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Scarborough Fair

18 May 08 - 05:54 AM (#2343439)
Subject: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

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.


18 May 08 - 08:21 AM (#2343508)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

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.

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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.


18 May 08 - 08:32 AM (#2343513)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald

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


18 May 08 - 08:52 AM (#2343525)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

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


18 May 08 - 09:23 AM (#2343549)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Borchester Echo

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


18 May 08 - 11:07 AM (#2343608)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

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


18 May 08 - 11:09 AM (#2343609)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

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


18 May 08 - 01:13 PM (#2343700)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Volgadon

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


18 May 08 - 01:16 PM (#2343703)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST

That's the internet for you....


19 May 08 - 12:56 AM (#2344099)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,leeneia

'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.'


19 May 08 - 02:57 AM (#2344137)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Anne Lister

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


19 May 08 - 06:43 AM (#2344235)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Not forgetting the excellent history by Magnus Magnussen
Jim Carroll


19 May 08 - 04:14 PM (#2344571)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

Child has 12 versions (A-L) of The Elfin Knight

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L ]

Version A

Name: 'A proper new ballad entituled The Wind hath
blown my Plaid Away, or A Discourse betwixt a
young [Wo]man and the Elphin Knight;' a broad-
side in the black letter in the Pepysian library, bound up
at the end of a copy of Blind Harry's 'Wallace,' Edin. 1673.

Note: A broadside in black letter, "printed, I suppose,"
says Pinkerton, "about 1610," bound up with five other pieces at
the end of a copy of Blind Harry's' Wallace,' Edin. 1673, in
the Pepysian Library.

MY plaid awa, my plaid awa,
And ore the hill and far awa,
And far awa to Norrowa,
My plaid shall not be blown awa.

1 The elphin knight sits on yon hill,
Ba, ba, ba, lilli ba
He blaws his horn both lewd and shril.
The wind hath blown my plaid awa

2 He blowes it east, he blowes it west,
He blowes it where he lyketh best.

3 'I wish that horn were in my kist,
Yea, and the knight in my armes two.'

4 She had no sooner these words said,
When that the knight came to her bed.

5 'Thou art over young a maid,' quoth he,
'Married with me thou il wouldst be.'

6 'I have a sister younger than I,
And she was married yesterday.

7 'Married with me if thou wouldst be,
A courtesie thou must do to me.

8 'For thou must shape a sark to me,
Without any cut or heme,' quoth he.

9 'Thou must shape it knife-and-sheerlesse,
And also sue it needle-threedlesse.'

10 'If that piece of courtesie I do to thee,
Another thou must do to me.

11 'I have an aiker of good ley-land,
Which lyeth low by yon sea-strand.

12 'For thou must eare it with thy horn,
So thou must sow it with thy corn.

13 'And bigg a cart of stone and lyme,
Robin Redbreast he must trail it hame.

14 'Thou must barn it in a mouse-hell,
And thrash it into thy shoes sell.

15 'And thou must winnow it in thy looff,
And also seek it in thy glove.

16 'For thou must bring it over the sea,
And thou must bring it dry home to me.

17 'When thou hast gotten thy turns well done,
Then come to me and get thy sark then.'

18 'I'l not quite my plaid for my life;
It haps my seven bairns and my wife.'
The wind shall not blow my plaid awa

19 'My maidenhead I'1 then keep still,
Let the elphin knight do what he will.'
The wind's not blown my plaid awa


Version B

Name: 'A proper new ballad entitlted The Wind hath
blawn my Plaid awa,' etc. Webster, A Collection
of Curious Old Ballads, p.3.

Note: A Collection of Curious Old Ballads, etc., p.3. Partly
from an old copy in black letter, and partly from the recita-
tion of an old lady.

MY plaid awe, my plaid awa,
And owre the hills and far awa,
And far awa to Norrowa,
My plaid shall not be blawn awa.

1 The Elphin knight sits on yon hill,
Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba
He blaws his horn baith loud and shrill.
The wind hath blawn my plaid awe

2 He blaws it east, he blaws it west,
He blaws it where he liketh best.

3 'I wish that horn were in my kist,
Yea, and the knight in my arms niest'

4 She had no sooner these words said,
Than the knight came to her bed.

5 'Thou art oer young a maid,' quoth he,
'Married with me that thou wouldst be.'

6 'I have a sister, younger than I,
And she was married yesterday.'

7 'Married with me if thou wouldst be,
A curtisie thou must do to me.

8 'It's ye maun mak a sark to me,
Without any cut or seam,' quoth he.

9 'And ye maun shape it, knife-, sheerless,
And also sew it needle-, threadless.'

10 'If that piece of courtisie I do to thee,
Another thou must do to me.

11 'I have an aiker of good ley land,
Which lyeth low by yon sea strand.

12 'It's ye maun till 't wi your touting horn,
And ye maun saw't wi the pepper corn.

13 'And ye maun harrow 't wi a thorn,
And hae your wark done ere the morn.

14 'And ye maun shear it wi your knife,
And no lose a stack o't for your life.

15 'And ye maun stack it in a mouse hole,
And ye maun thrash it in your shoe sole.

16 'And ye maun dight it in your loof,
And also sack it in your glove.

17 'And thou must bring it over the sea,
Fair and clean and dry to me.

18 'And when that ye have done your wark,
Come back to me, and ye'll get your sark.'

19 'I'll not quite my plaid for my life;
It haps my seven bairns and my wife.'

20 'My maidenhead I'll then keep still,
Let the elphin knight do what he will.

Version C

Name: 'The Elfin Knicht'

Note: Kinloch's A. S. Ballads, p. 145. From the recitation of
M. Kinnear, a native of Mearnsshire, 23 Aug., 1826

1 THERE. stands a knicht at the tap o you hill,
Ours the hills and far awa
He has blawn his horn loud and shill.
The cauld wind's blawn my plaid awa

2 'If I had the horn that I hear blawn,
And the knicht that blaws that horn!'

3 She had na sooner thae words said,
Than the elfin knicht cam to her side.

4 'Are na ye oure young a may
Wi onie young man doun to lie?'

5 'I have a sister younger than I,
And she was married yesterday.

6 'Married wi me ye sail neer be nane
Till ye mak to me a sark but a seam.

7 'And ye maun shape it knife-, sheer-less,
And ye maun sew it needl , threed-less.

8 'And ye maun wash it in yon cistran,
Where water never stood nor ran.

9 'And ye maun dry it on yon hawthorn,
Whare the sun neer shon sin man was born.'

10 'Gin that courtesie I do for thee,
Ye maun do this for me.

11 'Ye'll get an acre o gude red-land
Atween the saut sea and the sand.

12 'I want that land for to be corn,
And ye maun aer it wi your horn.

13 'And ye maun saw it without a seed,
And ye maun harrow it wi a threed.

14 'And ye maun sheer it wi your knife,
And na tyne a pickle o't for your life.

15 'And ye maun moue it in yon mouse-hole
And ye maun thrash it in your shoe-sole.

16 'And ye maun fan it wi your luves,
And ye maun sack it in your gloves.

17 'And ye maun bring it oure the sea,
Fair and clean and dry to me.

18 'And whom that your wark is weill dean,
Yese get your sark without a seam.'


Version D

Name: 'The Fairy Knight'

Note: Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, II, 296.

1 THE Elfin knight stands on yon hill,
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Blawing his horn loud and shrill.
And the wind has blawin my plaid awa

2 'If I had yon horn in my kist,
And the bonny laddie here that I luve best!

3 'I hae a sister eleven years auld,
And she to the young men's bed has made bauld.

4 'And I mysell am only nine,
And oh! sae fain, luve, as I woud be thine.'

5 'Ye maun make me a fine Holland sark,
Without ony stitching or needle wark.

6 'And ye maun wash it in yonder well,
Where the dew never wat, nor the rain ever fell.

7 'And ye maun dry it upon a thorn
That never budded sin Adam was born.'

8 'Now sin ye've askd some things o me,
It 's right I ask as mony o thee.

9 'My father he askd me an acre o land,
Between the saut sea and the strand.

10 'And ye maun plow't wi your blawing horn,
And ye maun saw't wi pepper corn.

11 'And ye maun harrow 't wi a single tyne,
And ye maun shear't wi a sheep's shank bane.

12 'And ye maun big it in the sea,
And bring the stathle dry to me.

13 'And ye maun barn't in yon mouse hole,
And ye maun thrash't in your shee sole.

14 'And ye maun sack it in your gluve,
And ye maun winno't in your leuve.

15 'And ye maun dry't without candle or coal,
And grind it without quirn or mill.

16 'Ye'll big a cart o stane and lime,
Gar Robin Redbreast trail it syne.

17 'When ye've dune, and finishd your wark,
Ye'll come to me, luve, and get your sark.'


Version E

Name: None

Note: Motherwell's MS., p.492.

1 THE Elfin Knight sits on yon hill,
Ba ba lilly ba
Blowing his horn loud and shill.
And the wind has blawn my plaid awa

2 'I love to hear that horn blaw;
I wish him [here] owns it and a'.'

3 That word it was no sooner spoken,
Than Elfin Knight in her arms was gotten.

4 'You must mak to me a sark,
Without threed sheers or needle wark.'


Version F

Name: 'Lord John'

Note: Kinloch MSS, I, 75. From Mary Barr.


1 'DID ye ever travel twixt Berwick and Lyne?
Sober and grave grows merry in time
There ye'll meet wi a handsome young dame,
Ance she was a true love o mine.

2 'Tell her to sew me a holland sark,
And sew it all without needle-war:
And syne we'll be true lovers again.

3 'Tell her to wash it at yon spring-well,
Where neer wind blew, nor yet rain fell.

4 'Tell her to dry in on yon hawthorn,
That neer sprang up sin Adam was born.

5 'Tell her to iron it wi a hot iron,
And plait it a' in ae plait round.'

6 'Did ye ever travel twixt Berwick and Lyne?
There ye'll meet wi a handsome young man,
Ance he was a true lover o mine.

7 'Tell him to plough me an acre o land
Betwixt the sea-side bot and the sea-sand,
And syne we'll be true lovers again.

8 'Tell him to saw it wi ae peck o corn,
And harrow it a' wi ae harrow tine.

9 'Tell him to shear it wi ae hook-tooth,
And carry it hame just in to his loof.

10 'Tell him to stack it in yon mouse-hole,
And thrash it a' just wi his shoe-sole.

11 'Tell him to dry it on yon ribless kiln,
And grind it a' in yon waterless miln.

12 Tell this young man, whan he's finished his wark,
He may come to me, and hese get his sark.'


Version G

Name: 'The Cambrick Shirt'

Note: Gammer Gurton's Garland, p.3, ed. 1810

1 'CAN you make me a cambrick shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without any seam or needle work?
And you shall be a true lover of mine

2 'Can you wash it in yonder dry well,
Where never sprung water nor rain ever fell?

3 'Can you dry it on yonder thorn,
Which never bore blossom since Adam was born?

4 'Now you have asked me questions three,
I hope you'll answer as many for me.

5 'Can you find me an acre of land
Between the salt water ad the sea sand?

6 'Can you plow it with ram's horn,
And sow it all over with one pepper corn?

7 'Can you reap it with a sickle of leather,
And bind it up with a peacock's feather?

8 'When you have done, and finished your work,
Then come to me for your cambrick shirt.'


Version H

Name: 'The Deil's Courtship'

Note: Motherwell's MS., p. 92.

1 'COME pretty Nelly, and sit thee down by me,
Every rose grows merry wi' thyme
And I will ask thee questions three,
And then thou wilt be a true lover of mine.

2 'Thou must buy me a cambrick smock
Without any stitch of needlework.

3 'Thou must wash it in yonder strand,
Where wood never grew and water ner ran.

4 'Thou must dry it on yonder thron,
Where the sun never shined on since Adam was formed.'

5 'Though hast asked me quetions three;
Sit down till I ask as many of thee.

6 'Thou must buy me an acre of land
Betwixt the salt water, lover, and the sea-sand.

7 'thou must plow it wi a ram's horn,
And sow it all over wi one pile o corn.

8 'Thou must shear it wi a strap o leather,
And tie it all up in a peacock feather.

9 'Thou must stack it in the sea,
And bring the stale o 't hame dry to me.

10 'When my love's done and finished his work,
Let him come to me for his cambric smock.


Version I

Name: 'The Deil's Courting'

Note: Motherwell's MS., p. 103. From the recitation of John
McWhinnie, collier, Newtown Green, Ayr.

1 A LADY wonned on yonder hill,
Hee ba and balou ba
And she had musick at her will
And the wind has blow my plaid awa

2 Up and cam an auld, auldman,
Wi his blue bonnet in his han.

3 'I will ask ye questions three;
Resolve them, or ye'll gang wi me.

4 'Ye maun mak to me a sark,
It maun be free o woman's wark.

5 'Ye maun shape it knife-sheerless,
And ye maun sew it needle-threedless.

6 'Ye maun wash it in yonder well,
Where rain nor dew has ever fell.

7 'Ye maun dry it on yonder thorn,
Where leaf neer grew since man was born.'

8 'I will ask ye questions three;
Resolve them, or ye'll neer get me.

9 'I hae a rig o bonnie land
Atween the saut sea and the sand.

10 'Ye maun plow it wi a horse bane,
And harrow it wi ae harrow pin.

11 'Ye maun shear't wi a whang o leather,
And ye maun bind't bot strap or tether.

12 'Ye maun stack it in the sea,
And bring the stale hame dry to me.

13 'Ye maun mak a cart o stane,
And yoke the wren and bring it hame.

14 'Ye maun thresh't atween your lufes,
And ye maun sack't atween your thies.'

15 'My curse on those wha learned thee;
This night I weend ye'd gane wi me.'


Version J

Name: None

Note: Communicated by Rev. F. D. Huntington, Bishop of
Western New York, as sung to him by his father in 1828, at
Hadley, Mass.; derived from a rough, roystering "character"
in the town.

1 NOW you are a-going to Cape Ann,
Follomingkathellomeday
Remember me to the self-same man.
Ummatiddle, ummatiddle, ummatallyho, tal-
lyho, follomingkathellomeday

2 Tell him to buy me an acre of land
Between the salt-water and the sea-sand.

3 Tell him to plough it with a ram's horn,
Tell him to sow it with one peppercorn.

4 Tell him to reap it with a penknife,
And tell him to cart it with two mice.

5 Tell him to cart it to yonder new barn
That never was built since Adam was born.

6 Tell him to thrash it with a goose quill,
Tell him to fan it with an egg-shell.

7 Tell the fool, when he's done with his work,
To come to me, and he shall have his shirt.


Version K

Name: None

Note: Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England, 6th ed., p. 109,
No. 171.

1 MY father left me three acres of land,
Sing ivy, sing ivy
My father left me three acres of land.
Sing holly, go whistle and ivy.

2 I ploughed it with a ram's horn,
And sowed it all over with one pepper corn.

3 I harrowed it with a bramble bush,
And reaped it with my little penknife.

4 I got the mice to carry it to the barn,
And thrashed it with a goose's quill.

5 I got the cat to carry it to the mill;
The miller he swore he would have her paw,
And the cat she swore she would scratch his face.


Version L

Name: None

Note: Notes and Queries, 2st S., VII, 8. Signed D.

1 MY father gave me an acre of land,
Sing ivy, sing ivy
My father gave me an acre of land.
Sing green bush, holly and ivy

2 I ploughd it with a ram's horn.

3 I harrowd it with a bramble

4 I sowd it with a pepper corn.

5 I reapd it with my penknife.

6 I carried it to the mill upon the cat's back.

**** (Note: "Then follows some more which I
forget but I think it ends thus,")

7 I made a cake for all the king's men.


19 May 08 - 06:18 PM (#2344681)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham

I'm with Jim.
What a load of bollocks about Scarborough! Like most broadside ballads the place name gets shifted about willy nilly and can be almost anywhere at whim. As for medieval very few of the Child ballads were around in that era. Despite what Child's preferences were many of these originated on broadsides and few can be traced back any further than the 16th century. Some of them may have been around as folk tales and later fashioned into ballads.

I wouldn't put much faith in some of the above Scottish versions either. Most of those were rehashed by literary men and antiquarians.

(That should put the cat among the pigeons, Jim)


19 May 08 - 06:38 PM (#2344706)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

Steve.I have put information from websites up here,that doesnt mean I agree with what is being said.
it is not a question of being with anyone,it is a question of discussing [hopefully amicably and in an adult manner].
[I wouldn't put much faith in some of the above Scottish versions either. Most of those were rehashed by literary men and antiquarians.]
Steve, If I like a particular version, I will sing it,furthermore Ihave no hesitation in taking a verse from one and putting it with another or even writing a new verse[in the way BertLLoyd did with songs]whether a song was rehashed by an antiquarian a literary man,Bert LLoyd ,Bob Roberts,a bargeman, a shepherd,or Stan Hugill is irrelevant.Dick Miles


19 May 08 - 07:38 PM (#2344746)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Gerry

What? You mean it wasn't written by Simon and Garfunkel?


20 May 08 - 02:24 AM (#2344886)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

If we're to take literally some of the information we get from the ballads and the by some scholars, I reckon Barbara Allen must have had a Harley Davidson.
Jim Carroll


20 May 08 - 02:52 AM (#2344892)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Darowyn

Scarborough is, and has been for thousands of years, a good natural harbour on a very dangerous coast.
It also has a relatively easy access from inland compared with other towns on the north east coast, so it is a natural place to become a centre of commerce.
It's easy to see how Scarborough Fair would become very important to people living in North and East Yorkshire. The area was much more commercially important in the past, at various periods of history, for Herrings, Chemicals and Timber. It's a natural attractor for a good song.

I lived in Scarborough for seven years and still know the place well. It is fascinating to realise that there were people there then who remembered, at first hand, that there used to be hiring fairs on St Nicholas Cliff.
In modern times, Scarborough Fair- which is now a funfair of course- marks the end of the tourist season.   

Cheers
Dave


20 May 08 - 04:20 AM (#2344937)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald

I still reckon it means the fair town of Scarborough. The second line of the first verse says 'remember me to one who lives there' which I assume is Scarborough itself, not the fair or market. It's rather like lines mentioning a 'lady fair' or 'maiden fair', e.g. as in When first I came to Caledonia.


20 May 08 - 10:23 AM (#2345148)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Flashmeister

Regarding the origins of the song and the various lyrics posted up here i think it is fair to say that the song itself is evolving as different singers adapt or substitute different words/verses etc. Surely this is what folk music should do - evolve to become relevant to the singer and the time in which they are singing the song? That, in my opinion, is what keeps folk music alive, instead of it remaining archaic and irrelevant to more modern times (probably upsetting all the trad purists here!!). Songs like Scarborough Fair which have a thread such as love running through will alway be sung as long as people find resonance in the song itself, hence why it's adapted over time or when different people sing it. I myself do a version that is sung from the womans point of view however still keeps the main words intact but also brings in male voice harmony in a nod to the original theme. It's a lovely song to sing or hear and i worry that it's in danger of becoming over done in the Simon & Garfunkel style because too few people want to take it in a fresh direction.
That's my two pennies worth of rant!!!


20 May 08 - 01:11 PM (#2345312)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Borchester Echo

The ballad as performed today is actually a conflation of Child #1 & #2.
Paul Simon took Martin Carthy's arrangement and set it in counterpoint to the tune of his own composition The Side Of A Hill. And very clever it was too.
As for the origins of a fair at Scarborough, Henry III granted the town a charter in 1253.


20 May 08 - 04:50 PM (#2345507)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham

Dick,
Apologies to all those who don't give a monkeys where the song came from or how it evolved. I certainly am the last person to object to helping along the evolution of songs. BUT it would appear that some of the people on this thread are interested and to some of us it means something to know where a song came from, if it came from the pen of a literary forger or from the hearts of the 'folk'.


20 May 08 - 05:31 PM (#2345533)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

Isaid;
Steve, If I like a particular version, I will sing it,furthermore Ihave no hesitation in taking a verse from one and putting it with another or even writing a new verse[in the way BertLLoyd did with songs]whether a song was rehashed by an antiquarian a literary man,Bert LLoyd ,Bob Roberts,a bargeman, a shepherd,or Stan Hugill is irrelevant.
that does not mean I am not interested,it means that the occupation of the adaptor ,does not put me off singing it.
what does the hearts of the folk mean,does it not include everyone,whether they are a literary forger.,a bargeman,an antiquarian,Martin Carthy, a broadsheet writer of the sevententh century,or the person that added the parrot to the Outlandish Knight,they are all folk.
leastways I aint seen any chimpanzees rewriting Tam Lin.


21 May 08 - 03:22 AM (#2345812)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Volgadon

I don't think anyone was saying that it put them off singing the song, but why post information which you don't really believe in or think is true?


21 May 08 - 03:51 AM (#2345825)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

I have an open mind,and like to learn more.


21 May 08 - 04:09 AM (#2345837)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Cap'n
From some singers points of view, it may well be that the background to a song is unimportant, but as has been pointed out, this is not the case with all singers.
For many, myself included when I was still singing, it was an essential part of learning the song and a great part of the enjoyment.
It was quite often a part of our interpretation of the song.
Quite often, if you did not understand references in the songs, it meant that you were singing gibberish and led to some of the things you would find in the mondergreens list.
One of the pleasures for Pat and I was to find out the secret of the broken token songs - do know how to break a gold ring in half - try it sometime?
My favourite quote on the subject comes from page 1 of Wimberly's 'Folklore in the English and Scottish Ballads:
"An American Indian sun-dance or an Australian corroboree is an exciting spectacle for the uninitiated, but for one who understands something of the culture whence it springs it is a hundred fold more heart-moving."
All this beside, you presented a piece of information that failed to take in the whole picture, which could, if it was accepted, mislead people. As Volgadon has said "why post information which you don't really believe in or think is true?"
Jim Carroll


21 May 08 - 06:06 AM (#2345886)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

As Volgadon has said "why post information which you don't really believe in or think is true.
Jim,so it can be discussed,I didnt know whether it was true or not,
of course I knew Scarborough,was not in the north west of England,having played there nmany times.
Jim/Volgadon,Ihave learned a lot since I joined Mudcat,and got alot of information from the net,one way to discern what is true/untrue information,is to get peoples opinions on it.


21 May 08 - 06:56 AM (#2345903)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Cap'n
If this is the case, you should put it up as a question, not as a statement, as you did.
Jim Carroll


21 May 08 - 10:25 AM (#2346068)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Dave Hanson

Best version of Scarborough Fair is from the Book Of Curtailed Folksongs

Are you going to Scarborough Fair ?
No.


eric


21 May 08 - 12:02 PM (#2346159)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Volgadon

Brilliant!


21 May 08 - 12:57 PM (#2346198)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

fingers suitably rapped ,Jim.
I will write it out a hundred times.
how about: are you going to Widdiecombe Fair,with Captain Birdseye ,Volgadon,Eric The Red,Jim Carroll,Steve Gardham,,Flashmeister,DianeEasby,Terry Macdonald,Darowyn,Tabster,Leenia,guest Gerry and uncle Joe Offer and all.


21 May 08 - 01:41 PM (#2346230)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Jono

Very Nice.

I like this version best though:


http://www.mediaevalbaebes.com/audio.html


21 May 08 - 07:02 PM (#2346478)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham

As I was going to Scarborough Fayre,
out popped an elf an' he gave me a scare.
he asked me to make him a cambric shirt,
just like the one worn by Uncle Bert.
I said 'Go plough an acre a mile off the shore!'
He took the hint and I ne'er saw him more
          Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
          And the rest of the herbs why they don't come in rhyme!


22 May 08 - 07:09 PM (#2347251)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Mysha

Hi,

I do not care much for the version at the top; there may be a fitting explanation, but I don't like the mind set. The version I sing is more like The Cammerik Shirt, above, though with the go-between of the Scarborough Fair versions. I like that version because most of it makes some sense. OK, the "Setherwood, sage rosemary and thyme" doesn't, but I use that as a marker for lyrics different from the lyrics "everybody" knows. Any way, to me singing is not making sound with your mouth, but adding more meaning to music. So I thank the captain for posting about the extraordinary length of the fair; I had always assumed it to be the common three day horse fair. It does now make me wonder why it was chartered for a whole six weeks more. Still, I'm not sure the other pieces posted are as valuable.

BFN
                                                                Mysha


22 May 08 - 07:57 PM (#2347278)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jack Campin

I can't get that site to do any more than download a whole bunch of widget clutter. The link isn't a direct one to an mp3 as it looks like.

So I just have this comment to go on:

" The singer is asking his love to do the impossible, and then come back to him and ask for his hand."

Which suggests that it's derivative from the sentimentalized Carthy/S&G version. Look at most of the versions given here - the Cambric Shirt one in particular - and it comes across as a ferocious rejection: she can have me back when hell freezes over. (In its original form the tune Sharp found for it, which is probably where the Carthy/S&G one started out, reinforces that tone of cold fury - dogged equal notes most of the way through). It's as dark as anything in blues or rap.

I'm not really interested in hearing yet another rendition that turns it into sugary slop.


23 May 08 - 02:02 AM (#2347407)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

For me, the most beautiful of the genre of 'impossible task' songs by far is 'The Gairdner Child' - Ewan and Peggy did a fine version centuries ago.
Jim Carroll


23 May 08 - 04:23 AM (#2347453)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

http://www.soundlantern.com/UpdatedSoundPage.do?ToId=1254&Path=scarboroughfair.mp3 .no problems with this link.


23 May 08 - 04:26 AM (#2347455)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

http://www.soundlantern.com/UpdatedSoundPage.do?ToId=1254&Path=scarboroughfair.mp3


23 May 08 - 04:32 AM (#2347457)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

http://www.soundlantern.com/UpdatedSoundPage.do?ToId=1254&Path=scarboroughfair.mp3


23 May 08 - 04:45 AM (#2347463)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Flashmeister

I have to agree with the comment about not wanting to hear another version turned into sugary slop. I think it's very sad that the feeling behind the song has been so diluted over time and it's almost taken for granted that it's a soppy sentimental song when in reality it's a pretty brutal rejection being portrayed...I much prefer a darker rendition of it...that might just be me and my maudlin self though!!!
......been playing too many murder ballads i think!


23 May 08 - 06:33 AM (#2347503)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

who has turned it into sugary slop?


23 May 08 - 08:19 AM (#2347547)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jack Campin

"who has turned it into sugary slop?"

Carthy, most likely - I haven't heard his version but I believe the S&G one is just a cover of it.


23 May 08 - 09:06 AM (#2347572)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Flashmeister

The Carthy version on Shearwater is similar to the S&G, much more pared down obviously, but the S&G is the definative 'sugary slop' version in my the view of my jaundiced eye. I think i said before that it's a shame the song is mainly known for being twee instead of what it could potentially be. tis a fine song when all's said and done.


23 May 08 - 09:48 AM (#2347604)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

listen again to Shearwater,In my opinion this is some of Carthys finest singing,Including Scarborough Fair,SUGARY SLOP ,not from Martin Carthy,neither is my version sugary slop. I agree that the balance one track home recording is not very good,and that asIsing it in more it will improve but sugary slop it aint.
I would be interested to hear EWAN AND PEGGYS VERSION,Icant imagine that being sugary slop either.Dick Miles


23 May 08 - 10:38 AM (#2347644)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Flashmeister

For clarity on my view point the Carthy version isn't in itself sugary but derivatives of it have been; I don't think Carthy is a champion of twee sentimental stuff by any stretch of the imagination and hold my hands up, i am a prat, Scarborough Fair is on the first album not Shearwater!!! confusing my threads now! Shearwater is a fine album, apologies there!!
again it's how the individual interprets it...and again i agree Captain B that your take isn't sugary either...i do a version too that is quite pared down (but it's the woman's voice narrating with guitar and dulcimer)...and that certainly isn't sugary!

digging a hole, digging a hole......!!!


23 May 08 - 10:44 AM (#2347654)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Tootler

If you listen carefully to everything that is sung on the S&G version, I think you will find it is not "sugar slop".

True Scarborough Fair itself appears to have been "prettied up" by leaving out several verses so that the sense of two former lovers having a go at each other has got lost, but as Diane Easby pointed out much further up the thread,

<<Paul Simon took Martin Carthy's arrangement and set it in counterpoint to the tune of his own composition "The Side Of A Hill". And very clever it was too.>>

In fact Paul Simon partly rewrote "The Side of a Hill" for SF, but the song was in essence, the same. Here are the original words of "Side of a Hill";

On the side of a hill, in a land called somewhere
A little boy sleeps alone in the earth.
While down in the valley a cruel war rages
And people forget what a child's life is worth

On the side of a hill, a little cloud weeps
And waters the grave with its silent tears
While a soldier cleans a polishes a gun
Which ended a life at the age of seven years

And the war rages on in a land called somewhere
And generals order their men to kill
And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten
While a little cloud weeps on the side of a hill.

The first verse is where the main changes are in SF.


23 May 08 - 11:51 AM (#2347696)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

IMO The Carthy version - not helped at all by his (as usual) over-elabourate accompaniment, is bland and totally lacks the edge needed for a song that is basically about rejection.
S & G version just adds a little more syrup.
Jim Carroll


23 May 08 - 12:30 PM (#2347714)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST

Jim, I don't quite follow that last one, opinions notwithstanding. Simon's basic arrangement came from Carthy, Simon added to it, a little more syrup as you say. But how can it be over-elaborate and bland at the same time? Just him and guitar, and this being on his first album, it actually lacked a lot of what Carthy was known for later. It's actually light years away from something like Prince Heathen. In a sense it is bland, but it's not over elaborate. As an aside, I was glad a few years ago to learn that Carthy and Simon patched things up in regards to what happened between them because of this song.


23 May 08 - 12:31 PM (#2347715)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: irishenglish

Above was me, forgot to log in!


23 May 08 - 12:53 PM (#2347727)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

well this is all a matter of opinion.I dont think Carthys arrangement of Scarborough Fair was over elaborate,neither do I think it bland.I would like to also hear ewan and peggys version.
personally I think Carthys rendition of scarborough fair ,is excellent it lacks any of ther mannerisms that occur occassionally in his later singing,In my opinion his singing on his first lp is excellent,the guitar playing is also excellent,on scarborough fair he accompanies the song,rather than the singing following the guitar.
I dont know how its possible to be over elaborate and bland simultaneously.Dick Miles


23 May 08 - 01:33 PM (#2347749)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Irishenglish
For me the song is basically two people stating their mutual dislike of each other. Carthy has a naturally light voice and I have always thought that tonally, he has never developed it enough to to project the tension that this type of narrative demands.
(IMO) His accompaniment dominates the text anyway so that the listener's attention is drawn to the that rather than the somewhat bitter dialogue, turning the performance into a listenable but somewhat insipid musical performance.
To be fair to Carthy, he is nowhere near the only singer who adopts this approach - accompaniment has spoiled more songs than it has enhanced, simply because it doesn't - accompany, that is.
Jim Carroll.


23 May 08 - 01:40 PM (#2347756)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: irishenglish

Well, to each their own Jim, but all I can say is the first time I heard Carthy do epics like Prince Heathen, and especially The Famous Flower Of Serving Men I was in a different place, they just consumed my mind. I was entranced by the tension of the story line. Has everything worked, no of course not, and your opinion is your own, I respectfully disagree though.


23 May 08 - 02:29 PM (#2347782)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Prince Heathen and Famous Flower are two very different songs requiring requiring very different approaches.
I've heard C's Prince Heathen, and again - not enough vocal strength for my taste; Bert Lloyd (who virtually re-made the song), got away with it with the use of recitative. Not heard Cathy's F.F. so I wouldn't pass an opinion.
Happy to disagree; it's what these forums are about.
Jim Carroll


23 May 08 - 05:24 PM (#2347840)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham

Usually I like the later minimalist versions of ballads like SF but in this case I prefer both the riddle/wit combat of the Elfin Knight, which gives the combat more of a point, and the simple homely 'Acre of Land' which it spawned and is still sung in many farming communities all over England. We once collected 3 different tunes/choruses from people living almost in adjacent houses.


23 May 08 - 08:53 PM (#2347910)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Suegorgeous

Irishenglish

What did happen between them?


Another impossible task song is Captain Wedderburn's courtship, which I rather like.


24 May 08 - 06:27 PM (#2348432)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: curmudgeon

I first encountered SF in my late teens on the Riverside LP, Matching Songs of the British Isles and America, MacColl- Seeger.

The version Ewan sang was strong, free sung and unaccompanied. Text and tune were probably Carthy's source. I took to Ewan's version instantly, and have been singing it for the past forty five or so years.

But I was also taken by the version of The Cambric Shirt that Peggy did on the album. She said it came from the Southern Appallachians; it has some of the elements of Child's J text. But what struck me was that the man asks:

"Where are you going, I'm going to Lynn.."

and the woman replies:

"Where are you going, I'm going to Cape Ann..."

These two places are close by on the North Shore of Massachusetts, but Southern Appalachians? I did later find it in the Flanders collection.

My understanding, over the years, and a lot of reading from forgatten sources was that this is a ballad ofmagical activities; none of the tasks can be completed otherwise, and that the herbal incantation was a protection for both singer and listener.

Perhaps someone with better memory or handier access to Child can add more to my thoughts - Tom Hall


25 May 08 - 02:36 PM (#2348900)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Tom
"a ballad of magical activities;"
There's no great evidence for this; the conclusion that it is a supernatural ballad seems to be based on the title 'Elphin' or 'Elfin Knight'
The Standard Dictionary of Folklore makes the point '...the elfin-ness of the knight plays no essential part in the story'.
Child gives a number of parallel folk tales all based on trickery and cleverness on the part of the woman, rather than magic.
I think there is a danger of over-complicating these ballads by reading aspects into them that are simply not there.
The most blatant example of this is to be found in Phillips Barry's note to 'The Lake of Col Fin' in the New Green Mountain Songster, manages to turn what is one of our most beautiful songs concerning domestic tragedy into a tale of enchantment, magic islands and water nymphs.
Jim Carroll


25 May 08 - 02:50 PM (#2348910)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

PS,
On The Long Harvest Peggy gives the version you refer to, as being "a collated text from Bronson using Mrs Mitchell's (Burnsville, N.C.) tune.
Peggy's text appears to be largely based on one from Vermont.
jim Carroll


25 May 08 - 04:01 PM (#2348942)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: irishenglish

Sue, when S & G's version came out, it was attributed to Paul Simon, it wasn't credited as being traditional, or even traditional, arranged by Carthy, which would have been the proper thing for Paul Simon to do. I don't think Carthy was annoyed that SImon was succesful, just that he didn't attribute it as a traditional song, and within the folk community, it was fairly well known that Carthy was a little peeved. Just a couple of years ago, when Free Reed's Carthy Chronicles came out, somehow they got the two in touch with each other again, and Simon wrote a little tribute note for the booklet, and shortly after that, when Simon was performing in London, he brought Carthy out to sing it together!


25 May 08 - 04:08 PM (#2348948)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Irishenglish,
I wonder did Carthy attribute it to retired lead-miner Mark Anderson, from whom that particular version came.
Too often, for my liking, the source of the song is forgotten in the wrangle about 'Carthy's', 'S&Gs' or whoever's version - which, of course, in itself, is pretty meaningless as it is part of a centuries old chain.
Jim Carroll


25 May 08 - 04:20 PM (#2348958)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: irishenglish

Jim, you fail to see the point, millions of people looking at the back cover of a S&G album, even to this day see those words written by Paul Simon-do you think that is meaningless? Carthy did not mention Mark Anderson, but at least HE attributed it to being traditional, which was the bone of contenion. I have had to correct people when they think Simon wrote those words and tell them it is an ancient song. If they want to then follow it back further and find out all of the different variants, etc. from there, great, if not, then at least they will know it is a traditional English folksong.


25 May 08 - 04:24 PM (#2348963)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

JIM ,Presumably Mark Anderson learned it from someone else.
with the greatest respect it could be argued from your argument,that Mark Anderson was not the original source anymore than Carthy,but he was the last known source.
somebody must have written the song originally,yes it may possibly have been added to,all traditional material is author unknown,but is originally someones composition.
Mark Anderson did not write the song,he was part of a chain,just as Carthy and S and G are.that does not mean I dont appreciate Mark Andersons role,as a song carrier.
Dick Miles


25 May 08 - 04:47 PM (#2348975)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Irishenglish
I take your point completely
Cap'n,
Isn't that what I just said?
"which, of course, in itself, is pretty meaningless as it is part of a centuries old chain"
Whosever the song is, it is certainly neither Carthy's not S&Gs (none of whom are part of the tradition, merely borrowing from it)
Jim Carroll


25 May 08 - 05:07 PM (#2348981)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Terry McDonald

Give it another 50 years and I reckon Carthy will most definitely be 'part of the tradtion.'


26 May 08 - 02:47 AM (#2349187)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Nope - but that's another argument
Jim Carroll


26 May 08 - 06:51 PM (#2349653)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham

Dick
'all traditional material is author unknown'.
I'm sure you must have made a faux pas on that one. There's a considerable amount of traditional material for which we know the authors, from the 16th century right upto at least 1908 and probably even more recent.


27 May 08 - 05:22 AM (#2349934)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Steve
"There's a considerable amount of traditional material for which we know the authors"
There's certainly some, but I think 'considerable' is overstating it a little.
There are several writers whose songs have passed into the tradition here in Ireland, but I would be hard pressed to name many in the UK
Jim Carroll


27 May 08 - 05:53 AM (#2349951)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

S G ,may have got a lot of people interested in the song by popularising it,who would not otherwise have heard it.
Sometimes,through hearing other versions,and this is where youtube is so handy,they can hear more authentic or closer to the tradition versions.
Jim,there is an audio site called Sound lantern.
you could put some recordings of traditional singers up,you believe in sharing the music and have criticised the revival for being money orientated,there would be people on the site such as myself,who would be interested in hearing your recordings,a chance for you to share the music for free.
Steve.thats a subject,that deserves a thread of its own ,join mudcat and you can start a thread,right now I am off to play some music.


27 May 08 - 06:01 AM (#2349957)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jack Campin

Martin Parker, Thomas Lanfiere, Allan Ramsay, Robert Burns, John Hamilton, Robert Tannahill, Sandy Rodger, Blind Willie Purvis, Lady Nairne, Lady John Scott, Harry Lauder, Willie Kemp, Hamish Henderson, Morris Blythman...


27 May 08 - 07:49 AM (#2350012)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Cap'n,
Our complete collection will, we hope, be available on line on a web-site connected with a local archive we are helping set up.
It has been available to anybody interested at The British Library, The Irish Traditional Music Archive and The Irish Folklore Department for at least 20 years. These organisations are welcome to make it available on their individual web-sites should they wish to do so, and should the revival wish to assist them raise the funds to facilitate the development of their sites.
Jim Carroll


27 May 08 - 08:50 AM (#2350040)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

best of luck with it,Jim.


27 May 08 - 09:51 AM (#2350082)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Thank you Cap'n
I should have added that our recordings are also available on From Puck To Appleby (Travellers) and Around The Hills of Clare, though the latter is reaching the end of its third pressing and may not be re-issued.
There are also tracks included on Voice of the People and Century of Song.
Any money arising from the sale of our recordings have always been donated to The Irish Traditional Music Archive, and so is ploughed back directly into the music.
Jim Carroll


27 May 08 - 10:25 AM (#2350105)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

I have Around the Hills of Clare,and have enjoyed it.
but you know if you were to put up a track on sound lantern,you are exposing people to traditional singers,and its all publicity,that costs you nothing and may result in a sale.
only trying to be helpful,not meaning to tell my grandmother how to suck eggs.Dick Miles


27 May 08 - 11:31 AM (#2350157)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jim Carroll

Cap'n
If I thought there was enough interest to get the songs take up by the next generation I would stand on Oxford Circus and give them out.
You get to a point where you think it's time that people made the effort themselves instead of having them dropped through the letterbox.
It can be somewhat disheartening to make your material as available as you are able, then hear people complain that they still aren't available enough.
When Tom Munnelly put together his recordings of John Reilly (arguably one of the most important traditional ballad singers in the 20th century) for Topic (Bonny Green Tree), and donated the proceeds to a Traveller education scheme, the sales were insultingly pathetic.
Then there's the crappy job that revival singers make of the songs; in our case, June Tabour.
I won't reopen old arguments about snide references to traditional singers' abilities.....
I quite often ask myself (until I remember the great people we've met in the process of collecting) whether it was worth it.
As far as I'm concerned, the recordings are there for anybody who is prepared to get up off their bum and access them.
Jim Carroll


27 May 08 - 04:39 PM (#2350409)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Steve Gardham

Jack, And they're just the famous ones. Many of Harry Clifton's, Joe Geoghegan's, Sam Cowell's songs of the 1860s were found in oral tradition during the last century and some are still turning up. We know the authors of some of the broadside ballads of the early nineteenth century as well, e.g. John Morgan, George Brown.

Jim, Dick,
The first phase of the Yorkshire Garland project now has 88 recordings on the site, mostly of source singers, and some not available previously. Also like your collection, Jim, my recordings made in the East Riding with Jim Eldon are also at the BLSA, and a copy now in the VWML. If we can get further funding we hope to put some of the Hudleston recordings online as well.

Cheers,
Steve


30 May 08 - 08:11 AM (#2352875)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

I am convinced,that the only way to get people to hear traditional singers,is to use the internet to expose them to the music.,the more the ordinary [non folkie hears],the more their ear gets attuned to the style.
unfortunately we now live in an age where people expect everything to be easily available.
I had never heard Roscoe Holcomb sing until I found him on Pete Seegers show on youtube.
IMO The music has to be publicised in an over the top way,only a small amount of people will come seeking it,We now have the opportunity through you tube /sound lantern and other sites to reach thousands of people,and to push traditional singers into the mainstream.Dick Miles


30 May 08 - 08:38 AM (#2352893)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Mr Happy

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-7w4BLQVXFo Hmmmmmnnn,
not always fair then!


30 May 08 - 09:54 AM (#2352945)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Folkiedave

Best version of Scarborough Fair is from the Book Of Curtailed Folksongs

Are you going to Scarborough Fair ?
No.

Best song from the book?

The gallant frigate "Amphitrite" she sank in Plymouth Sound.


30 May 08 - 12:30 PM (#2353057)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

mr happy what alovely collection of thunderstorms.


03 Jun 08 - 02:38 PM (#2356406)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: BB

No, no, Dave, you've got it wrong - it "The gallant frigate Araldite, she stuck to Plymouth Sound." :-)

Barbara


03 Jun 08 - 02:54 PM (#2356432)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

Rounding of the Horn,is a good song.


03 Jun 08 - 03:30 PM (#2356474)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Steve Gardham

I thought it was a radio programme!


03 Jun 08 - 04:18 PM (#2356537)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: The Sandman

oh yes, Round the Horn,with Kenneth Horne


29 May 11 - 03:28 AM (#3161989)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: MGM·Lion

Refreshing this old thread, [& setting aside the facetious turn it had taken in last few posts!]----

I recently posted the following to another ongoing thread which had drifted on to Scarboro Fair ~~

-----Subject: RE: Origins: Boots of Spanish Leather (Bob Dylan)
From: MtheGM - PM
Date: 28 May 11 - 12:39 PM

Nobody above [or did I miss it?] has given the correct source for MacColl's version of Scarboro Fair, later sung by Carthy & stolen by SimGarf ~~

~~sung by Mark Anderson, retired lead miner of Middleton-in-Teasdale, Yorkshire, 1947 ~~ performed by Ewan MacColl on Argo's The Long Harvest, vol 2, 1967: side 1, Section 2, The Elfin Knight {Child 2}.---


Mr Anderson is mentioned above by Jim Carroll, and taken up as a source by Dick {GSS} Miles wjo OPd this thread. But the precision of my above refs seems to be lacking on this major thread, which is why I venture to repeat it here.

BTW, I cannot find this tune in Bronson: too late for his first, early 60s, volume; but does not seem to be in addenda at end of vol 4, 1972, either, tho known by then. Can anyone explain this? Or is it somewhere there & I have failed to locate it?



~Michael~


29 May 11 - 04:02 AM (#3161992)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: MGM·Lion

Would add that, tho the point has most probably been made on one or some of the several threads on this ballad, which I have not had quite the energy or dedication to read thru every one of, LoL!, it doesn't seem to be made here, & IMO should be recalled on every thread re this song:-

i.e. that it is a version of The Elfin Knight, Child#2, about a *magic* knight giving a mortal girl various tasks to do before she can join him in Faerie & become enchanted, & enchantress, herself;   & that the herbs specified in the burden are all recognised *magic* plants.

This has been somewhat misunderstood in some versions, tho the variations often have a charm of their own. I have always found "Sober and grave grow merry in time", in one of the US variants which Peggy sang on The Long Harvest, a most fertile and interesting version, making a peculiar sort of sense.

~M~


30 May 11 - 02:51 AM (#3162442)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: MGM·Lion

---BTW, I cannot find this tune in Bronson: too late for his first, early 60s, volume; but does not seem to be in addenda at end of vol 4, 1972, either, tho known by then. Can anyone explain this? Or is it somewhere there & I have failed to locate it?---

Refresh to repeat this question ~~

Anyone?

~M~


05 May 15 - 05:47 PM (#3706714)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Philippa

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05stg0l
radio
broadcast today 5 May 2015 and available now on i-player
30 min programme

"Tomorrow we're going in search of a song and in search of a dream of England which has travelled right around the world" - Will Parsons

No one can be sure of the true origins of the song Scarborough Fair. It's a melody of mystery, of voices of old, of ancient days. It's travelled through land and time, drawing singers and listeners in where ever they maybe.

For Will Parsons and Guy Hayward it's a song that has inspired a pilgrimage through a landscape that is embodied in the lyrics. Setting off from Whitby Abbey, they journey to Scarborough on foot, sensing the song as they go, learning to sing it, interpreting it in a new way just as thousands of traditional singers have done throughout time.

This too is the landscape of Martin Carthy, the 'father of folk' who has made his home along the Yorkshire coast. It was from this legendary singer that Paul Simon first learnt Scarborough Fair, creating a version that came to represent a generation continuing its journey far and wide, weaving its spell in many different guises, never truly being pinned down.

Decades on Harpist Claire Jones recorded a version of her own. Arranged by her husband, the composer Chris Marshall, hers is a very personal journey through unexpected illness to recovery. Whilst for Mike Masheder it is a song that brings memories of his wife Sally, who approached the journey of life with love and equanimity.

"It can change or stay the same. And the more it changes, the more it stays the same" - Martin Carthy

Produced by Nicola Humphries
With expert contribution from Sandra Kerr, musician and lecturer at Newcastle University School of Arts and Culture.


05 May 15 - 06:28 PM (#3706720)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Betsy

I listened to the programme.
Maybe I'm a bit of a uni-directional thinker or philistine , but I couldn't understand the over-dependency on the programme's content of
"Decades on Harpist Claire Jones recorded a version of her own. Arranged by her husband, the composer Chris Marshall, hers is a very personal journey through unexpected illness to recovery. Whilst for Mike Masheder it is a song that brings memories of his wife Sally, who approached the journey of life with love and equanimity".
I was totally confused and slightly miffed.


06 May 15 - 06:31 AM (#3706808)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Betsy ... have you heard any of the other programmes in this series? The impact of the songs/music, what they mean to people, how important they have been at crucial points in people's lives is the main point of the programmes. There have been some moving commentaries in some programmes. I suppose the programme makers start with the song/music and then go in search of people to whom the song/music has been significant. Sometimes that works.

I'd perhaps have to listen to the programme again in case I missed it, but it didn't strike me that anyone made the point that only a small number of versions of the song actually mention Scarborough.... and they could have talked to members of the Mark Anderson family (from whom MacColl apparently got the version in Singing Island which Martin Carthy learned and Paul Simon copied...). The programme makers did know about all this - I sent them the issue of English Dance & Song magazine with Mike Bettison's article about it all ...

Derek


06 May 15 - 06:50 AM (#3706816)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

> they could have talked to members of the Mark Anderson family (from whom MacColl apparently got the version in Singing Island which Martin Carthy learned and Paul Simon copied...).

It has been alleged (on what basis I'm not sure) that Mark Anderson did not exist, and that MacColl himself was largely responsible for the song's perfect combination of melody and lyrics. Considering the controversy surrounding the trad status of that seminal version, it's incredible that they didn't.

Or...did they?

Was MacColl even mentioned?

(The melody resembles the best-known version of "Henry Martyn.")


06 May 15 - 07:16 AM (#3706823)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Jack Campin

The impact of the songs/music, what they mean to people, how important they have been at crucial points in people's lives is the main point of the programmes.

Scarborough Fair (the S&G tune) has had an oddly specific function in the folk scene, though perhaps not one the programme makers would have wanted to document in interviews. On several occasions I've seen it played (rather badly) by young women on just arriving at the folk scene for the first time, usually on the flute, recorder or tin whistle. It was used to signal two things: (a) willingness to take part in the scene, (b) sexual availability. This was particularly true back when you could wear a Joan Baez hairstyle and a crochet cheesecloth dress without looking like a museum exhibit.

Almost any other choice of initial repertoire indicated somebody with a mind of their own.


06 May 15 - 08:18 AM (#3706842)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Penny S.

Oh dear, perhaps I'd better drop it, though no wind instrument.

I do the version with two people's voices, and especially enjoy the last verse, in which the she tells the he where to get off.

I couldn't quite understand, from the programme, how the S&G version was linked to the anti-Vietnam war movement.


06 May 15 - 08:18 AM (#3706843)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Lighter - he certainly existed. Alan Lomax recorded from him and you can hear the recordings in his online archive. He didn't sing Scarborough Fair to Lomax though ... and there are no recordings of the song sung by Anderson by any other collectors. There are suspicions that MacColl altered the tune... it has some MacColl hallmarks... all very interesting and perhaps the subject of a future radio programme ... (or get hold of the relevant issue of English Dance & Song magazine!!)
Derek


06 May 15 - 09:54 AM (#3706874)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

Derek, so Anderson did exist - but he may not have known "Scarborough Fair"!

Perhaps they did interview his family and came up with nothing about the song. The whole question would be too complicated and distracting for a 30-minute radio program to deal with.

I'm interested in the MacColl "hallmarks" you mention. Melodic I assume?

Jack, "(b) sexual availability." How would anybody pick up on that just from "Scarborough Fair"? (I'd have thought "Foggy, Foggy Dew" would have worked better; but even then....)

"Mystery," "ancient voices," "pilgrimage," "sensing the song as they go," "journey," "learning to sing it" - obviously in ways no one can in London. Regardless of the program's actual content, the sort of audience the writers appear to have been targeting was mostly young women high on the New Age and "Puck of Pook's Hill."


06 May 15 - 10:29 AM (#3706885)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: FreddyHeadey

r4 producers must know what their audience likes.
I enjoyed the 'music' bits, MC etc.
I suppose the Claire Jones/Chris Marshall, Sally/Mike Masheder bits were the 'soul' of the programme title.

Too much wind noise for a radio prog but there is a better H&P version on YTube Hayward & Parsons -Scarborough Fair.

Their FB page is Hayward & Parsons FaceBook with links to other songs.

I've been enjoying the early one by Audrey Coppard (pos' only a spotify link)Audrey Coppard -Scarborough Fair.

and the slightly different melody of Gordon Heath/Lee Payant -Scarborough Fair (pos' only a spotify link) though the style is somewhat odd!


06 May 15 - 02:44 PM (#3706940)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Lighter .... the family told Mike Bettison recently that Mark was the person who sang THAT version of Scarborough Fair, but they might have had that information from the Singing Island!!

For MacColl hallmarks, see the Becket Whitehead thread, and the message from Brian peters on 13 January 2014 at 9.35.

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=61225&messages=90#3592242

Derek


06 May 15 - 05:21 PM (#3706974)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Brian Peters

To save you the bother of following Derek's link, here's what I suggested a year and a half ago:

"It occurred to me recently, after reading Mike Bettison's piece in
English Dance and Song, in which he suggested that MacColl composed the well-known tune for 'Scarborough Fair', to compare that soaring Dorian melody with the one for 'Four Loom Weaver'. Try it yourselves, it's very instructive."

[It's also been suggested that EMC composed the tune to 'Four Loom Weaver']


07 May 15 - 03:32 AM (#3707067)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Mr Red

From the singing of Jimmy Miller - to quote a well known Jimmy Miller?


07 May 15 - 09:32 AM (#3707156)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

Thanks, Derek and Brian.

I have no access to that article.


07 May 15 - 11:06 AM (#3707195)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: FreddyHeadey

? And Cod Liver Oil ?

I just played the three of them together as a midi and though there is some un/pleasant dissonance(is that the word?) they all fit together pretty well.
PM if you want to hear & don't want to tap it all in.


07 May 15 - 12:39 PM (#3707225)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

There are undeniable similarities between "SF" and "FLW." "Cod Liver Oil" sounds rather less closely related.

Lloyd used a version of that tune for "Paddy and the Whale."

But couldn't MacColl have created the "FLW" tune on the basis of an authentic "SF" rather than the other way round?

In any case, the inability of anyone to connect Anderson to the ballad before its appearance in "Singing Island" is curious.


07 May 15 - 05:34 PM (#3707303)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: FreddyHeadey

Doesn't Peggy Seeger say that EM would often find a good tune then change one note at a time 'til he had a new one?

idk, yes, Cod Liver Oil is quite different but I like them together in an odd way.
I put the 4 combinations here
SF FLW / SF CLO / FLW CLO / SF + FLW + CLO

Scarborough Fair v Four Loom Weaver v Cod Liver Oil
I don't understand these things... to get them to play on the WindowsMediaPlayer it needed
a single click > download > open


Is there a better place to leave files than google.drive ?


07 May 15 - 08:11 PM (#3707335)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

MacColl performs "Scarborough Fair" with Peggy Seeger in 1957:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9bpUK1Lx0k

Does anyone know what the liner notes said?


07 May 15 - 09:30 PM (#3707366)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: FreddyHeadey

Thanks Lighter
and I'd not heard
Peggy Seeger - Cambric Shirt before.


08 May 15 - 08:35 AM (#3707482)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI_TV32jmHc


08 May 15 - 08:39 AM (#3707484)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

Though no specific source is given, Coppard does place the song in "Yorkshire," home of Mark Anderson.


09 May 15 - 07:05 PM (#3707873)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: FreddyHeadey

?? I stand to be corrected but I think the tune on
http://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5197 is different from the one on YouTube mentioned above
From: Lighter - Date: 07 May 15 - 08:11 PM
MacColl performs "Scarborough Fair" with Peggy Seeger in 1957:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9bpUK1Lx0k


Has someone uploaded a different track?


09 May 15 - 07:18 PM (#3707875)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Lighter

The DigiTrad tune is clearly a variant, but, no, it isn't quite MacColl's tune. It may have been altered by "oral tradition" since it began making the rounds in the '50s or '60s.

The tune MacColl sings on "Matching Songs" is that attributed in "The Singing Island" to Mark Anderson.

Except for barely audible differences, that is also the tune Coppard used.


16 Jun 15 - 06:53 AM (#3716909)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,henryp

Soul Music - Scarborough Fair will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 at 3.30pm on Saturday 20 June 2015.

"It can change or stay the same. And the more it changes, the more it stays the same" - Martin Carthy

With expert contribution from Sandra Kerr, musician and lecturer at Newcastle University School of Arts and Culture.


16 Jun 15 - 02:12 PM (#3716988)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: Mark Ross

On a recently posted video of our old (and late lamented) friend Art Thieme, he says that he wanted to be back in 1953 to start the ultimate folk group; Elvis Presley, Patti Page, Rosemary Clooney, and himself. Presley, Page, Rosemary, and Thieme.

Mark Ross


17 Jun 15 - 02:50 AM (#3717079)
Subject: RE: Scarborough Fair
From: GUEST,henryp

There is an intriguing alternative - with Danny La Rue;

Rue, Presley, Rosemary and Thieme