“The Fox” is one of the first songs Katryna and I ever learned. Our father sang it to us frequently, and there’s a recording of our baby sister Abigail, age 2 or so, singing along on the “town-o’s.” It’s an ancient song, possibly from a poem in Middle English, and our father undoubtedly heard it from Pete Seeger (who came to his school to play in the 50s), or on an Odetta or Burl Ives CD. This song has it all: life, death, survival, robbery–high drama!–and finally a cozy family scene. I have good friends who are vegans who don’t like the message, and I can understand and respect that. But foxes aren’t vegans.
From a guitar playing point of view, it’s pretty simple, though the pace is fast for beginners. It’s a typical three chord song (here it’s in A, though on our recordings it’s in D). I demonstrate my father’s “Um-chuck” pick which works very well for many children’s songs. It’s also a really easy pick once you get the hang of it.