The Black Fox - Graham Pratt

Black Fox
The only track on the album which is not either traditional or written by one of the band. Ruth first heard this song, written by Graham Pratt, back in about 1977, and has always intended to learn it. When she sang it for Sam and Ferris, they instantly fell in love with the song too, and so it worked its way into the set. Many thanks to Graham for allowing us to record it. We like it when the fox wins the day!

Ferris - Leicestershire smallpipes in D
Ruth - bodhrán, vocals
Sam - bouzouki, vocals

As we were out a-hunting
One morning in the spring
Both hounds and horses running well
Made the hills and valleys ring

But to our great misfortune
No fox could there be found
And the huntsman cursed and swore but still
No fox moved over the ground

Then up spoke our master huntsman
At the head of the hounds rode he
Saying "We have ridden for a full three hours
But no fox have we seen"

"And there is strength still in me
And I will have my chase
And if only the devil himself come by
I'd run him such a race"

And then up sprang like lightning
A fox from out his hole
His fur was the colour of a starless night
And his eyes like burning coal

We chased him over the valley
We chased him over the field
We chased him down to the river bank
But never would he yield

He jumped into the water
And he swam to the other side
And he laughed so loud that the green woods shook
Then he turned to the huntsmen and cried

"Ride on my gallant huntsmen
When must I come again?
Oh never shall you want a fox
To chase along the plain"

"And when your need is greatest
Just call upon my name
And I will come and you shall have
All the best of sport and game"

All the men looked up in wonder
All the hounds ran back to hide
For the fox had changed to the devil himself
Where he stood at the other side

Then men and hounds and horses
Went flying back to town
And hard on their heels came the little black fox
A-laughing as he ran

"Ride on my gallant huntsmen
When must I come again?
Oh never shall you want a fox
To chase along the plain"
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