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Scarborough Fair

DigiTrad:
AN ACRE OF LAND
ELFIN KNIGHT 3
ELFIN KNIGHT 4
ELFIN KNIGHT 5
REDIO, TEDIO
SCARBOROUGH FAIR
SCARBOROUGH FAIR (2)
THE ELFIN KNIGHT
THE ELFIN KNIGHT 2
THE LAIRD O' ELFIN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Scarborough Fair / Canticle (11)
(origins) Origins: Scarborough Fair / Robert Westall (27)
(origins) Scarborough Fair: uncorrupting the corruptible (26)
(origins) Origins: Scarborough Fair (46)
(origins) Origin: Scarborough Fair: earliest version? (40)
Lyr Req: The Cambric Shirt (Ritchie & Brand) (13)
Lyr Req: Scarborough Fair / Canticle (Simon & Garf (23)
(origins) lost verse, Scarborough Fair (25)
North Country/Scarborough Fair (9)
Lyr Req: An Acre of Land (29)


Anne Lister 19 May 08 - 02:57 AM
GUEST,leeneia 19 May 08 - 12:56 AM
GUEST 18 May 08 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 18 May 08 - 01:13 PM
The Sandman 18 May 08 - 11:09 AM
The Sandman 18 May 08 - 11:07 AM
The Borchester Echo 18 May 08 - 09:23 AM
Jim Carroll 18 May 08 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 18 May 08 - 08:32 AM
The Sandman 18 May 08 - 08:21 AM
The Sandman 18 May 08 - 05:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Anne Lister
Date: 19 May 08 - 02:57 AM

History has looked again at the Vikings, Leeneia. Your dictionary is very out of date and perpetuating stereotypes which have very little basis in fact. There's a lot more to Vikings than the old image of "rape and pillage", and none of them seem to have worn those horned helmets, either. Check out the Viking history of York (established clearly enough for there to be a Yorvik Experience exhibition permanently in York) if you still want to hang on to your preconceptions about them.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 May 08 - 12:56 AM

'Founded well over a thousand years ago as Skarthaborg by the norman Skartha, the Viking settlement in North Yorkshire in the north-west of England became a very important port as the dark ages drew to a close.'

If you look up 'Viking' in the dictionary, you will see that a Viking is a kind of pirate. The Vikings didn't found cities, run farms and conduct trade, It was the Norse people who did those things. The Vikings ran amuck, killing and stealing, often in hideously cruel ways.

Then, like so many cruel men before them, their kind died out.

Referring to the Norse people as 'Vikings' is as inaccurate as referring to all Americans as 'the Mafia.'


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 08 - 01:16 PM

That's the internet for you....


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 18 May 08 - 01:13 PM

If the earliest version is from the 1670s, I find knights carrying images of thyme on their shields a bit of a stretch.


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 May 08 - 11:09 AM

from here:
About the song Scarborough Fair.This page gives information about the song Scarborough Fair and its origins, the town of Scarborough and the herbs parsley, sage, rosemay and thyme, ...
www.geocities.com/paris/villa/3895/ - 26k - Cached - Similar pages


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 May 08 - 11:07 AM

not me,I got that information from here.the middle ages, people didn't usually take credit for songs or other works of art they made, so the writer of Scarborough Fair is unknown. The song was sung by bards (or shapers, as they were known in medieval England) who went from town to town, and as they heard the song and took it with them to another town, the lyrics and arrangements changed. This is why today there are many versions of Scarborough Fair, and there are dozens of ways in which the words have been written down.


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The lyrics
The following lyrics comprise most of the more well-known verses as they are commonly sung. A small handful of them were sung by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel on their 1966 album 'Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,' which popularised the song. Paul Simon learned the song from Martin Carthy, a famous folk singer in the UK, while he was on tour there. Despite using his arrangement of the song, Simon didn´t even mention Carthy´s name in the credits of the album.


Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For once she was a true love of mine


Have her make me a cambric shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seam nor fine needle work
And then she'll be a true love of mine


Tell her to weave it in a sycamore wood lane
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all with a basket of flowers
And then she'll be a true love of mine


Have her wash it in yonder dry well
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
where water ne'er sprung nor drop of rain fell
And then she'll be a true love of mine


Have her find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Between the sea foam and over the sand
And then she'll be a true love of mine


Plow the land with the horn of a lamb
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Then sow some seeds from north of the dam
And then she'll be a true love of mine


Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all in a bunch of heather
And then she'll be a true love of mine


If she tells me she can't, I'll reply
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Let me know that at least she will try
And then she'll be a true love of mine


Love imposes impossible tasks
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Though not more than any heart asks
And I must know she's a true love of mine


Dear, when thou has finished thy task
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Come to me, my hand for to ask
For thou then art a true love of mine


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Notes and guitar chords to the song


The chords and notes to "Scarborough Fair"



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Explanations of the lyrics
The narrator of the song is a man who was jilted by his lover. Although dealing with the paradoxes he sees himself posed to in a very subtle and poetic manner, this was a folk song and not written by nobles. The courtly ideal of romantic love in the middle ages, practised by knights and noblemen, was loving a lady and adoring her from a distance, in a very detached manner. There was hardly a dream and sometimes not even a wish that such love could ever be answered.

As a version of the song exists which is set in Whittington Fair and which is presumed to be equally old, it is puzzling why the lieu d'action of the song eventually became reverted to Scarborough. A possible explanation is that this is a hint from the singer to his lover, telling how she went away suddenly without warning or reason. Scarborough was known as a town where suspected thieves or other criminals were quickly dealt with and hung on a tree or à la lanterne after some form of street justice. This is why a 'Scarborough warning' still means 'without any warning' in today's English. This would also account for the absence of any suggestion of a reason for her departure, which could mean either that the singer doesn't have a clue why his lady left, or perhaps that these reasons are too difficult to explain and he gently leaves them out.

The writer goes on to assign his true love impossible tasks, to try and explain to her that love sometimes requires doing things which seem downright impossible on the face of it. The singer is asking his love to do the impossible, and then come back to him and ask for his hand. This is a highly unusual suggestion, because in those days it was a grave faux-pas to people from all walks of life for a lady to ask for a man's hand. Yet it fits in well with the rest of the lyrics, as nothing seems to be impossible in the song.


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The meaning of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
The herbs parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, recurring in the second line of each stanza, make up for a key motive in the song. Although meaningless to most people today, these herbs spoke to the imagination of medieval people as much as red roses do to us today. Without any connotation neccesary, they symbolize virtues the singer wishes his true love and himself to have, in order to make it possible for her to come back again.



Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Parsley is still prescribed by phytotherapists today to people who suffer from bad digestion. Eating a leaf of parsley with a meal makes the digestion of heavy vegetables such as spinach a lot easier. It was said to take away the bitterness, and medieval doctors took this in a spiritual sense as well.


Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage has been known to symbolize strength for thousands of years.



Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary represents faithfulness, love and remembrance. Ancient Greek lovers used to give rosemary to their ladies, and the custom of a bride wearing twigs of rosemary in her hair is still practised in England and several other European countries today. The herb also stands for sensibility and prudence. Ancient Roman doctors recommended putting a small bag of rosemary leaves under the pillow of someone who had to perform a difficult mental task, such as an exam. Rosemary is associated with feminine love, because it's very strong and tough, although it grows slowly.


Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
According to legend, the king of fairies dances in the wild thyme with all of the fairies on midsummernight; that's the best known legendary appearance of the herb. But the reason Thyme is mentioned here is that it symbolizes courage. At the time this song was written, knights used to wear images of thyme in their shields when they went to combat, which their ladies embroidered in them as a symbol of their courage.

This makes it clear what the disappointed lover means to say by mentioning these herbs. He wishes his true love mildness to soothe the bitterness which is between them, strength to stand firm in the time of their being apart from each other, faithfulness to stay with him during this period of loneliness and paradoxically courage to fulfill her impossible tasks and to come back to him by the time she can.


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Any comments? E-mail me!
Translated into Japanese November 1999 by Kazu, and apparently with a few extras,
from the English words that I understand.. :-)
Translated into German by Markus in August/September 2002, with a new layout (thanks for the pretty new layout Markus)
Translated into Italian by Silvio, with some connotations.
Translated into French by Madeleine

Created July 10, 1999 by Bert

This page is dedicated to Sandra

these chords are not the chords I use neither are they Martin Carthys who plays a different set of chords again.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 18 May 08 - 09:23 AM

I like The Cambric Shirt variant myself.
And Whittingham Fair.
And who moved Scarborough to the North West of England?


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 May 08 - 08:52 AM

Cap'n,
Scarborough Fair is a version of the ballad The Elfin Knight (Child 2) which was to be found all over the English-speaking world and beyond.
The earliest reference Child gave to it in its present form is a black-letter version from 1673.
As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on how these ballads originated and were circulated.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 18 May 08 - 08:32 AM

I always thought it meant 'fair Scarborough', the adjective being placed after the noun because it scans better.....


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Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 May 08 - 08:21 AM

The history of Scarborough and its fair
This English folk song dates back to late medieval times, when the seaside resort of Scarborough was an important venue for tradesmen from all over England. Founded well over a thousand years ago as Skarthaborg by the norman Skartha, the Viking settlement in North Yorkshire in the north-west of England became a very important port as the dark ages drew to a close.

Scarborough's bay


Scarborough and its surroundings
Scarborough Fair was not a fair as we know it today (although it attracted jesters and jugglers) but a huge forty-five day trading event, starting August fifteen, which was exceptionally long for a fair in those days. People from all over England, and even some from the continent, came to Scarborough to do their business. As eventually the harbour started to decline, so did the fair, and Scarborough is a quiet, small town now.

ª Back to index


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The history of the song
In the middle ages, people didn't usually take credit for songs or other works of art they made, so the writer of Scarborough Fair is unknown. The song was sung by bards (or shapers, as they were known in medieval England) who went from town to town, and as they heard the song and took it with them to another town, the lyrics and arrangements changed. This is why today there are many versions of Scarborough Fair, and there are dozens of ways in which the words have been written down.


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Subject: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 May 08 - 05:54 AM

here is a version on sound lantern,guitar standard tuning,key aminorhttp://www.soundlantern.com/UpdatedSoundPage.do?ToId=1254&Path=scarboroughfair.mp3
plus bushes and briars standard tuninghttp://www.soundlantern.com/UpdatedSoundPage.do?ToId=1581&Path=bushesandbriars.mp3hope you enjoy.


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