Welcome to the Wild Hog in the Woods Coffeehouse

40 Years of Hog History

Also see our 40th Special Events Page

In the spring of 1978, several folk enthusiasts began talking about possible outlets for folk music beyond their living rooms and record players.   In particular, they wondered about finding a location which would be permanent and open to the public, a place where folks could go to hear or play folk music even if they did not know anyone in town. 

Kiosks and store fronts were postered around town to find other interested people.  The consensus at the early meetings was that the place should be a coffeehouse. Excited discussions led to how the coffeehouse would be organized, as a commercial entity or a non-profit cooperative.

Later meetings led to our incorporation as a non-profit, non-stock organization and also to organize as a cooperative.  With Madison’s strong cooperative community and with a healthy concern against ‘going in over our heads’ as a commercial venture, we determined that a cooperative would be the way to go, the safest economically, and the fairest socially. 

A friendly relationship with the Green Lantern Eating Cooperative allowed us to rent cheap space on Thursday and Friday evenings (Saturday was movie night at the Latern), enabling the Hog to survive and develop our coffeehouse without too much worry about overhead.

It’s been determined over and over again that a broad base of ideas and personal support is important for the operation and long life of the Wild Hog as a cooperative

The Wild Hog in the Woods name is taken from an old (not too widely known) English folk fiddle tune/song of the same name. A tune by that name has been recorded by numerous artists among them are: Fuzzy Mountain String Band, Dan Gellert and Shoofly, Kimble Family, Taylor Kimble, Michael Kline, Pine River Boys & Maybelle, and Nimrod Workman. There are related tunes by the name of "Bangum" and "Old Bangum", and is probably an adaptation of the tune used in the Appalachians for the ballad "Bangum and the Boar". One legend has it that the name for the WIld Hog in the Woods Coffeehouse was a compromise reached after an evening of discussion among the founders with a little beer being consumed along the way.

You may also want to read about our annivesary events and view old photos. Click Here

An anonymous well-wisher mimeographed the words of this traditional song to help celebrate the Wild Hog's first birthday in 1979.

There is a wild hog in the woods (Diddle all down now, diddle all the day)
There is a wild hog in the woods (Diddle all down today)
There is a wild hog in the woods, he'll eat your flesh and drink your blood,
Track him down, cut him down, catch him if you can.

How may I this wild hog see? Blow your horn, he'll come to thee.
He put his horn up to his mouth. He blew east, north, west and south.
That hog came runnin' with such a sound that all the hills and the trees fell down.
He followed that hog both day and night, swore he'd stop that hog's wild flight.
He followed that hog down to his den, found the bones of a thousand men.
Bangum drew his wooden knife, Swore he'd take that wild hog's life.
They fought three hours by the day. At length that bloody hog crawled away.
He met an old hog on the ridge: "Begone, you rogue, you've killed my pig!"




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