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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleBold Sir Rylas Music Note (Music Score Available)
Roud No.29
Collected FromMorgan, Daniel
LocationBraydon
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
TuneBaldwin, John
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 322
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 25th December, 1915, p 2, Part 11, No. 1: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 118, 119
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Bold Sir Rylas a-hunting went -
I an dan dilly dan,
Bold Sir Rylas a-hunting went -
Killy koko an,
Bold Sir Rylas a-hunting went,
To kill some game was his intent -
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.

Verse 2

He saw a wild woman sat in a tree:
I an dan dilly dan,
He saw a wild woman sat in a tree:
Killy koko an,
He saw a wild woman sat in a tree:
'Good lord, what brings thee here?' said she.
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.

Verse 3

There is a wild boar all in this wood,
I an dan dilly dan,
There is a wild boar all in this wood,
Killy koko an,
There is a wild boar all in this wood,
He'll eat thy flesh and drink thy blood
As thee beest a jovial hunter
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.

Verse 4

What shall I do this wild boar to see?
I an dan dilly dan,
What shall I do this wild boar to see?
Killy koko an,
What shall I do this wild boar to see?
Why! Wind thy horn and he'll come to thee
As thee beest a jovial hunter
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.

Verse 5

He put his horn unto his mouth
I an dan dilly dan,
He put his horn unto his mouth
Killy koko an,
He put his horn unto his mouth
And blew it east, north, west and south -
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.

Verse 6

The wild boar heard him in his den,
I an dan dilly dan,
The wild boar heard him in his den,
Killy koko an,
The wild boar heard him in his den,
And came out with young ones nine or ten -
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.

Verse 7

Then bold Sir Rylas this wild boar fell on -
I an dan dilly dan,
Then bold Sir Rylas this wild boar fell on -
Killy koko an,
Then bold Sir Rylas this wild boar fell on -
He fought him three hours by the day
Till the wild boar fain would have run away
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.

Verse 8

Now, since thou hast killed my spotted pig -
I an dan dilly dan,
Now, since thou hast killed my spotted pig -
Killy koko an,
There are three I will have of thee:
That's thy horse, thy hounds, and thy fair lady,
As thee beest a jovial hunter.

Verse 9

Now, since I have killed thy spotted pig -
I an dan dilly dan,
Now, since I have killed thy spotted pig -
Killy koko an,
There's nothing you shall of me,
Neither my horse, hounds nor fair lady,
As I am a jovial hunter.

Verse 10

Then bold Sir Rylas this wild woman fell upon -
I an dan dilly dan,
Then bold Sir Rylas this wild woman fell upon -
Killy koko an,
He split her head down to her chin,
You ought to have seen her kick and grin -
I an dan dilly dan killy koko an.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

William, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: 'A very old song, formerly popular in north Wiltshire, especially around Braydon, where it is still sung by the local traveller and dealer, Daniel Morgan. Morgan's great grandfather was a squire, and he disinherited his son and also attempted to shoot him, lying in wait for him three days and nights with a loaded gun, because he courted a pretty gypsy girl. In spite of the squire's opposition, however, his son married the gypsy lass and left home to travel with his wife's kindred and earn his living by dealing, and attending markets and fairs. Daniel Morgan, of whom I obtained Sir Rylas, is a keen, witty and extremely vivacious man. He lives amid the woods of Braydon, the relic of the once large forest of that name, in which the famous Fulke Fitzwarrene is said to have defied the King at the time of the Barons' War. I have spent pleasant hours in the cottage, during the dark winter evenings, listening to the old man's songs, which he sang sitting on a low stool cutting out clothes pegs from green withy, while his wife sat opposite making potato nets. The 'I an dan dilly' etc is meant to interpret the sound of the bugle horn.'

Note 2

In the Indexes and Berkshire folder in the archive are a series of sheets which are usually written on both sides. This variation, the context is that it is from a lecture, on the above is there:

Williams, Alfred: Ms: It was here [Bradon Wood] that I found one of my most curious songs: Bold Sir Rylas, this was sung by an old gipsy dealer [kind of gipsy - crossed out] DAN MORGAN who lived in the forest. They say that his great grandfather was a squire, and that he disinherited his son and tried to shoot him lying in wait for him for three days and nights with loaded pistols because he courted a pretty gipsy girl. In spite of his father's opposition, however, the young man married the gipsy lass and left home and joined his wife's people: he got his living by dealing and trading at the markets and fairs. I found him busy making [?] and mole traps while his wife made nets. They told me it was potato nets but I thought they were more likely rabbit nets or fishing nets because you don't see potato nets 20 yards long over holes in banks and mounds.

Note 3

Note 2

The tune for this song was collected by John Baldwin from John Morgan of South Marston, a descendant of Daniel Morgan from whom Williams collected the words. The Baldwin material is held by the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds. An earlier transcription, by Julia Bishop, of the tune appears in Andrew Bathe's thesis, Pedalling in the dark, a copy of which is held in the Vaughan-Williams Memorial Library, run by the EFDSS . The transcription given here is a revision made in 2010 by the same Julia Bishop whom I thank for the revision and the permission to publish. The copyright in the tune rests with her. At the time of writing, January 2011, Julia Bishop is a Research Fellow, Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen.

Note 4

In Verse 2 Line 1 the original text read:

He saw an old woman sat in a tree

In Verses 3, 4 and 8, Line 7 the original text read:

As thou art a jovial hunter

In Verse 8 Line 6 the original text read:

Thy horse, thy hounds and thy fair lady.

In Verse 10 lines 1 and 2 the original text read:

Then bold Sir Rylas this old woman fell upon -

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

Music Score

Score for Bold Sir Rylas

Print Music Score

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