Jon confesses “I’m totally in love with this song. We started doing a version on the last Remnant Kings tour with wolf noises from the wax cylinder players. I love the line about his teeth shining bright…”
It is a good song this, I’ll agree with a marvellous fiddle part to I, but a bit of an enigma. Mainly Norfolk has a good page’s worth on this, with some surprisingly detailed notes from Bert Lloyd to kick us off that seem to be utterly refuted by this Wiki entry. The suggestion is clearly that this is another of Bert’s ‘interventions.’ It may well be the case, but equally I’m not sure how well researched the Wiki entry is. This Mudcat thread doesn’t really sort much out and takes a while to get through, but there are suggestions that an Irish tune of this title was published in the very early C19th. There is also the question of whether this relates to the Huguenots and the mythical French character of La Reynaudine, who apparently has a sort of Robin Hood status, but I cannot categorically back this up with any evidence either. I do like the suggestion that it could explain the rather peculiar line “brought up in Venus’ train” as mocking the Catholic obsession with Mary. I guess part of the debate here is how much therianthropy is involved. That could well be of Bert’s creation. Foxy or foxing rather than a fox? But be he simply outlaw, fox or something in between, he cunningly beguiles the young maid. So be warned! Should the spring season have prompted a desire to ramble amongst you fair maids gathered here, you’d better have your wits about you. Meanwhile any evidence for the Huguenot element will be appreciated, as it has a certain appeal.