Scarborough Fair

Hello friends!

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day on Salt Spring Island and a perfect opportunity to record this traditional version of the English folk song – Scarborough Fair. I am sure many of you know this one! Here is the video:

This song is not only a beautiful melodic piece, but contains several witty riddles, which can be interpreted in different ways. To me, it seems as though the narrator is angry, bitter and sarcastic in parts as he relays riddles, which are impossible for his former ‘true love’ to accomplish and it is therefore unlikely that he and this lady will ever be together again. This interpretation is worlds apart from the Simon and Garfunkel sugar-coated version.  These are the lyrics I use, feel free to sing along.

Scarborough Fair

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,

Remember me to the 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 any seams nor needlework,

Then she’ll be a true love of mine.

Tell her to wash it in yonder well,

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,

Where no spring ’ere sprung nor drop of rain fell,

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 plough it with one ram’s horn,

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,

And to sow it all over with one peppercorn,

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 to gather it all in a bunch of heather,

Then she’ll be a true love of mine.

Tell her to gather it all in a sack,

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme,

And to fly it home on a butterfly’s back,

Then she’ll be a true love of mine.

(Optional: repeat first verse)


Feel free to share this post with others if you wish. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel, at this link Sarah Justine Packwood

Thank you for reading and for watching the video.

Peace, love and light,

Sarah xxx

9 thoughts on “Scarborough Fair

  1. Remember this lovely song during my younger days in the sixties. The words in the song are so full of meaning.
    Btw am from Malaysia.
    Thank you and Bye.

    Like

  2. I am a Geordie aged 86 though I have lived and worked in Birmingham since coming here as an 18 year old Medical student.
    I have always loved a recording of ‘’Waters of Tyne’’ sung by Isabel Bayley and would like to have it played at my funeral.
    Is there still a recording of it available and if so, how do I obtain it.
    I hope that you can help me. I don’t know who else to turn to.
    ‘’Howay the Lads’’
    Your’s sincerely
    R. G. Harrison

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    1. Dear Sir, Thank you for your comment. I have found a couple of references online to Dame Isobel Baillie, the first is in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biographies https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-30783 and the second is at Presto Music, which lists her discography https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/artists/4426–isobel-baillie. However, I could not find a specific reference to Waters of Tyne. It might be worth contacting Presto Music to ask them if they could locate it for you. Alternatively, you could contact Folk Radio UK to see if they have a recording in their archives https://www.folkradio.co.uk. I hope this helps and you can find what you are looking for! In the meantime, you might enjoy this. https://sarahjustinepackwood.com/2020/06/12/the-waters-of-tyne/ With kind regards,
      Sarah

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