will come with ten thousand of His saints. The very FAILURE is that of using MUSIC as the "Lucifer Principle" to bleed off worship from God.

(Genun information--this name/term in general seems to generate some kind of squishy sci-fi pop-christian interest along with the scholarship--see my Google search on Genun.

Also from, what I posted above

    Yôbâl (Jubal) and Tôbalkin (Tubal-Cain), the two brethren, the sons of Lamech, the blind man, who killed Cain, invented and made all kinds of instruments of music.
    Jôbâl made reed instruments, and harps, and flutes, and whistles,
    and the devils went and dwelt inside them.
    When men blew into the pipes, the devils sang inside them,
    and sent out sounds from inside them.

This is a very interesting (albeit brief) discussion of this character/subject:

    [39] ONE SHOULD not slander music by charging it with being an ally of the frivolities of courtiers, although many frivolous individuals endeavor by its help to advance their own interests. Music is indeed one of the liberal arts and it has an honorable origin whether it claims Pythagoras, Moses, or Tubal,77 the father of those who play upon the harp, as the author of its being. Because of the great power exercised by it, its many forms, and the harmonies that serve it, it embraces the universe; that is to say, it reconciles the clashing and dissonant relations of all that exists and of all that is thought and expressed in words by a sort of ever varying but still harmonious law derived from its own symmetry. By it the phenomena of the heavens are ruled and the activities of the world and men are governed. Its instruments form and fashion conduct and, by a kind of miracle of nature, clothe with melodies and colorful forms of rhymes and measures the tone of the voice, whether expressed in words or not, and adorn them as with a robe of beauty.

    77 Gen. vi. 21. Tubal was the form of Jubal used in the Middle Ages

This would lead me to interpret "Jubal Hounds" as the dissonant clammoring barking of dogs, ungodly, noisy, and distracting at the very least--SRS

Other links:
(google search on "tubal jubal)

I could keep opening links and reading, cutting and pasting, but I'll conclude that the connection was clearly made in literary circles, as demonstrated by Kipling:
Jubal and Tubal Cain
Rudyard Kipling

JUBAL sang of the Wrath of God
    And the curse of thistle and thorn—
But Tubal got him a pointed rod,
    And scrabbled the earth for corn.
    Old—old as that early mould,
       Young as the sprouting grain—
    Yearly green is the strife between
       Jubal and Tubal Cain

Jubal sang of the new-found sea,
    And the love that its waves divide—
But Tubal hollowed a fallen tree
    And passed to the further side.
    Black—black as the hurricane-wrack,
       Salt as the under-main—
    Bitter and cold is the hate they hold—
       Jubal and Tubal Cain!

Jubal sang of the golden years
    When wars and wounds shall cease—
But Tubal fashioned the hand-flung spears
    And showed his neighbours peace.
    New—new as the Nine point Two,
       Older than Lamech's slain—
    Roaring and loud is the feud avowed
       Twix' Jubal and Tubal Cain!

Jubal sang of the cliffs that bar
    And the peaks that none may crown—
But Tubal clambered by jut and scar
    And there he builded a town.
    High—high as the snowsheds lie,
       Low as the culverts drain—
    Wherever they be they can never agree—
       Jubal and Tubal Cain!

(I don't know what the note "Canadian" is about--did Kipling live in Canada for a while?)

I'm adding this poem because it offers a literary interpretation of a relationship, but I'm not in any way shape or form a biblical scholar who can make much of the myth as presented here. I'm not a christian and haven't read the bible, but at the same time, I read a lot of other stuff and tend to recognise biblical references when they pop up. So I'll leave it to someone who has more expertise in the field to sort it out. This is raw data.


28 Jan 05 - 05:50 PM (#1391723)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Malcolm Douglas

All very interesting, but we really are getting into very abstruse territory there; and completely unnecessarily, I suspect. I honestly don't think that Kipling's poem demonstrates anything relevant.

It's perfectly possible that Mr Pole may have had "jubilation" or "jubilee" at the back of his mind (or even the biblical Jubal or Tubal, though I can't think why) when he sang "jubal", or he may have learnt it that way; but it's rather too late to ask him. Other people sang "joyful", while other versions don't contain that bit at all.

SRS's guess is ingenious in a "chariots of the gods" kind of way, but we'd need some evidence of the term being used in that sense -in any sense at all would be a start- before it became at all likely, given that there's a simple explanation available. In cases like this, the simplest explanation is often best.

28 Jan 05 - 07:33 PM (#1391819)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: DonMeixner

The largest pipe organ pipes are sometimes called Jubal Pipes.


28 Jan 05 - 07:43 PM (#1391830)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Azizi

This probably has NOTHING at all to do with 'jubal hounds'

But, FYI:

There are many meanings for the word 'Juba' in Africa and among pre-20th century African Americans and other people of African descent in the 'New World'.

"Juba" is the capital of Bahr el Gebel State and headquarter of the Bahr el Jebel Province. It is the historic capital of Southern Sudan.

In the 17th, 18th century "Juba" also found as "Guiba" was considered to be a spiritual dance {Caribeans} that originated in West or Central Africa. The dance 'Juba' became a very popular secular dance among enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and in the US South.

The term "Pattin' Juba" refers to the practice of making percussive sounds by slapping your thigh & chest with your hands. {think doing the 'Hambone'} In some instances, the "Juba beater" was an actual drummer or might refer to the person pattin Juba. These terms probably came from the Juba dance.

I also recall reading that "Juba" was a name for an African king, but can't put my hands on that source material.

"Juba" was used in 17th & 18 century and then less often as a name for [usually] males of African descent in the Americas. The name "Cuba" was also used [think Cuba Gooding Senior & Junior}, though I understand that 'Cuba' started out as a female name. It's possible that the personal names 'Juba' and 'Cuba' [and the name of the Caribbean nation?] may have come from the Akan {Ghana, West Africa} female day name "Adwoa"' pronounced ah JEW-ah and meaning 'female born on Monday'. The male form of that name is "Kwadwo" {which was transformed in the South to the name "Quack"}.

Akan day names are personal name given for the force that rules the day a male or a female was born, similar to the concept of astrology sun signs.

This somewhat familiar African American social dance rhyme is an example of the use of "Juba" as a personal name:

Juba this and Juba that
Juba skinned {killed} a yella cat*
Juba up and Juba down
Juba all around the town.
Jump Juba!

* In his 1922 book, 'Negro Folk Rhymes' Professor Thomas W. Talley writes that "skinning' {or killing} the cat was a dance step...

Bessie Jones in the now classic book 'Step It Down' written with Bess Lomax Hawes on African American {Gullah} children's rhymes says that in the old days "Juba" was said to be an African ghost. Ms. Jones says that African Americans came to see "Juba'as a way of saying 'gibblets' {parts of the chicken's intestines}. While I don't doubt that this is what some folks believed, I don't think that is the real meaning of the word.

I consider it a fortunate coincidence that the African word 'Juba" sounded so much like the words 'jubilee' and 'jubilant". IMO, "Juba' took on the hopeful, upbeat coloring of those two words, though they have almost certainly have different origins.

Ms. Azizi

28 Jan 05 - 07:56 PM (#1391844)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Azizi

I retract the statement I jsut made that "Juba" probably has NOTHING at all to do with 'jubal hounds'.

Why? I actually took the time to read and not skim over Sorcha's comment that "Jubal is a popular name for a hound, red tick, coon, the deep South" and, Stilly River Sage's posting of the the Biblical "Jubal"...

IMO, both of these give some support to the theory that "Jubal" and "Juba" may actually be related words. I also think that these words & names may all have an African origin...

But according to scientific evidence, if you go back far enough EVERYTHING and EVERYONE has an African origin...

Ms. Azizi

28 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM (#1391856)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Stilly River Sage


The Kipling was posted as an afterthought--so I agree, it doesn't really help in this matter. It was there to give an example different from the one other song that kept turning up.

However, I think the other stuff is quite germane, and I wouldn't toss it in favor of the expedient answer, the one that says "jubilation" should be the accepted meaning because it fits best to our modern ear. In my work with ethnographic materials (American Indian, in this case) I have learned that a lot of embedded material is contained in those stories that goes far beyond the story itself. To give an example for today, we "dial" and "hang up" a phone, yet they rarely have dials any more, and we usually push a button to turn them off. The vestigial terms, "dial" and "hang up" have become idomatic, but are perfectly understood today.

I think it is quite likely that in the way the term Boycott today implies an action but gets its name from an individual, you can look at "Jubal" hounds as a term that gets its name from a mythic character with connections to noise, and from the information I have presented here, its original meaning implies a cacophony of discordant noises, and they are hounds of Satan because they are noisy Jubal hounds. If enough people have lost contact with the Old Testement origins and instead automatically assume it's roots are the same as "jubilee," then of course you could reach that conclusion, but I think it is in error.

Bold Reynard, being in his hole and hearing of these hounds
Which made him for to prick up his ears and tread upon the ground
"Methinks me hears some jubal hounds a-pressing upon the life
Before that they should come to me, I'll tread upon the ground"

Why would the fox interpret the dogs as joyous? Wouldn't the fox interpret the hounds as agents of the devil, in his world view?

Jubal is a word with Hebrew origins.
Jubilation is a noun first seen in the 14th century.
Jubilee is from Middle French and Late Latin.

The fact that they sound alike may be because over time they have come to be prounounced alike (was the J in Jubal a "jay" sound or a "yeh" sound, and was it changed from the Hebrew pronunciation by Germanic readers?)

I haven't seen any information to tie Jubal to Jubilee, but I have come across information to tie Jubal to biblical meanings to do with origins of music and the sorting of music from noise, parallel, one would imagine, to the sorting of matters between the christian god and satan. A parallel that I think the originators of songs like Reynard the Fox were fully capable of making.


28 Jan 05 - 08:23 PM (#1391868)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Malcolm Douglas

Juba may very well be related to the biblical name sometimes given to dogs in the Southern USA (likely, as Amos mentioned, after the famous general), but there's no demonstrable relation to the phrase used in the song, which probably didn't belong in it in the first place.

Let me mention another instance from another version of the song, Bold Reynolds (Journal of the Folk-Song Society IV (1913) p.290. Francis Jekyll got it from a Mr Heygate at Rusper, Sussex, in 1910. Mr Heygate sang "joyful hounds", but that isn't my point. He also sang

"They ran bold Reynolds five hours or more, to Partridge town sixteen"

Now, I can easily imagine a thread here earnestly debating the most likely location of Partridge Town, and the occult significance of that "sixteen" (an early post code?) Compare other examples of the song, however, and it becomes clear. Mr Heywood had misheard the words when he learned them. Happens all the time. There was no "Partridge Town sixteen". Bold Reynolds (many people didn't know that Reynard was a literary name for the fox, and simply substituted a name they did know) was chased through parishes sixteen.

Simple; and you do it by looking at the evidence provided by other examples of the song, not by rushing out looking for Ordnance Survey maps. Start at home and work outward if you need to; proceeding in the other direction will lead to all sorts of bizarre speculation which may well be interesting, but will confuse the hell out of people who look at this thread in the future...

28 Jan 05 - 08:48 PM (#1391886)
Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
From: Stilly River Sage

Malcolm (or better yet, Arnie who first asked the question),

The research is yours now.

  • Find the earliest versions of the song in which the fox is chased by the hounds, even if it is or isn't named Reynard.
  • Find the earliest occurance of "Jubal" and "Joyful" in the song.
  • Find British and American versions. I saw plenty of information about the American Civil War General, and several other 19th Century American folks named "Jubal."
  • For extra credit, find French versions, the older the better. Reynard is a French name--perhaps there is something to be seen there. What adjectives are used to describe the dogs? If it did, when did this song cross the channel?

    If the term appears in American or Appalachian versions but not in British (and/or French) versions, then there is a link to consider. If it is in older incidences of the British version, then I think you need to consider the Old Testament meaning.


  • 28 Jan 05 - 08:48 PM (#1391887)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Malcolm Douglas

    SRS posted while I was putting that together.

    Show me a single example of "jubal" used adjectivally anywhere in the English language (or in any of the senses you suggest, other than simply as a name) and I might reconsider. So far, I haven't seen a single piece of real evidence in all this elaborately-constructed speculation. The song doesn't appear to be particularly old; hundreds such were written during the early 19th century. Many contained classical allusions of the conventional sort (Phoebus shows up a lot) but I can't think of any Biblical ones at the moment. Where nominally told from the fox's point of view (though really from that of the hunter), such songs are still couched in conventional terms; don't expect realism!

    What is far more common than deliberately obscure language (especially terms not found anywhere else) in folk song is the case of the singer who mishears certain words or phrases in a song at the time of learning it. Typically, they will either substitute words or phrases that do make sense to them, or they will simply sing the sound they remember. Such limited evidence as we have is strongly in favour of the last possibility in this case.

    28 Jan 05 - 10:22 PM (#1391922)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Amos

    The Psalm called Jubuilate begins with the word for a joyous cry. From the American Heritage:

    Jubilate, NOUN:
    1a. The 100th Psalm in the King James Bible and in most modern Catholic versions or the 99th in the Vulgate. b. A musical setting of the Jubilate. 2. The third Sunday after Easter. 3. A song or an outburst of joy and triumph.

    Middle English, from Latin ibilte, second person pl. imperative of ibilre, to raise a shout of joy, the first word of the psalm.

     Not sure where the Hebrew root goes.


    29 Jan 05 - 01:05 AM (#1392035)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Nerd

    Maybe the hounds came from Juberlane...Or maybe they were used in hunting rodents and really were "Gerbil hounds"

    Seriously, I mostly agree with Malcolm, except I suspect even more strongly that Mr. Pole had the Latin root "Jubile" in mind. Indeed, I think ClaireBear was the closest of anyone!

    Looking in the OED, you will find the word Jubile. Although this is a variant form of "Jubilee" and usually pronounced as three syllables, the OED specifies that it is sometimes pronounced as two syllables. Further, it is sometimes used as a prefix to denote "Joyful" or "celebratory." The example they give is "jubil-trumpet." (All of this is in the entry for Jubilee).

    Note that the second vowel sound is not accented and thus pronounced as what phoneticists call a "schwa" (that's the upside-down e in the phonetic alphabet). In other words, the "jubil" of jubil-trumpet is pronounced exactly the same as the "jubal" of "jubal hounds."

    Given this, it is conceivable that

    1) jubil (meaning joyful) existed as an obscure dialect word until Mr. Pole's day, and it was an everyday word to him.

    2) Mr Pole (or someone in the chain of transmission from which he received the song) was aware of such formations as "jubil-trumpet" and purposely changed "Joyful Hounds" to "Jubil Hounds." This would be likely, for example, if there was a clergyman anywhere in the chain of transmission.

    3) Mr Pole (or his ultimate source), as Malcolm suggested, had "Jubilee" in mind.

    Indeed, looking at the OED one is surprised by the extent to which "jubil" as a particle (not usually a whole word) is present in English. Words using it include: Jubel (a joyful cry--the OED specifically mentions a jubel as a cry "to dogs or the like"); jubilance, jubilant, jubilarian, jubilary, jubilate, jubilatory, jubilean, jubilist, jubilize, jubilose.

    Since most versions give "joyful hounds," it would be a great coincidence if Mr Pole reached "jubal/jubil" by completely random chance. It seems much more likely to me that the common particle jubil- (which means joy) was the basis for the change.

    One thing I like about any of these solutions is that Mr Pole is revealed as a man with either arcane knowledge or great verbal creativity, while RVW is revealed as a poor speller, rendering the perfectly good word "jubil" as "jubal!"

    Just my twa cents!

    29 Jan 05 - 02:57 AM (#1392068)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Malcolm Douglas

    Ah, if only I had OED to hand! Those formations and usages make perfect sense here. If the word is meaningful and not simply a misunderstanding somewhere along the line (which now seems less likely than before) then we have as good a meaning as anyone could wish for, I think; and without the need for abstruse contortions. Thank you.

    29 Jan 05 - 03:51 AM (#1392080)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Nerd

    Yes, having the compact edition of the OED to hand is a frequent source of jubilosity for me!

    29 Jan 05 - 10:10 AM (#1392223)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Amos

    OED:( jubel as a cry "to dogs or the like")

    That pretty well fixes it in my mind -- if that was once a common usage for the kind of cry used to urge dogs on (something we don't do much anymore) than it makes perfect sense to call the kind of dog trained to that sort of handling a jubal hound. "Y yeller's dog" or even "Old Yeller" (sorry).


    29 Jan 05 - 11:57 AM (#1392312)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Bunnahabhain

    Oxford dictionary of English Etymology (1966 edition):

    Jubilation. exultant, rejoicing. 14 C ( Wycliffe Bible). - Latin jubilatio(n-), f.jubilare.
    (Rustic word) Call, halloo.
    rest of entry irrelevent.

    It's an old, rustic word, synonomus with halloo, a cry from hunting.
    Given a few centuries of the folk process to fudge it, I'd take that as an origin.


    29 Jan 05 - 01:38 PM (#1392406)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: GUEST,fullerton

    I read this thread yesterday.

    This morning I went to a joint meet of the Bleasdale Beagles and the Armargh and Richill Beagles. Near Tebay in Cumbria.

    I had a chat to both of the Huntsmen (both keen singers) and I told them about this thread. One suggested that it was a corruption of the word tuneful. The bark of a pack of Hounds is known as "music" To describe the cry of a pack of hounds as tuneful seems quite likely.

    HOWEVER, I then looked at this list of traditional Hound names and, surprise surprise it contains the name Jubel.

    List of Hound names.

    Hounds are usually named in Alphabetical order (A for one season B for the next etc) Most Hound names contain 2 syllables.

    It's a Hounds name. The pack sire? Probably. Maybe. I dunno.
    Is this an adequate explanation?

    29 Jan 05 - 01:42 PM (#1392408)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Stilly River Sage

    The first source I posted was from an elderly Webster's Collegiate--I have access to the OED online but didn't bother to logon at school to check it. I'm glad someone did. Webster offered no citation or date for the Hebrew source of the word.

    I can certainly see how the dogs in the chase would be jubilant--hunting dogs in a hunting situation would relish the task at hand and enjoy it. Since there appeared to be a line in the song that switched the point of view to the fox, it didn't hurt to consider the homonym. Nerd's illustration of the process of mispronouncing (or misunderstanding) is as likely as any other explanations here.


    30 Jan 05 - 06:15 AM (#1393032)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Arnie

    I agree with Nerd - the OED explanation seems to fit the bill perfectly and joyful or jubilant hounds holds good in the context. All a bit academic here in the UK as from Feb 18th there will be no fox hunting with hounds be they ducal, jubal or joyful!! Wonder if there's an archaic term for redundant hounds.....

    30 Jan 05 - 03:51 PM (#1393527)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Nerd

    Actually, SRS, my explanation requires neither mispronouncing nor misunderstanding, just misspelling. If Mr Pole sang "jubil hounds" to mean "joyful hounds," this appears to have been a real word used correctly, and is in the OED with that exact meaning. Remember that other texts of the song do in fact give "joyful hounds" so all the speculation on whether "joyful" itself can be right given that the song is from the fox's point of view is a red herring. The song does call them "joyful" in other versions of the same line.

    The only mistake made was that RVW wrote it down as "jubal," which in all the versions I have heard (which I grant are from revivalists, not Mr. Pole hmself) is pronounced exactly the same. So he just spelled it wrong; he may have understood it, though.

    31 Jan 05 - 04:50 AM (#1394030)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Thompson

    According to a helpful poster on a verby maillist to which I forwarded the question:

    Columbia University Electronic Encyclopedia:

    Jubal (j'ba˘l) , in the Bible, son of Lamech and originator of musical instruments.

    The poster also quotes Wikipedia.

    31 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM (#1394423)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Bert

    Actually he just changed the word so's he could claim copyright.

    31 Jan 05 - 01:11 PM (#1394453)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Stilly River Sage

    Nerd--My word choice probably didn't convey what I was trying to say. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that if the word didn't quite seem clear to the listener, they took a stab at what the word was or the spelling was, and ended up changing it.

    As an example, consider what happened last week at work. My boss called me in to listen to a voice mail message on his phone, because he couldn't quite make out the woman's name as she was pronouncing it. The last name sounded like "Harrell" and the first name sounded almost like "Thelma," but was a little breathy. She had left a phone number, so I typed it into google, and by getting her last name and the family phone listing (actually "Haral") I was able to figure out that her first name was actually "Alma." It took figuring out what she was doing with the letter "A" to get what the right name was.


    31 Jan 05 - 01:36 PM (#1394484)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: nutty

    Dictionary com gives three defenitions of the word Jubal


        In the Bible, a descendant of Cain who is said to have invented musical instruments.

    Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


    jubilee, music, Lamech's second son by Adah, of the line of Cain. He was the inventor of "the harp" (Heb. kinnor, properly "lyre") and "the organ" (Heb. 'ugab, properly "mouth-organ" or Pan's pipe), Gen. 4:21.

    Source: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary


    Jubal, he that runs; a trumpet

    Source: Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

    I would consider the third definition to be an accurate description of hounds giving chase.

    31 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM (#1394525)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Nerd

    Yes, nutty, we've seen the biblical Jubal before. But it makes little sense in this context. It is a proper name, a noun, for one thing. Even though the name "Stephen" means "crowned," we would not expect someone to say that "Queen Elizabeth was stephen on a Sunday." In the same way, even if "Jubal" means "he who runs" we would not expect a footrace to be described as "jubal men" or a hunt to be described as "jubal hounds."

    In any case the claim that the name "Jubal" means "he who runs" comes ONLY from that source, "Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary," which seems a bit dodgy in not agreeing with any other dictionaries. It's even dodgy in itself, since "he that runs" should strictly be either "he who runs" or "that which runs!"

    When looking for an adjective, if I am confronted with a choice between an English adjective from the OED and an adjectivized form of the meaning of a biblical name given in a dictionary I've never heard of, I'd take the OED version.

    31 Jan 05 - 04:33 PM (#1394711)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: TheBigPinkLad

    "he that runs" is fine ... 'which' refers to non-humans, 'who' to persons and 'that' to either.

    31 Jan 05 - 07:14 PM (#1394945)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: GUEST,Com Seangan

    Yes. The writer calls him/herself "NERD". I agree.

    31 Jan 05 - 07:25 PM (#1394968)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Malcolm Douglas

    He knows what he's talking about. Do you? As I've been suggesting from the start of this discussion, the biblical Jubal is irrelevant. "Nerd" has provided the specific (and real, not imaginary) information needed, and any further speculation is unnecessary and pointless.

    31 Jan 05 - 07:37 PM (#1394990)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: nutty

    But we don't happen to agree Malcolm that the biblical explanation is irrelevant. The Victorians would certainly not have considered it so.

    Biblical names were of great importance to them and I certainly consider it possible that it was considered an adequate description of hounds "running and trumpeting".

    It impossible to attribute the language of today to the times when this song was written.

    31 Jan 05 - 07:54 PM (#1395015)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Malcolm Douglas

    It's also unwise to make assumptions based on a misunderstanding of syntax and etymology, and the fact that this song has been found only once, ever, with "jubal" (however spelled) in it; and that in the Edwardian period. As I've said already, find me a single example of the biblical jubal used adjectivally, ever, and I'll concede that you may have a point. Until then, "Nerd's" OED definitions are all we need. They answer the question easily, and from proven usage. All the biblical jubal arguments are based on pure speculation unsupported by evidence of any kind.

    By all means disagree; but do offer real evidence based on actual usage. Until someone can do that, I'd consider the conversation closed.

    31 Jan 05 - 08:54 PM (#1395098)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Nerd

    Yes, I am a Nerd. But being a Nerd does preclude being right...often just the opposite!

    03 Feb 05 - 01:32 PM (#1398126)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: GUEST,Uncoknight

    I grew up attending a Primitive Baptist Church where my grandfather preached. We sang a cappela from a hymnbook called "The Good Old Songs". Many of the pieces in this book go back to the time of Isaac Watts but in this collection few few authors, if known, were credited. One of the hymns, titled "Watchman", had a word that I have wondered over many times through the years : "Then the jubil trumpet sounding shall awake from earth and sea all the saints of earth now sleeping clad in immortality." I always assumed this was a dialect word, short for jubilant, but never knew. Some of my friends--Hicks-- from Beech Creek in the next county used the words "jobal" hunter in their variant of the ballad about the wild boar. This was their hearing of the word "jovial". In Appalachian dialect, which derives mainly from the traditional speech of Great Britain, "o's" and "u"s are frequently substituted for each other as in "bumb" for "bomb", "dunkey" for "donkey", etc. although the o in ""jobal" is long o.
        I doubt whether the singers of these songs over the generations put any worry or special significance as to this words meaning although it is very interesting to me to learn so much fascinating history and possible origins to "jubal".

    04 Feb 05 - 04:12 AM (#1398695)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Gurney

    From the 'Dictionary of Archaic Words,' compiled 1850.

    'Jub. A slow trot.'   So, maybe, hounds that are followed on foot, as are beagles?

    06 Jun 05 - 04:02 AM (#1500949)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: GUEST,Allen

    I agree totaly with jubile being the meaning (after all it's not a deep-seated psychological tale from fox's POV), and would like to point out another reason why the Biblical Jubal is a dead-end. The etymology has nothing to do with running, but probably means the ram. Reffers to him being the head of his clan, not running or joy or the Devil.

    07 Feb 11 - 08:13 AM (#3090342)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: GUEST,Max Johnson

    I appreciate that this thread is nearly six years old, but I felt moved to contribute.

    I suggest that the word 'jubal', in this song, is a mis-hearing at some time in the past of the word 'jubilant', which:

    a) is very close to 'jubal',
    b) is in common useage,
    c) scans,
    d) makes more sense.

    07 Feb 11 - 08:37 AM (#3090362)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: C-flat

    In the Hebrew bible Jubal is described as "son of Lamech, ancestor of all who played the lyre and pipe"

    Jubal hounds would be a good description of the howling-baying pack.

    07 Feb 11 - 10:40 AM (#3090429)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Stilly River Sage

    Max Johnson, why dismiss or oversimplify the discussion when parsing the possible meanings gives us so much more interesting material to consider? The words that sound like words that appeal to the modern ear may have possessed far different meanings in earlier iterations.

    This was a great little thread, I enjoyed re-reading it, though I am saddened to see that several participants are either gone (Malcolm) or gone missing (TheBigPinkLad).


    07 Feb 11 - 12:05 PM (#3090474)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: GUEST,Max Johnson

    Stilly River Sage.

    I'm not sure in what way I might have dismissed the discussion. I certainly made an attempt to find a solution on planet Earth. If my 'oversimplification' has temporarily derailed your train of thought then I sincerely apologise.


    07 Feb 11 - 02:21 PM (#3090577)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: McGrath of Harlow

    "Jovial hounds" is another possible mispronunciation, alongside "joyful".

    07 Feb 11 - 02:37 PM (#3090588)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: ClaireBear

    Guest Max -- thanks for wading into the treacherous waters of a Mudcat lyrics discussion to venture a guess (especially as your take on "jubal hounds" is so close to mine)!

    28 Jul 11 - 06:26 PM (#3197537)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Richard Bridge

    Why do we dismiss the Romany "jougal" for "dog"?. It would be a plausible reverse order for "hound-dog". Do we know whether Mr Pole was Romany or traveller?

    29 Jul 11 - 05:28 AM (#3197777)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Big Al Whittle

    'Jougal' - of course! Mr Pole was a fan of The Magic Roundabout!

    How did we miss it?!

    30 Jul 11 - 04:23 AM (#3198368)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Mo the caller

    right, this is a bit tongue in cheek.
    But the first thing that comes to mind when i hear Jubal is the Handel aria ' Oh had I Jubal's Lyre, or Miriam's tuneful voice' (if I've got it right.
    So the author was a member of the Huddersfield Choral Soc. (now someone will tell me it wasn't collected in H!)

    30 Jul 11 - 03:35 PM (#3198622)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Q (Frank Staplin)

    Looking at breeders' records I found a West Highland White Terrier whose name was Sir McDuff of Jubal. The name is also used by a breeder of Afghan hounds.

    30 Jul 11 - 05:26 PM (#3198690)
    Subject: RE: What are jubal hounds?
    From: Richard Bridge

    Here in the UK only one breeder may use a given prefix or suffix (eg Lokmadi Highspot, or Hurwyn Calypso at Lokmadi) so the breeder (or in some cases owner) of the Westie and the Afghans should be the same.