The Everyday Lore Project

10 January 2020 – The Fox And The Goose

10 January 2020 – The Fox And The Goose

I’ve been really struggling with how to write this today. There’s a load I can tell you, but there’s also a load I can’t. I can tell you that I managed to source some juniper twigs for tomorrow’s undertaking, but I can’t tell you from where because juniper in Sussex is scarce and protected, but I can tell you that I absolutely had permission from the landowner to wheeze up an obscenely steep hill to go forage for it, but only on the promise that I would keep them anonymous. So this is what I can tell you:

  • Some brilliant people helped me out today, thank you
  • I got lost three times 
  • A bearded man called Roger gave me particularly folklorey directions: ‘look for the last ash tree standing and you’ll see a kissing gate’
  • I had so much fun

Today felt a bit like a mix between Challenge Anneka and The Apprentice, only there was no helicopter and I used my mobile like a normal person. I got back at the end of the afternoon, had a bit of a sit down, finished the last of the pasty filling soup, and then got on with what I was actually supposed to be doing today.

So in case you hadn’t noticed, tonight is the first full moon of 2020. There is a lot of full moon folklore out there, all of which you are perfectly capable of finding out for yourself. What I will say is that January’s full moon is most commonly called a Wolf Moon as apparently wolves got a bit vocal at the beginning of the year, and today was supposedly favourable for Cancerians, but not so good for Capricorns. And given I’m a Cancerian, I’m saying yes to this. Anyhow, when reading my Almanac, I came across a traditional folksong called The Fox and the Goose billed as a song for January’s full moon. So, given it was only 18 bars long, I thought I would learn it. And then I decided to make it even more painful by giving it some chords. 

So with all the skill of your eight year old niece, here is my rendition of The Fox and the Goose, arrangement by Richard Barnard, to serenade the Wolf Moon. If you don’t want to listen to it, dragging your fingernails down a blackboard, or drawing a butter knife across a plate will give you equal, if not more, enjoyment.

And here is Peter, Paul and Mary giving their version, which is slightly different, not least because they understand what a semiquaver should sound like, as when it migrated across the pond, it all got a bit bluegrassy. It also has the best sound effects.


Ps. Cancerians and Capricorns, so how was your day?


Leendertz, L. (2019) The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2020, London, Mitchell Beazley

Burdick, A. (ed) (2019) Llewellyn’s 2020 Moon Sign Book, Woodbury, MN, LLewellyn Publications

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

2 comments on “10 January 2020 – The Fox And The Goose”

  1. Michele Marsh says:

    I’m a Gemini so I don’t know where that puts me on the full moon spectrum maybe I need to ask Richard Armitage or you could for me ❤️
    My sister is a Cancer too I will tell pass on this song and intel to her so many thanks for this blog post

    1. You’re very welcome. And according to my moon sign book, Geminis are in for a favourable day tomorrow (13 Jan)!

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