Single - Sierra Ferrell - Fox Hunt
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‘Fox Hunt’ by Sierra Ferrell - Lyrics & Meaning

October 20, 2023 11:11 am GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 11:00 am GMT

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Sierra Ferrell - ‘Fox Hunt’

Label: Rounder Records

Release Date: October 19th 2023

Album: TBC

Producers: Eddie Spear & Gary Paczosa

Songwriter: Sierra Ferrell

The Background:

In 2022, as fans began to grow hungry for more music from Sierra Ferrell following her acclaimed 2021 debut, Long Time Coming, the Americana maverick began sating their appetites by introducing an unreleased song into her setlist, entitled ‘Fox Hunt’.

As the exhilarating, uptempo ‘Fox Hunt’ gradually became a staple of Sierra Ferrell's electrifying live performances, calls for the song to be given an official release became deafening.

Then, during Ferrell's celebrated 2023 Long Road Festival set at the end of August, the singer-songwriter confirmed ‘Fox Hunt’ would be made available in the next couple of months.

In early October, Sierra Ferrell delighted fans by offering them a release date for the hotly anticipated single, with ‘Fox Hunt’ becoming theirs at long last on October 19.

The Sound:

Opening with a euphoric, undulating fiddle and an energising drum-beat, Sierra Ferrell enters the fray with a haunting, otherworldly chant that has become a highlight of her live sets, with Ferrell encouraging the audience to sing it back to her.

By introducing the song with this euphonic combination, without any lyrics as of yet, the protagonist is given a suitably animalistic nature, with the refrain sounding like a fox's howl.

As Sierra Ferrell begins the identical first two verses, the lively instrumentation is stripped away, leaving only the simple yet deliberate thud of the drum to accompany Ferrell's ethereal vocals.

This ensures that whenever the battle cry that starts off ‘Fox Hunt’ reemerges alongside the fiddle, it makes the sudden leap from the sparse verses into the hook all the more invigorating.

The fiddle takes centre-stage for much of ’Fox Hunt’, with the live-wire performance bringing additional energy whenever it re-enters the composition. Towards the end of the song, the fiddle is given space to shine, with the heightened intensity and tempo of the instrumentation seemingly representing the hunt coming to its dramatic conclusion.

With the fiddle having had its moment, Sierra Ferrell returns to deliver the final two lines a capella, with her distinctive, sinuous voice leaving the listener heading straight for the ‘Replay’ button.

The Meaning:

“Well, take the path down to the river, it is hunting time

Clothe the kids and feed the children, oh the meat is fine

Don't let them dogs out of your sight, don’t let them slip through your hands

Just chase that fox down through the pine through the cold river bend”

Sierra Ferrell paints a visceral, bucolic picture of a family living out in the woods and embarking on a hunting trip. The lyrics are seemingly directed towards her husband, as she tells him to get the children ready before the parents head out.

Then, almost as an aside, the lead character of ‘Fox Hunt’ then shares her excitement at the prospect of successfully returning with some delicious food (“Oh, the meat is fine”).

The family appears to be using scent hounds to track down the foxes, with the song's protagonist giving her partner instructions as to how to ensure they don't come back empty-handed.

“I’m just a hunter

Just trying to survive”

This feels like the keystone lyric, with Sierra Ferrell cleverly juxtaposing the role of the ‘hunter’ with that of the ‘hunted’, and conflating the two into a singular identity.

These two lines could easily be coming from different perspectives, with the predator thinking “I'm just a hunter” while the prey reflects on how they're “Just trying to survive”.

However, both lines refer to the protagonist, as they try to invoke a sense of sympathy from the listener. Rather than being portrayed as a cold-hearted hunter preying on defenceless animals, interestingly, Sierra Ferrell gives them an air of vulnerability through the idea they are simply doing whatever they can to stay alive.

“With a gun in hand and my man we go into the woods

I know just what I need to do and yes it's understood

Rumbling belly, shaking limbs, we’re gonna try and make a stand

No we're not going anywhere without a prize from the land”

Presumably leaving the children at home, Sierra Ferrell takes her partner out into the forest to begin their hunting expedition. She again underlines how this is their only option to survive, with the family struggling desperately for food (“Rumbling belly, shaking limbs”).

Fascinatingly, the inventive, hand-drawn music video for ‘Fox Hunt’ does not feature any humans, with the mystical and somewhat psychedelic visuals revolving around, among other things, fiddle-playing foxes, drumming turtles, pipe-smoking frogs and - bizarrely - an assortment of fruit and vegetables depicted with feminine figures.

What has Sierra Ferrell said about ‘Fox Hunt’?

Speaking to Holler ahead of the release, Sierra Ferrell shared, “I’ve been impatiently waiting for our release of ‘Fox Hunt’. It’s evolved a bit from the first time we played it live, but I’ve always felt such a great energy in the song that the crowd is always ready to send back to us”

The West Virginia native went on to explain, “I think the recording truly captures that energy”, before joking, “I mean, if you can't stomp your feet to this one, check your pulse!”

In the caption of the official music video for ‘Fox Hunt’, Sierra Ferrell shed some more light on the inspiration behind the song, “‘’Fox Hunt is my ode to hunters. We live in a world where most of us get everything from a supermarket and we take that food security, or at least the convenience, for granted. It wasn’t that long ago where that wasn’t the case…where hunting and gathering was how regular folks provided for their family, and leaving the hunt empty handed wasn’t much of an option”.

For the full lyrics to Sierra Ferrell's ‘Fox Hunt’ see below:

“Oooo, oooo

Oooo, oooo

Well, take the path down to the river, it is hunting time

Clothe the kids and feed the children, oh the meat is fine

Don't let them dogs out of your sight, don’t let them slip through your hands

Just chase that fox down through the pine through the cold river bend

Oooo, oooo

Oooo, oooo

Well, take the path down to the river, it is hunting time

To clothe the kids and feed the children, oh the meat is fine

Don't let them dogs out of your sight, don’t let them slip through your hands

Just chase that fox down through the pine through the cold river bend

Oooo, oooo

Oooo, oooo

I’m just a hunter

Just trying to survive

With a gun in hand and my man we go into the woods

I know just what I need to do and yes it's understood

Rumbling belly, shaking limbs, we’re gonna try and make a stand

No we're not going anywhere without a prize from the land

Oooo, Oooo

Oooo, Oooo

I’m just a hunter (Oooo, oooo)

Just trying to survive (Oooo, oooo)

Oooo, Oooo

Oooo, Oooo

I'm just a hunter

Just trying to survive”

For more on Sierra Ferrell, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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