Scarborough Fair (fair)


The name is surely familiar to whom they are; at first interested in Islands traditions (as I love it madly!) or they who has been falling in love in this and the others song from the movie;  ‎The Graduate Like me 😀

As I watch this movie (with my brother Al of course, we have did almost everything together ❤ ) I was about 18 years old, and I would say it was a right time to see this! Exactly for my age though, it wasn’t fit for the country in which I was born; I could understand the problems of Benjamin Braddock, and I fell in love with this movie, not only in the moving pictures but also in the soundtrack ‎The Graduate (soundtrack) by my ever lovely pair; Simon & Garfunkel 

Actually this movie and the songs were talking about my thoughts, problems and the uncertainty.

But also about youth. Gals & love

Yes, I got to know these two wonderful musicians and I am so lucky because, I have a lot of memories, wonderful memories with my brother on these both; we all four 🙂 ❤

Anyway; the main reason for me to write this, is the fascinating description in a wonderful melodic version of this traditional song which Simon & Garfunkel made an unforgettable music on this unforgettable tail ❤

Oh My goodness, those days were so easy, so full of emotions, so full of love and tensions, so full of dreams ❤


During the late Middle Ages the seaside town of Scarborough, in Yorkshire, was an important venue for tradesmen from all over England. It was host to a huge 45-day trading event starting on 15 August, which was exceptionally long for a fair in those times. Merchants came to it from all areas of England, NorwayDenmark, the Baltic states, and the Byzantine Empire. Scarborough Fair originated from a royal charter granted by King Henry III of England on 22 January 1253. The charter, which gave Scarborough many privileges, stated “The Burgesses and their heirs forever may have a yearly fair in the Borough, to continue from the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary until the Feast of St Michael next following”. (On the modern Roman Catholic calendar, the equivalent dates are 15 August–29 September.) Naturally, such a large occasion attracted a lot more than just tradesmen; they needed to be entertained and fed and therefore large crowds of buyers, sellers, and pleasure-seekers attended the fair. Prices were determined by supply and demand, with goods often being exchanged through the barter system. Records show that from 1383 due to another fair in neighbouring Seamer, Scarborough’s prosperity slumped.[1]

In the early 17th century, competition from other towns’ markets and fairs and increasing taxation saw further collapse of the Fair until it eventually became financially untenable. The market was revived again in the 18th century, but due to intense competition Scarborough Fair finally ended in 1788.

The traditional “Scarborough Fair” no longer exists, but a number of low-key celebrations take place every September to mark the original event. Scarborough Fair in July 2006, witnessed medieval jousting competitions hosted by English Heritage in addition to the usual attractions.

The fair features in the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair“.


As a popular and widely distributed song from 1946 to 1968, the song had many versions. The one here, intended as a duet by a man and a woman, includes the place after which it is named:

Male part:

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

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Without any seam or needlework,
Then she shall be a true love of mine.

Tell her to wash it in yonder well,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Where never sprung water or rain ever fell,
And she shall be a true lover of mine.

Tell her to dry it on yonder thorn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Which never bore blossom since Adam was born,
Then she shall be a true lover of mine.

Female part:

Now he has asked me questions three,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
I hope he’ll answer as many for me,
Before he shall be a true lover of mine.

Tell him to buy me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Between the salt water and the sea sand,
Then he shall be a true lover of mine.

Tell him to plough it with a ram’s horn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
And sow it all over with one peppercorn,
And he shall be a true lover of mine.

Tell him to sheer’t with a sickle of leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
And bind it up with a peacock’s feather,
And he shall be a true lover of mine.

Tell him to thrash it on yonder wall,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And never let one corn of it fall,
Then he shall be a true lover of mine.

When he has done and finished his work.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme:
Oh, tell him to come and he’ll have his shirt,
And he shall be a true lover of mine.

Alternative refrains

The oldest versions of “The Elfin Knight” (circa 1650) contain the refrain “my plaid away, my plaid away, the wind shall not blow my plaid away”. Slightly more recent versions often contain one of a group of related refrains:

  • Sober and grave grows merry in time
  • Every rose grows merry with time
  • There’s never a rose grows fairer with time
  • Yesterday holds memories in time

These are usually paired with “Once (s)he was a true love of mine” or some variant. “Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme” may simply be an alternate rhyming refrain to the original based on a corruption of “grows merry in time” into “rosemary and thyme”.

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