Mudcat Café message #2927899 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13266   Message #2927899
Posted By: Jim Dixon
14-Jun-10 - 07:06 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
Subject: Lyr Add: THE FOX
From A Pedlar's Pack of Ballads and Songs by William Hugh Logan (Edinburgh: William Paterson, 1869), page 291:


This ballad is certainly upwards of forty years old. It appears to have been rescued from its fugitive form, and embodied in a small collection of songs printed at Edinburgh "for Joseph Skeafe, 3 South Hanover Street, 1832," under the title of "The Opera, or Cabinet of Song," and believed to have been edited by the Scotish poet, James Ballantyne, author of "the Gaberlunzie's wallet." There is a version of "the Fox" printed in the 10th volume of Notes and Queries, 4to, 1854, where it is given as "an old Cornish song," and is titled "The Fox's nightly foraging tour." Whether it is the original version is not very clear. The differences, which are chiefly verbal, are generally immaterial. The last stanza has not the repeated line; thus:

"The fox and his wife they had such strife,
They never ate a better goose in all their life;
They tore it abroad without fork or knife,
And the little ones pick'd the bones, O!"


The fox he went out one cold winter night,
And he pray'd to the moon to give him some light,
For he had a long way to travel that night
Before he could reach the town, O!
Town, O! town, O!
For he had a long way, &c.

At length he arrived at the farmer's yard,
For the ducks and the geese he was not afeard,
He swore that the best of them would grease his beard
Before he would leave the town, O!
Town, O! &c.

He seized the grey goose by the neck,
He threw him astride across his back,
Which made the grey goose cry quack! quack!
And the blood it came trickling down, O!
Down, O! &c.

Old mother Slipperslopper jumped out of bed,
She opened the casement and popp'd out her head;
"Get up, John, get up! for the grey goose is dead,
And the fox has been into the town, O!
Town, O!" &c.

So John he got up to the top of yon hill,
He sounded his bugle-horn both loud and shrill;
"Blow on!" cried the fox, "that is better music still,
For I'm glad I've got clear out of town, O!
Town, O!" &c.

When Reynard he had arrived on the plain,
He threw down his burden to ease a load of pain;
He quickly took it up, and he travell'd on again,
For he thought he heard the sound of the hounds, O!
Hounds, O! &c.

When Reynard he had arrived at his den,
Of young ones he had nine or ten,
"You're welcome, father fox, you must travel back again,
For we think it's a lucky town, O!
Town, O!" &c.

The fox and his wife they had some strife,
They tore up the grey goose without fork or knife;
They tore up the grey goose without fork or knife,
And the young ones picked the bones, O!
Bones, O! &c.