Scarborough Fair


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Nova Music

Composer: Traditional

Arranger: Duncan Reid

Instrumentation: Descant + Piano

Grade: Easy - Moderate

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"Scarborough Fair" is a traditional English ballad The song lists a number of impossible tasks given to a former lover who lives in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The "Scarborough/Whittingham Fair" variant was most common in Yorkshire and Northumbria, where it was sung to various melodies, often using Dorian mode, with refrains resembling "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" and "Then she'll be a true love of mine." It appears in Traditional Tunes by Frank Kidson published in 1891, who claims to have collected it from Whitby. 

The famous melody was collected from Mark Anderson (1874–1953), a retired lead miner.  This version was recorded by a number of musicians in the 20th century, including the most iconic version by the 1960s folk rock duo Simon and Garfunkel, who learned it from martin Carthy. However, a slightly different version (referred to as "The Cambric Shirt", or "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme") was recorded by John Lomax decades earlier in 1939 in the United States.

_Score 4 pp. Parts 2 pp._

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