“Sir Lionel”


(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.


Many versions of this song have been stripped down to descriptions of the 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

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, 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." - RBW


  • 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)
  • 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)


  1. Child 18, "Sir Lionel" (6 texts)
  2. Bronson 18, "Sir Lionel" (17 versions)
  3. Leather, pp. 203-204, "Brangywell"; p. 204, "Dilly Dove" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #5, 13}
  4. BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 434-435, "Sir Lionel" (notes plus a partial reprint of Child A)
  5. Flanders/Olney, pp. 60-61, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #17}
  6. Flanders-Ancient1, pp. 226-229, "Sir Lionel" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #17}
  7. Belden, pp. 29-31, "Sir Lionel" (2 texts, 1 tune, plus fragments of 1 stanza and 1 line respectively) {Bronson's #7}
  8. Randolph 7, "Lord Bangum" (1 fragmentary text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #14}
  9. Davis-Ballads 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}
  10. Davis-More 10, pp. 72-78, "Sir Lionel" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
  11. Scarborough-SongCatcher, pp. 191-191, "Sir Lionel" (1 text reprinted from Scarborough-NegroFS, and found also in Davis and Scarborough-NegroFS, with local title "Old Bangum"; 1 tune on p. 407) {Bronson's #8}
  12. Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 51-52, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune, the same as that in Scarborough-SongCatcher) {Bronson's #8}
  13. SharpAp 9 "Sir Lionel" (4 fragments, 4 tunes) {Bronson's #16, #15, #11, #9}
  14. Ritchie-Southern, p. 85, "Bangum Rid by the Riverside" (1 text, 1 tune)
  15. Leach, pp. 100-103, "Sir Lionel" (2 texts)
  16. McNeil-SFB2, pp. 157-159, "Ole Banghum" (1 text, 1 tune)
  17. PBB 19, "The Jovial Hunter of Bromsgrove" (1 text)
  18. Lomax-FSNA 272, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson't #8}
  19. Niles 13, "Sir Lionel" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  20. Chase, pp. 126-127, "Old Bangum and the Boar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  21. Abrahams/Foss, p. 60, "Old Bangum" (1 text, 1 tune)
  22. Silber-FSWB, p. 217, "Old Bangum" (1 text)
  24. Roud #29
  25. BI, C018


Alternate titles: “Wild Hog”; “The Jovial Hunter”; “Rurey Bain”; “Bangum and the Bo'”; “Wild Hog in the Woods”; “Rackabello”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1876 (Christie, _Traditional Ballad Airs, vol. i_)
Keywords: animal fight magic
Found in: Britain(Scotland(High),England) US(Ap,NE,SE,So)