Mudcat Café message #108528 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13266   Message #108528
Posted By:
25-Aug-99 - 06:17 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
[Robbins' Secular Lyrics, 1955]

THE FOX AND THE GOOSE [14th or 15th century]

'Pax uobis' quod the ffox,
'for I am comyn to toowne'

It fell ageyns the next nyght
the fox yede to with all his myghte,
with-outen cole or candlelight,
    whan that he cam vnto the town.

When he cam all in the yarde,
soore te geys were ill a-frede;
'I shall macke some of youre berde,
    or that I goo from the toowne!'

when he cam all in the croofte,
there he stalkyd wundirfull soofte;
'for here haue I be frayed full ofte
    whan that i haue come to toowne.'

he hente a goose all be the heye,
faste the goos began to creye!
oowte yede men as they myght heye,
    and seyde, 'fals fox, ley it doowne!'

'Nay,' he said, 'soo mot I the-
sche shall go vnto the wode with me;
sche and I wnther a tre,
    e-mange the beryis browne.

I haue a wyf, and sche lyeth seke;
many smale whelppis sche haue to eke -
many bonys they must pike
    will they ley a-downe.'

THE FALSE FOX [14th or 15th century]

The fals fox came vnto our croft,
And so our gese ful fast he sought.
        With how fox, how; with hey fox, hey!
        Come no more vnto our howse to bere our gese aweye!

The fals fox came vnto our stye,
And toke our gese ther by an by.

The fals fox cam into our yerde,
And ther he made the gese aferde.

The fals fox came vnto our gate,
And toke our gese ther wher they sate.

The fals fox came vnto our halle-dore,
And shrove our gese ther in the flore.

The fals fox came into our halle,
And assoyled our gese both grete & small.

The fals fox came vnto our cowpe,
And ther he made our geese to stowpe.

He toke a gose fast by the nek,
And the goose thoo began to quek.

The good-wyfe came out in her smok,
And at the fox she threw hir rok.

The good-man came out with his flayle,
And smote the fox vpon the tayle.

He threw a gose vpon his back,
And furth he went thoo with his pak.

The goodman swore yf that he myght,
he wolde hym slee or it wer nyght.

The fals fox went into his denne,
And ther he was full mery thenne.

He came ayene yet the next weke,
And toke awey both henne & cheke.

The goodman saide vnto his wyfe,
'This fals fox lyveth a mery lyfe.'

The fals fox came vpon a day,
And with our gese he made affray.

He toke a goose fast by the nek,
And made her to sey 'wheccumquek.'

'I pray the, fox,' said the goose thoo,
'Take of my feders but not of my to.'


[Unfortunately no music survives for these. The oldest traditional version, in the Harris MS, Scotland, c 1825, is being edited for publication in the near future.]