Stanislav Panin

Scholar and Lecturer in Philosophy and Study of Esotericism

Traditional Music: Scarborough Fair

Scarborough Fair (Traditional English)

Scarborough Fair is a traditional English folk song about the Yorkshire town of Scarborough. The town traces its history back to the Roman times, and the famous fair was performed there since the 13th century in August and September.

One of the first mentions of the song appears in 1891 in Kidson’s Traditional Tunes (p. 42), which described two variations with different notes and lyrics. Kidson wrote that the song had old roots in British culture and had Scandinavian parallels.

The original of it is an old ballad (to be found also in Scandinavian folk-song), called “The Elfin Knight.”

The song exists in male and female variants (She once was… or He once was…) and may also be performed by a duet of a male and a female singer. Here is one of the most popular male variants of lyrics:

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

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.

Flute: YAMAHA YRS-24B Soprano Recorder Baroque

Updated: June 21, 2017 — 13:31
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