The Wiley Fox and the Folk Song


I came across this photo today.  Took it over the summer from my front porch.  My daughter laughingly reminded me of a poem she remembered reading long ago about a fox.  She said the poem had lyrics that went something like “they chewed on the bones-o!” I remembered then…a sing-song that certainly appealed to the imagination of a yong child.   A quick Google search found just the one.  It’s an old folk song that was in one of her homeschool poetry books.  There were several versions out there so you can find one that you enjoy and sing it along with your child….or NOT 🙂

 

           Little fox went out on a chilly night.

 

        He prayed to the night to give him light.

 

        He had many a mile to go that night

 

        Before he reached the town oh,

 

        Town oh, town oh.

 

        He had many a mile to go that night

 

        Before he reached the town oh.

 

 

 

        He ran and he ran till he came to a pen.

 

        The ducks and geese were kept therein.

 

        He said, “A couple of you are gonna grease my chin

 

        Before I leave this town oh,

 

        Town oh, town oh.

 

        A couple of you are gonna grease my chin

 

        Before I leave this town oh.”

 


 

        He grabbed the grey goose by the neck

 

        And flung a duck across his back.

 

        He didn’t mind the “Quack! Quack! Quack!”

 

        And the legs all dangling down oh,

 

        Down oh, down oh.

 

        He didn’t mind the “Quack! Quack! Quack!”

 

        And the legs all dangling down oh.

 

 

 

        Old Mother Flipper Flopper jumped out of bed.

 

        Up to the window she cocked her head.

 

        She cried, “John! Oh John! The grey goose is gone

 

        And the fox is on the town oh,

 

        Town oh, town oh.

 

        “John! Oh John! The grey goose is gone

 

        And the fox is on the town oh.”

 

 

 

        John, he ran to the top of the hill

 

        And blew his horn loud and shrill.

 

        The fox, he said, “I’d better flee with my kill,

 

        Or they’ll soon be on my trail oh,

 

        Trail oh, trail oh.

 

        The fox, he said, “I’d better flee with my kill,

 

        Or they’ll soon be on my trail oh.”

 

 

 

        He ran till he came to his cozy den.

 

        There were the little ones: eight, nine, ten.

 

        They said, “Daddy you’d better go back again

 

        It must be a mighty fine town oh,

 

        Town oh, town oh.

 

        Daddy you’d better go back again

 

        It must be a mighty fine town oh.”

 

 

 

        Little fox and his wife, without any strife,

 

        Cut up the goose with a carving knife.

 

        They never had such a supper in their life

 

        And the little ones chewed on the bones oh,

 

        Bones oh, bones oh.

 

        They never had such a supper in their life

 

        And the little ones chewed on the bones oh.

 

 

 

What do you think happened the next night?

 

 

 

Guitar:  C  C  C  G  C   F  C-G7  C  G  C  F  C  G  C

 

   

 

Old versions of the song:

 

Fox Went Out

A hungry fox jumped up in fright
And he begged for the moon to give him light,
For he had many miles to trot that night,
Before he reached his Den-o.
Den-o, Den-o, for he had many miles to trot that night
Before he reached his Den-o.

So he cocked up his head and out went his tail
And off he went on the long, long trail
Which he done many times in calm and gale
But he always got back to his Den-o.
Den-o, Den-o, (repeat last two lines).

And soon he came to the old farm yard
Where the ducks and geese to him were barred
But he always got one by working hard
To take back to his Den-o.
Den-o, Den-o, (repeat last two lines).

He grabbed the grey goose by the neck
And slung her right across his back
And the old grey goose went quack, quack, quack
But the fox was off to his Den-o.
Den-o, Den-o, (repeat last two lines).

Ol’ Mother Slipper Slopper jumped out of bed
And out of the window she poked her head,
Oh, John, John, the grey goose has gone
And the fox is off to his Den-o.
Den-o, Den-o, (repeat last two lines).

John went up to the top of the hill
And he blew a trumpet loud and shrill
Said the fox, that’s very pretty music, still
I’d rather be in my Den-o.
Den-o, Den-o, (repeat last two lines).

At last he got back to his den
To his dear little foxes eight, none, ten
And they’ve had many fat geese since then
And sometimes a good fat hen-o
Hen-o, Hen-o, (repeat last two lines).

from the Copper Family

 

 

The Fox (2)

The old fox stepped out one moonshining night
Stood upon his hind feet just about right I’ll have
some meat for my supper this night
Before I leave this townee (townee, townee)
I’ll have some meat for my supper this night
Before I leave this townee

He went on down to the blacksmith’s gate,
There he saw an old black drake
Come on along old drake and go along with me
You’re the finest old fellow in this townee
(REPEAT AS PER FIRST VERSE)

The old drake sat still and the word cried NO
Just sat still ’cause he didn’t want to go
If you eat no meat ’til you eat meat of mine

You’ll eat no meat in the townee (REPEAT)

He went on down by the farmer’s gate
These he swa an old grey goose
Come along old goose and go with me
You’re the finest old fellow in the townee (REPEAT)

The old goose sat still and the word cried NO
Just sat still ’cause he didn’t want to go
If you eat no meat ’til you eat meat of mine
You’ll eat no meat in the townee (REPEAT)

He went on home to his den
Out come the young ones 8-9-10
O father, O father when you again
You’ve had no luck in this townee (REPEAT)

He went on back on his back track
He took the old grey goose by the neck
Her wing went flip-flop over his back
Her feet went dingle dangle down-ee (REPEAT)

Old mother tipped up in the bed
Out of the window she poked her head
Old man, old man the grey goose is gone
I thought I heard her go quack, quack-eo (REPEAT)

The old man jumped up in his shirtail
And with toe dogs on the trail
They caught the fox at the end of the trail
And that was the end of the fox-e-o (REPEAT)

 

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