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The Fox
Traditional -- Banjo Melody Only -- Key of G
Arranged by Fred Bradbury
(Complete lyrics are at the bottom of this page)

This file contains only the melody notes of the tune, plus my notations and the words as I sing them (usually). The file "The Fox 1" contains the tab of how I play the song. See the notes on that file for more information.

I remember this song from my childhood. I had forgotten it until I heard it on the CD "High Atmosphere" (Rounder CD 0028). The words of the song make it a nice kid's song, but it also works for adults.

I worked out this arrangement on the banjo based on the song as presented by E.C. Ball, who accompanied himself on guitar. Make it as simple or as complex as you want, based on your abilities and tastes. I have always thought that plain and simple was best for most folk songs with stories attached.

Fred Bradbury
December 4, 2002
 

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The Fox
--Traditional

The fox went out to hunt one night,
And he prayed to the moon to give him light;
Had many a mile to go that night,
Before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o;
Many a mile to go that night,
Before he reached the town-o.

He ran till he came to a great high pen,
Where the ducks and the Geese were kept therein;
Said "A couple of you gonna grease my chin,
Before I leave this town-o, town-o, town-o;
A couple of you gonna grease my chin,
Before I leave this town-o."

Well, he grabbed a grey goose by it's neck,
And he slung a duck across his back;
He didn't mind with their "Quack, quack, quack,"
And the feet all danglin' down-o, down-o, down-o;
He didn't mind with their "Quack, quack, quack,"
And the feet all danglin' down-o.

Old Mother Jibber Jabber jumped out of bed,
Out of the window she stuck her head;
Crying "John, John, the grey goose is gone,
And the fox is on the town-o, town-o, town-o!"
Cryin' "John, John, the grey goose is gone,
And the fox is on the town-o!"

Well, John, he ran to the top of the hill,
And he blew his horn both loud and shrill;
The fox said "Hey, better flee with my kill,
For they'll soon be on my tail-o, tail-o, tail-o!"
The fox said "Hey, I'd better flee with my kill,
For they'll soon be on my trail-o!"

Well, he ran till he came to his cozy den,
And there were the little ones, eight, nine, ten;
Cryin' "Daddy, Daddy, better go back again,
For it must be a mighty fine town-o, town-o town-o."
Cryin' "Daddy, Daddy, better go back again,
It must be a mighty fine town-o."

The fox and his wife without any strife,
They cut up the goose without any knife;
Never had such a supper in their life,
And the little ones knawed on the bones-o, bones-o, bones-o,
They never had such a supper in their life,
And the little ones knawed on the bones-o.