Scarborough Fair waltz

Also known as The Elfin Knight.

There are 9 recordings of a tune by this name.

Scarborough Fair has been added to 6 tune sets.

Scarborough Fair has been added to 185 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Scarborough Fair
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
"Em"E4E2|B4B2|"D"F3GF2|"Em"E6-|E2 B2d2|e4d2|"A"B2c2A2|
"Em"B6-|B4e2|e4e2|"G"d4B2|B2A2G2|"D"F2D4-|
D6|E4B2|"Dsus2"A4G2|"D"F2E2D2|"Em"E6-|E6:|
# Added by MBAC .
X: 2
T: Scarborough Fair
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
E3 E2|B2A B2|F2G F2|E4|E2 B2 D2|e3 D2|B2 C2 A2|B4|B2{c}B|
e3 e2|D3 D2|C2 B2 A2|B4|E3 B2|A3 G2|^F2 E2 D2|E4|E2
E4 E2 | B3 A B2 | F3 G F2 | E6 | E2 B2 d2 | e4 d2 | B2 ^c2 A2 | B6- | B4 {c}B2 |
e4 e2 | d4 d2 | c2 B2 A2 | B6 | E4 B2 | A4 G2 | F2 E2 D2 | E6 | E6 :|
X: 3
T: Scarborough Fair
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|: E3 ^D E2 | B ^A2 B2 | F2 G2 F2 | E6 | B4 d2 | e4 d2 | B2 ^c2 ^A2 | B6 |
e3 ^d e2 | d4 D2 | B2 (3^AB=A G2 | F2 d4 | E4 B2 | A4 G2 | F2 E2 ^D2 | E6 :|

Twenty-nine comments

Scarborough Fair

I was surprised this wasn’t here. Here are the lyrics.


Scarborough Fair

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

Have her make me a cambric shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seam nor fine needle work
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Tell her to weave it in a sycamore wood lane
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all with a basket of flowers
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Have her wash it in yonder dry well
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
where water ne’er sprung nor drop of rain fell
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Have her find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Between the sea foam and over the sand
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Plow the land with the horn of a lamb
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Then sow some seeds from north of the dam
And 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 in a bunch of heather
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

If she tells me she can’t, I’ll reply
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Let me know that at least she will try
And then she’ll be a true love of mine

Love imposes impossible tasks
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Though not more than any heart asks
And I must know she’s a true love of mine

Dear, when thou has finished thy task
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Come to me, my hand for to ask
For thou then art a true love of mine

Posted by .

why wee you suprised? its not an irish trad tune as far as i know. i didnt think it was a celtic tune in general.

There are lots of tunes that are here and are not exactly celtic, this song is English, as not few of all the tunes that have been submitted here :P

Posted by .

yeah i suppose i can hardy doubt that. its true that this one is a little more well known then most of them.

i didn’t mean anything bad by it.

Sick of songs. There are websites devoted to these, and this isn’t one of them. Surprised Jeremy still let’s them through.

The melodies of some songs are also very well known tunes which get regularly get played in sessions. Sometimes, the tunes came before the songs and vice versa.

However, this isn’t such an example and I can’t understand why it’s included here.

In that case, excuse my mistake.
I just liked the song, and I had no bad intention at all by submitting it.

Posted by .

Don’t worry. If Jeremy doesn’t seem to mind, who are we to argue?

However, songs are not the norm here and the site was originally set up for Irish tunes which would regularly feature at "your local session".

Of course, you’ll have noticed that the tune database now includes tunes from various countries, original compositions, and many quite obscure pieces(Irish included) which are not universally known. Some might indeed get played regularly in the posters’ local session but I’m sure that the majority of these don’t even feature there!

So, the tune database seems to have taken on a life of its own over the years, for good or ill.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" next? :-/ ~ or "The Sound of Silence"?

“The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music” ~ :-/

Mariana, some song airs do double duty, for example as dance music or instrumentals for listening, played as a ‘slow air’… The basic body of music here, while mixed, including other English tunes and things non-Irish and non-Celt ~ are mostly tunes frequently found in sessions and played for dance. Songs find their way into those environs on occassion too, but I have never come across this one except at folk song circles and folk clubs, a different kettle of fish altogether… It has its place, as do all things, but as folks are suggesting, probably not here, even if it is on half a dozen of the LPs entered in the database here. "Scarborough Fair" isn’t that far removed from "Koombayah" or :Michael Row the Boat Ashore", and I pray we’ll never see those entered here… Some may feel this is ‘a foot in the door’ for similar things to come flooding in… As someone said, it is a site, on the whole, not really concerned with song…

While I haven’t come across "Scarborough Fair" at a session, I have been subjected to the occassional country western number, but may the powers of the universe prevent an onslaught of country western numbers suddenly showing on site here, even if I am a Johnny Cash fan… 8-)

"Scarborough Fair" isn’t that far removed from "Koombayah" or :Michael Row the Boat Ashore", and I pray we’ll never see those entered here"

Sssshh don’t go giving them ideas.

Well, it’s already in ten tunebooks which is more than some of those we’ve submitted. :-(

Maybe, we’re wrong?

No we’re not.

Posted by .

Yeah no, we’re not.

Thanks for the lyrics !

The dots are in all of my harp books but not
the lyrics ! So I thankyou for posting them here where I would see them. I’ve downloaded them, and when I fix my printer they are going into my gig notebook !

well, if the most offensive thing you folks have to complain about is the posting of a beautiful (though not irish!!) tune then you really need to get out more often

Funny that. I go out quite a lot, and I’ve never heard this tune on any of my nights out. Must be the area where I live or something.

I get out plenty, thanks very much, but no-one has ever played or sung this is in any session of traditional music I’ve ever been to. Could I suggest that the person who posted it is maybe on the wrong website - try "Mudcat Cafe". Anyone who is "surprised this wasn’t here" can’t have much experience of Irish sessions. Dow and I do.

Posted by .

I think that what Tracey-at-sea wanted to say was "Why is this so terrible?"
If it really is - as it seems! - why don’t you just ignore it?
I understood your point: not Irish, not played in sessions, not aproppiate for this site, ok, thanks for telling me that.
Again, I had no bad intention at all by submitting it.

I’ve already apologized for my lack of experience and I have no doubt that you know a lot more than me.

Posted by .

Haha, believe me MBAC, I do try to "ignore it"!

As far as I understand it, the idea of the comments section here is that we have a place where we can add "comments" about the tunes, and there’s nothing anywhere that stipulates that those comments must not be negative in any way.

~ "vent" ~ ;-)

“Scarborough Fair” ~ duplication

Key signature: Dmajor
Submitted on January 5th 2008 by Dave_in_desert.
~ /tunes/8117

No comment made by the person submitting it!!! :-/

First ‘Dave_in_desert’s’ original transcription:

X: 1
T: Scarborough Fair
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: waltz
K: Dmaj
E3 E2|B2A B2|F2G F2|E4|E2 B2 D2|e3 D2|B2 C2 A2|B4|B2{c}B|
e3 e2|D3 D2|C2 B2 A2|B4|E3 B2|A3 G2|^F2 E2 D2|E4|E2

Second the same with probable intentions, corrections?:

X: 1
T: Scarborough Fair
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: waltz
K: E Dorian (##)
E4 E2 | B3 A B2 | F3 G F2 | E6 | E2 B2 d2 | e4 d2 | B2 ^c2 A2 | B6- | B4 {c}B2 |
e4 e2 | d4 d2 | c2 B2 A2 | B6 | E4 B2 | A4 G2 | F2 E2 D2 | E6 | E6 :|

“Scarborough Fair” ~ ‘avin’ a laugh?! 8-)

X: 3
T: Scarborough Fair
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: waltz
K: e minor
|: E3 ^D E2 | B ^A2 B2 | F2 G2 F2 | E6 | B4 d2 | e4 d2 | B2 ^c2 ^A2 | B6 |
e3 ^d e2 | d4 D2 | B2 (3^AB=A G2 | F2 d4 | E4 B2 | A4 G2 | F2 E2 ^D2 | E6 :|

Re: Scarborough Fair

It seems that this lovely ballad/tune is Scottish, namely The Elfin Knight (Child Ballad #2). It has been traced to 1670 and may be earlier. The way I understand it, after researching, is that the Elfin Knight gives some mortal lady love a list of impossible tasks to indicate the futility of their relationship.

c.smitty

This was played (or sang rather) at O’Donoghues in Dublin a couple of months back.. Not exactly Irish trad but then again neither is The Blacksmith and you’d hear that a fair bit at sessions.. I accept this is an irish dance TUNES forum but I don’t think there’s any harm on this being posted here. Some people might take issue with the arseload of Northumbrian tunes posted here, I personally don’t care.

I remember hearing Simon & Garfunkle songs being sung at ‘trad’ events in Ireland, like "The Sounds of Silence" ~ if only… ;-)

Well if the fleadh in Tullamore last year is anything to go by I’d take Simon and Garfunkle songs over "Dirty Old Town" any day of the week.