The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1081   Message #29149
Posted By: johnhill
24-May-98 - 03:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: The Black Fox (Graham Pratt)
Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK FOX and IN THE END (Graham Pratt)
Sorry but I've only just caught this thread.

This song by Graham Pratt is from Graham and Eileen Pratt's 1980 LP "To Friend and Foe" on Dingle's records. Eileen sings this unaccompanied which is unusual as Graham usually provides the instrumental backing and very often harmony (and writes the songs).

On the Album it says this about the song:
"Graham wrote this anti-hunting song, which was inspired by a Yorkshire legend. According to the story the devil takes the form of a black fox, whose audacity at first challenges the huntsmen but finally has them careering back to town in terror. Verses eight and nine were originally printed as part of the legend in a book on British folklore by Katherine Briggs."

The line in question is correct in the DT although there are other minor errors. The main error is in the 8th verse where the end of the 2nd line should read, "to chase a lonely plain" Also at the end, the last 2 lines of the 8th verse have been repeated which shouldn't happen. There also seems to be an abundance of additions of the word "and".

Here is the transcription from the original by Graham and Eileen. As I've imported it as a text tile the carriage returns will probably get lost as this is a web page so I'll apologise now.

(Graham Pratt)

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 out great misfortune
No fox there could be found
And the huntsmen cursed and swore but still
No fox moved over the ground

Upspoke our master huntsman
At the head of hounds rode he
"Well we have ridden for a full three hours
But no fox have we seen

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

And then there sprung like lightening
A fox from out his hole
His fur was the colour of a starless night
His eyes like burning coals

They chased him over the valley
They chased him over the field
They chased him down to the riverbank
But never would he yield

He's jumped into the water
And he's swam to the other side
He's laughed so hard that the greenwood shook
Then he's 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 a lonely plain
And when your need is greatest, just call upon My Name
I will come and you shall have 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

And men and hounds and horses
Went flying back to town
And hard on their heels came a little black fox
Laughing as he cried

"Ride on my gallant huntsmen when must I come again?
Oh never shall you want a fox to chase a lonely plain."

Graham has written many beautiful songs but none better than this from their 1985 LP "Hieroglyphics" on Plant Life records. I have to say that Eileen must have one of the best voices around. So don't miss them if you get the chance.

(Graham Pratt)

In the end, when I realise what shadows I've been chasing
In the end, when I realise what chances I've been wasting
In the end, when I quietly take my place
When I see things face to face
For myself
Rivers will will grow...peace will return again...
In the end.

In the end, when I understand the meaning of forgiving
In the end, when I understand that life is just for living
In the end, when each day is all I need....
When the yearning to succeed
Fades away
Rivers will will grow...peace will return again...
In the end.

High on a hill there's a woman with nothing to lose
You give me nothing but freedom and that I refuse
Why do I look for the rain when there's sun on the hill
...why do I look for love......knowing I love you still

In the end, when I realise the trouble you have taken
In the end, when I realise the times I've been mistaken
In the end, when courage fills my heart
When I make that brand new start
Once again
Rivers will will grow...peace will return again...
In the end.
In the end.

These were the lyrics from the insert in the LP but in the 1st verse 3rd line Eileen actually replaces "quietly" with "finally" and the 2nd line of the last verse is sung as "when I learn how many times I've been mistaken"

So even the songwriters change their minds sometimes.