This tune was released on The Country Gentlemen's 1970 album "Sound Off"
"Fox on the Run" doesn't have the provenance of a typical bluegrass tune. Written by English singer/songwriter Tony Hazzard, it was first recorded by the pop/R&B English band Manfred Mann and released November 29, 1968--it reached #5 in the UK pop charts by the following month.
The great Bill Emerson brought the tune into the bluegrass world when he recorded it with The Country Gentlemen on their 1970 "Sound Off" album.
In 1976,Tom T. Hall covered the song on his Album, "Magnificent Music Machine", where it reached the #1 position on the Billboard Country Charts.
I found quite a few live versions of this tune on YouTube, but didn't find a lot of album recordings from different bands, which is a little odd. If you know of any good versions I didn't include in the playlist to the right, post 'em below!
Incidentally, the British glam rock band Sweet recorded a tune by the same name in 1974 (since covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other bands). But it's not at all the same song.
I've heard this tune played in keys ranging from G-C. The recordings I've found of Emerson are played in B or C, but like any vocal tune it needs to be played in a key that works best with your vocalists.
She walks through the corn leading down to the river
Her hair shone like gold in the hot morning sun
She took all the love that a poor boy could give her
And left me to die like a fox on the run
Like a fox on the run
Everybody knows the reason for the fall
When woman tempted man down in paradise's hall
This woman tempted me, and took me for a ride
Like the lonely fox, I need a place to hide
We'll pour a glass of wine, to fortify our soul
We'll talk about the world and friends we used to know
I see a string of girls, who'll put me on the floor
The game is nearly over and the hounds are at my door
Learn the Tune:
Hear It using the GrooveShark playlist to the right.
We have three different video lessons from Casey Henry if you want to learn some cool breaks for this tune. The first lesson teaches you Bill Emerson's break. The second lesson teaches you an alternative, simpler break for the chorus and the third lesson teaches you a simpler break for the verse. Each is only $6 thru the end of the week.
Backing Tracks: Band in a Box tracks are included below at various speeds for your practicing pleasure.
Here is my best attempt at Fox on the run. The recording starts to skip at the end. This is a break from the banjo player in The Back Mountain String Band out of Pa. My Uncle Mark was in that band and I always remember sing that song as a kid. Casey did an excellent job of making that dvd for me. It's the alt version.
I used to play that song with the Blackland Prairie Boys. We were together from 1999 to 2004 until the bass player got a real job. We started playing it at the request of some UT grad students who came to our gigs in Austin. (We couldn't decline a request written on a $20 bill.)
After a while we decided to work it up and put it on our cd. I sang the tenor part as well as playing the banjo. We recorded it live in my living room into an Audio Technica stereo mic.