Interesting Music Sources

Heather Rose Jones hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Thu Sep 7 20:14:32 PDT 1995


On Wed, 6 Sep 1995, White Tree Productions wrote:

> On Wed, 6 Sep 1995, Heather Rose Jones wrote:
> > speak Middle English. I was particularly amused to run across a 15th 
> > century version of the song I learned in childhood as "The Fox Went Out 
> > on a Cloudy Night".
> 
> YOW! I've been hunting for this one!!!!! Would you be so kind as to post 
> the words. MidEnglish is OK with me <grin!>

British Museum MS. Royal 19 B.IV (XVth cent.)

[refrain]	"Pax uobis," quod the fox,
		"For I am comyn to toowne."

It fell ageyns the next nyght
The fox yede to with all hys myghte,
Withoouten cole or candelight,
	Whan that he cam vnto the toowne.

Whan he cam all in the yarde,
Soore te geys wer ill aferde:
"I shall macke some of yowre berde
	Or that I goo from the toowne."

Whan he cam all in the croofte,
There he stalkyd wundirfull soofte:
"For here haue I be frayed full ofte
	What that I haue come to toowne."

He hente a goose all be the heye;
Faste the goos began to creye;
Oowte yede men as they myght heye
	And seyde, "Fals fox, ley it doowne!"

"Nay", he saide, "soo mot I the,
Sche shall goo vnto the wode with me;
Sche and I wnther a tre,
	Emonge the beryis browne.

"I haue a wyf, and sche lyeth seke;
Many smale whelppis sche haue to eke;
Many bonys they muste pike
	Will they ley adowne!"

Notes
stanza 2 line 3 I shall overcome some of you.
stanza 4 line 1 "all be the heye" = in a twinkling
stanza 6 line 2 "to eke" = besides; line 4 "Will" = while

It doesn't work at all well with the the tune for the modern fox song, 
even if that didn't sound quite so obviously modern.

Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn



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