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The Fox went out

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Alternative title: The Fox

Performer: Chidlaw, Richard
Place Collected: Cheltenham
Date collected: 1980 (Oct)
Collector: Davies, Gwilym
Roud Number: 131

For such a well-known song, it is unusual that only 2 versions have come to light in Gloucestershire. It is known all over the British Isles and North America and, quite remarkably, descends directly from a 15th century carol. The earliest modern version dates from 1810, but no tune is known before 1837. [George Perkins, “A Medieval Carol Survival: ‘The Fox and the Goose’”, Journal of American Folklore 74 (1961), 235-244; idem, “A Pre-Civil War American “Fox and the Goose”; ibid., 77 (1964), 263-265.]

Notes by Gwilym Davies and Jon Lighter