Collected by James M. Hylton
NOTE: This text was recopied directly from a typewritten copy in the archives of the Blue Ridge Institute. James Taylor Adams (1892-1954) kept typewritten copies of the folklore he and others collected during the last thirty years of his life, while he lived in Wise County, VA. Typographical errors in the original have not been corrected, except for some obvious errors in spacing. Two of the punctuation marks in stanza VI are probably exclamation marks, as indicated below, but they are not clear on the typescript.
Richard Chase (who collected folklore with Hylton and Adams for the WPA in 1941-42) liked to talk about the song "Billy Boy" as a comic parody of "Lord Randall," commenting on the many different verses for "Billy Boy" that could be found in oral traditions. See notes on Chase's picture book Billy Boy in AppLit's Bibliography of Appalachian Folk Narratives in Picture Books.
Told to me by Mrs. J.W. Thompson, Big Stone Gap, Virginia, on October 21, 1941, after an all night visit at their home in that place. She gives me herewith a version which she had written down on paper belonging to her oldest daughter, Lucille, who is now married and living in Bristol, Va-Tenn., and who was educated at Big Stone Gap High School, Virginia Intermont College and Johnson City Business College. Like the members of her family before her she was interested in Folk Tales and Lore and in her spare time stowed away some old prints, clippings, original manuscripts etc. She wrote this version for a friend and after her Mother heard it read several times she also had a copy stowed away for her own benefit. However it may be necessary to note that in this version of this Song the Randal is spelled with only one "L".
Replacement photocopy made by BRI, 9/1992
copyright 2007 U
of Virginia's College at Wise/Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College
Contact Tina L. Hanlon with questions or comments on this page.