Mudcat Café message #768858 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50640   Message #768858
Posted By: Stewie
20-Aug-02 - 10:05 PM
Thread Name: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion-Child #18
Subject: Lyr Add: OLD BANGUM
I remembered that I have an old Nimrod Workman LP, and I dug it out of the collection. It has the same brief song given in the DT and he sings 'Bottler'. However, the LP sleeve and record label give the title as 'Biler and the Boar'. Curious. The LP is Nimrod Workman 'Mother Jones' Will' Rounder 0076 (1976).

Alan Lomax gave a version from p 51 of Dorothy Scarborough 'On the Trail of Negro Folksongs' in his 'Folk Songs of North America'. He commented that 'only a handful of British ballads were taken over by Negro singers ['Maid Freed From the Gallows', 'Barbara Allen', 'Lord Thomas', 'St James Infirmary', 'Our Goodman', 'Little Sir Hugh', 'Wily Aule Carle']. In respect of their affection for 'Old Bangum', he too refers to the children's story connection - 'a sort of bogeyman story'. He wrote: 'Crooned quietly to its sweet old tune, it is an excellent ballad for children who must face the nightmares conjured up in their imaginations by adults. The Negro slave child, particularly, must often have felt he was facing a monster when he stood up against his white owners'. He gives a quotation from Fisk ['Unwritten History of Slavery'] of a slave describing routine, brutal whippings for no apparent reason.

OLD BANGUM

Old Bangum, will you hunt and ride?
Dillum down dillum
Old Bangum, will you hunt and ride?
Dillum down
Old Bangum, will you hunt and ride?
Sword and pistol by your side
Cubbi-kee, cuddledum, killi quo quam

There is a wild boar in these woods
Eats men's bones and drinks their blood

Old Bangum drew his wooden knife
And swore he'd take the wild boar's life

Old Bangum went to the wild boar's den
And found the bones of a thousand men

They fought four hours in that day
The wild boar fled and slunk away

Old Bangum, did you win or lose?
He swore, by Jove, he'd won his shoes

Source: from Dorothy Scarborough 'On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs' Harvard Uni Press p 51. Reprinted in Alan Lomax 'Folk Songs of North America' Doubleday 1960, p 510.

--Stewie.