Mudcat Café message #3707482 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #111333   Message #3707482
Posted By: Lighter
08-May-15 - 08:35 AM
Thread Name: Scarborough Fair
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
On "English Folk Songs" (Folkways FP 917), Audrey Coppard sings a version of the MacColl "Scarborough Fair" which she apparently learned directly from him. (The notes say she is "indebted" to Lloyd and MacColl for several of her songs.) No earlier source is mentioned.

Coppard's tune is identical to that in "The Singing Island," but for two or three trivial differences, but the after stanza one the text consists of the woman's challenges only and the lyrics are a bit different. The differences are, first, each stanza begins "Tell him to" rather than "O, will you"; second, the final couplet is:

When he has done these things without fail...
He can come and claim me for himself.

The ability to rhyme "fail" with "himself" is Scottish. Does it happen in Yorkshire too?

The album is copyright 1955. It suggests the likelihood that however MacColl's version may have originated, he added the man's lines in time for his 1957 recording linked above.

Here's an ultra-romantic recent performance by Hayley Westenra: surely Celtic Woman at their best.