"The fals fox came vpon a day, And with our gese he made affray."
February 28, 2014 4:21 AM Subscribe
“The Fox” tells the simple story of a fox who attacks a farmer’s birds. In most versions, he is spotted by the farmer’s wife and chased away by the farmer himself, but gets away with a duck or a goose. Although it often sounds thoroughly modern, it is in fact one of the oldest folksongs we have in English. The earliest texts are in Middle English and come from the 15th century.Folklife Today, a blog from the Library of Congress, provides a short history of this well-loved song.
You can hear its medieval roots -- “The Fals Fox” -- even today. My favorite cover of "The Fox" comes from Nickel Creek, here featuring a very young Chris Thile. Here's the Pete Seeger version. And one from Cisco Houston.
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