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Scarborough Fair -- Anonymous

       
(Poem #7) Scarborough Fair
Are you going to Scarborough fair?
    (Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
Remember me to one who lives there;
She once was a true love of mine.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt
    (Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
Without no seams, nor needlework;
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Tell her to find me an acre of land
    (Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
Between the salt water and the sea strand;
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 with a rope made of heather;
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Are you going to Scarborough fair?
    (Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
Remember me to one who lives there;
She once was a true love of mine.
-- Anonymous
The ballad form is one of my favourites, and this poem is an excellent
example of one. The use of a refrain (in the second and fourth lines of
each stanza) is typical of the genre, as is the poignancy of the lyrics.

Of course, the fact that Simon & Garfunkel have recorded a truly sublime
acoustic version of this song helps :-).

thomas.

28 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Charlene Ramkissoon said...

Scarborough Fair is one of my favourity poems too. The song (thanks to
Simon and Garfunkel) is also sublime - in fact I collect different versions
of it, canticle and instrumental.

bye
Charlene

Ford Freddie said...

If I am not mistaken, Paul Simon was credited as having composed this song
on the Simon and Garfunkel album, with no credit given to the Anonymous
author of the poem. I seem to recall running across the poem in a magazine
in the library when I was an undergraduate in the late 1960's. I believe
that it was an article in Life magazine on life in the Appalachian mountains
of Tennessee. I was curious then, and remain so today, why Simon did this.

Freddie

Martin DeMello said...

Possibly Simon was being credited for the 'Canticle' part, which derived from
his earlier "The Side of a Hill" (though you're right, Trad should have been
duly credited too). Another thing that S&G appear to have not properly credited
(to put it mildly!) was the actual arrangement - see
[broken link] http://home.att.net/~sandg/faq/sandg.htm#4.1

martin

A MARTIN said...

There are many stories concerning the authorship of Scarbotoough Fair, of
which this is only one. In the early 60's Paul simon, then in London, heard
this song from an English singer, Martin Carthy. He remembered it when
collaborating with Art Gafunkle on the score of The Graduate and contacted
Carthy and asked permission to use the song. However Carthy replied that as
the song was traditional, simon could use it anyway. Although aspects of the
song appear in the folk tradition, this version was almost certainly
collated by Carthy himself. There are other versions of this which are less
flattering to Paul Simon, but I heard this from Ian Campbell, a well known
singer in the West Midlands UK in the 60's, 70's and 80's

Tony Martin

Starrgal248 said...

The first time I saw this poem was in a song book, and I instantly fell in
love with it. It was so sad, but I still liked it. I thought it was really
cool finding it on this site!

Marek Cieslik said...

Looks like an ancient thread, this one, but let me try to continue anyway :)

This poem, through the Simon and Garfunkel song written for "The Graduate",
has always been one of my favourites. However, does anyone know the
"canticle" lyrics which are interwoven with it in the version sung by the
famous duo?
Also, I have heard it said that the poem/song is actually a string of
riddles, each stanza being a description of an object or concept. Does
anyone know the "solutions" to the riddles?

Hats off to the splendid work you gentlemen are doing with this site!
--
Marek Cieslik, Warsaw, Poland

KINGKITKAT said...

It took me a while, but I finally did find the lyrics for the "canticle" part
woven into S&G's version of Scarborough Fair...

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

On the side of a hill in the deep forest green.
Tracing of sparrow on snow-crested brown.
Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain
Sleeps unaware of the clarion call.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Without no seams nor needle work,
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

On the side of a hill a sprinkling of leaves.
Washes the grave with silvery tears.
A soldier cleans and polishes a gun.
Sleeps unaware of the clarion call.

Tell her to find me an acre of land.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Between the salt water and the sea strand,
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

War bellows blazing in scarlet battalions.
Generals order their soldiers to kill.
And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten.

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

Gavin Sinclair said...

The lyrics to "Scarborough Fair" are related to Bob Dylan's 1963 song
"Girl of the North Country". First verse:

Well, if you're travelin' in the north country fair,
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline,
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.

The rest of it is fairly different. A fantastic song.

Regards,
Gavin Sinclair

Shelly Horn said...

Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Parsley, sage, rosematy, and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
She once was a true love of mine.

Go tell her to make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
Without a stitch of a seamster's work,
And then she will be a true love of mine.

Go tell her to wash it in yonder well,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
Where never was water, and rain never fell.
And then she will be a true love of mine.

Go tell her to hang it on yonder thorn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
Where leaf never budded since Adam was born.
And then she will be a true love of mine.

Go tell him to clear me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
Between the salt water and the sea sand.
And then he will be a true love of mine.

Go tell him to plow it all with a thorn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And plant it all over with one grain of corn.
And then he will be a true love of mine.

Go tell him to reap it with an old stirrup-leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And bind it all up with a pea-fowl's feather.
And then he will be a true love of mine.

Go tell him to thrash it against the wall,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And not one grain on the floor shall fall.
And then he will be a true love of mine.

Go tell him to shock it in yonder sea,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And return it back all dry to me.
And then he will be a true love of mine.

Go tell him to take it to the mill,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And every grain it's bushel shall fill
And then he will be a true love of mine.

Go tell him to wrap it all up in a sack,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And send it to market all on a rat's back.
And then he will be a true love of mine.

Go tell this young man when he gets his work done,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
To come to my house and his shirt will be done.
And then he will be a true love of mine.

If he tells me he cannot, why, then reply
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Let me know that at least he will try
And then he'll be a true love of mine.

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

chedad said...

no ¬--the long one best

Anonymous said...

your all wrong it was a irl who wrote this she was a lesbiean... so shut up :)

Anonymous said...

this poem is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

edu said...

wow great anonymous really

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Anonymous said...

cool song mert;)

Anonymous said...

wat

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