Click on the fox to hear Jim and archive audio from Farewell Concert 1978.
Death of a Fox was written in 5:4, which is the same rhythm as Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Y’know, it really ought to have been the Dave Brubeck Quintet, shouldn’t it? Didn’t make a lot of sense a quartet doing a song called Take Five. Anyway, it was written in 5:4, the verse is in 5:4 – one two three one two, one two three one two, one two three one two, one two three one two, like that – but then switches to 6:8 in the chorus which, for me, gave a wonderful sense of release.
But the chorus was also a chorus without words because it was just a chord riff:
‘Won’t you hide!’ Bamala Ba Ba Ba Badala Dadala Ba Ba Ba
This technique of using a riff for a chorus was later used by Bruno Mars in Uptown Funk.
In the middle section (being Caedmon, of course Death of a Fox had a middle section) I started off with a little jig which I wrote. But, tragically, I couldn’t work out how to finish the little jig. So Simon, helpfully, came up with the last line on his mandolin. To this day, I still cannot play that bit of the jig.