Fox, The

DESCRIPTION: Fox goes hunting on a (chilly) night. It goes to the farmer's yard and takes a goose. The farmer and wife are aroused; the farmer sets out after the fox. Fox escapes home with its kill; the fox family celebrates with a fine dinner
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1810 (Gammer Gurton's Garland); the version in British Library MS. Royal 19 B is thought to cage from c. 1500
KEYWORDS: animal food hunting
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland Canada(Mar,Newf) West Indies(St Vincent)
REFERENCES (45 citations):
Randolph 103, "The Fox Walked Out" (4 texts, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 135-137, "The Fox Walked Out" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 103A)
Eddy 91, "The Fox" (1 text, 1 tune)
Grimes, pp. 137-138, "The Fox" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering 192, "The Fox and the Goose" (1 text)
Stout 28, pp. 42-44, "The Black Duck" (1 text plus a fragment)
Carey-MarylandFolkloreLife, pp. 62-63, "Lucky Old Town O" (1 text)
BrownIII 129, "The Fox and the Goose" (4 texts plus mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanV 129, "The Fox and the Goose" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Moore-Southwest 127, "The Fox Walked Out" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Hubbard, #202, "The Fox Traveled Out" (1 text)
Brewster 77, "The Fox" (1 fragment)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 248-250, "The Fox" (2 texts plus 1 fragment, 1 tune)
Peacock, pp. 12-13, "The Fox and the Goose" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 119-120, "Fox and Goose" (1 text)
Linscott, pp. 202-204, "A Fox Went Out on a Starry Night" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson, pp. 181-182, "Old Man Fox" (1 text)
Roberts, #95, "The Fox and the Goose" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 226, "The Old Black Duck" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Owens-1ed, pp. 263-265, "The Brown Duck" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, pp. 146-147, "The Brown Duck" (1 text, 1 tune)
Logan, pp. 291-293, "The Fox" (1 text)
Williams-Thames, pp. 247-248, "The Fox and the Grey Goose" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 354)
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly2 43, "Rush Fox" (1 text, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #110, "The Hungry Fox" (1 text, 1 tune)
HarrisLyleMcAlpineMcLucas, pp. 151-152, "Tod Lowrie" (1 text, 1 tune, short but almost certainly this)
GreigDuncan3 499, "Father Fox" (3 text fragments, 2 tunes)
Kennedy 301, "Old Daddy Fox" (1 text, 1 tune)
OCroinin-Cronin 160, "The Fox Went Out" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Leach, p. 749, "The Fox" (1 text)
Leach-Heritage, pp. 184-185, "The Fox" (1 text)
SHenry H38, p. 29, "The Fox and His Wife" (1 text, 1 tune)
Coleman/Bregman, pp. 12-13, "The Fox Went Through the Town, Oh!" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 163, "The Fox" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCoxIIB, #21, pp. 172-173, "The Fox" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams-WIShanties, pp. 103-104, "Gray Goose Gone Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
Opie-Oxford2 171, "A fox jumped up one winter's night" (2 texts)
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #116, p. 96, "(Old Mother Widdle Waddle jumpt out of bed)"
PSeeger-AFB, p. 80, "The Fox" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 400, "The Fox" (1 text)
DT, FOXOUT
ADDITIONAL: Celia and Kenneth Sisam, _The Oxford Book of Medieval English Verse_, Oxford University Press, 1970; corrected edition 1973, #240, p. 511, "The Fox and the Goose" (1 text, from British Library MS. Royal 19 B. iv, folio 97b, column ii, beginning, "Pax vobis, quod the fox, For I am comen to towne.")
Joseph Ritson, Gammer Gurton's Garland (London: Harding and Wright, 1810 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 41, "Dame Widdle Waddle" (1 text)
Brown/Robbins, _Index of Middle English Verse_, #1622, 3328
Digital Index of Middle English Verse #2715, 5253

ST R103 (Full)
Roud #131
RECORDINGS:
Blue Ridge Highballers, "Darneo" (Columbia 15132-D, 1927)
Harry Burgess, "The Hungry Fox" (on Voice18)
Cyril Biddick with chorus, "Old Daddy Fox" (on Lomax41, LomaxCD1741)
Pete Seeger, "The Fox" (on PeteSeeger09, PeteSeegerCD02) (on PeteSeeger18)
Mrs. Clara Stevens, "The Fox and the Goose" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]

ALTERNATE TITLES:
Daddy Fox
Old Mother Hippletoe
The Fox and the Grey Goose
Up, John, Get Up, John
NOTES: The earliest version of this piece appears to have been a Middle English poem found in British Museum MS. Royal 19.B.iv, and is thought to date from the fifteenth century. About as old is a strange version in Cambridge MS. Ee.1.12 with an extended prologue about the fox's raids but with lyrics closer to most modern versions. It is reasonable to assume that this, and perhaps even the British Museum text, are rewritings of documents still older.
It should perhaps be noted that foxes are asocial animals; the males do not take part in raising the young. So the "fox and his wife" would not meet to care for their children.
According to John D. Rafeliff, The History of The Hobbit: Part One: Mr. Baggins, Houghton-Mifflin, 2007, pp. 57-58, this was the tune J. R. R. Tolkien intended to be used with his poem "The Stone Troll," which is found in The Lord of the Rings and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: R103

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.