Mudcat Café message #774165 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50640   Message #774165
Posted By: John Minear
30-Aug-02 - 07:33 AM
Thread Name: Wild Boar: History, Lyrics & Discussion-Child #18
Subject: Lyr Add: BANGUM AND THE BOAR
Does anyone know if Dan Tate's Library of Congress recording of "Old Bangum" was even released commercially? I know that he was recorded by a number of people, one of whom was Fletcher Collins.

In the quote from Jody Stecher above, he mentioned that one of his favorite versions was from G.D. Vowell of Harlan, Kentucky. This was recorded by Alan and Elizbeth Lomax in 1937, and is on the record edited by Bertrand Bronson for the Library of Congress called CHILD BALLADS TRADITIONAL IN THE UNITED STATES, Vol. 1, (L57). It's available from the Library of Congress on cassette. [Don't try to order it through the mail, you'll never get it because of the anthrax stuff. Call the LOC, or email them and ask how you can order. The don't accept telephone orders but will maybe work with you otherwise.]

"BANGUM AND THE BOAR"

There's a wild boar in these woods,
Down a dillum down a dillum
There's a wild boar in these woods,
Down a dillum, cuddly down
Caddy-0 squam.

He'll eat your meat and he'll drink your blood,
And drag your bones around the woods

Old Bangum drew with his wooden knife
He swore he'd take this wild boar's life,

How is a body to find him?
Down a dillum down a dillum
How is a body to find him?
Down a dillum cuddly down
Caddy-O squam.

Just clap your horn to your mouth
And blow a blast both North and South

Old Bangum clapped his horn to his mouth
And he blew a blast both North and South

The wild boar came with such a dash
The he cut his way through oak and ash

They fought four hours of the day
And at last the wild boar went away

Old Bangum followed him to the mouth of his den
And he saw the bones of a thousand men

He rolled a stone in the mouth of the wild boar's den
To save the life of a thousand men

After a while a lot of these different versions begin to look the same. But it is worth paying attention to the details because that is where each one is interesting. In this case, "He'll eat your meat and drink your blood, and drag your bones around the woods", and "what's a body to do?" There does appear to be a line missing from this latter verse, but this is how Mr. Vowell sings it. Old Bangum "claps his horn to his mouth". And especially the last verse, where he almost seems to take a Biblical approach in his unique way of dealing with the wild boar, "He rolled a stone in the mouth of the wild boar's den." Mr. Vowell sings his version unaccompanied, and while he seems a bit rushed at times, it is an excellent song.