Scarborough Fair: source please!

How do I get in touch with Songbird? I want to ask him (her?) where he found out about Scarborough Fair’s history. I’ve had trouble finding basic info about medieval European trade fairs: the dates they were held on, how long they lasted, when they were first instituted, stuff like that.

. . . to post a link to the article.

Shouldn’t we properly be referring to the song the Simon and Garfunkel song as “Scarborough Fair/Canticle”?

It took me years to figure out that were two songs being sung in that cut.

I never claimed to be musically gifted.

Symbolism aside, parsley, sage, rosemayr, and thyme are the traditional English seasonigs for roast fowl.

It’s her. And I just did a web search. I’ll try to dig up the site I found, if you’re interested. Glad you enjoyed the column. We’re here to serve.


Danimal, for a fictional treatment of fairs, try St. Peter’s Fair by Ellis Peters, set in Shrewsbury ~ 1143

Eating a sprig of fresh (flat leaf) parsley after a particularly garlic-y meal also completely takes away the taste and smell of the garlic.

Could someone more knowledgable post a link to any site that explains the curative powers of herbs that have dropped out of common knowledge? I have a book of medieval recipes from Florence that raves about these things, but it was a local publication (or I would post details).

Lion Killer

Not quite sure what you’re looking for. The problem is not to post a link to a site; the problem is which link to which site. A Google search under “curative herbs” turned up 4,600 hits. :eek: Here’s the first one, which itself has about 20 kajillion links to other herbal sites.

I’d always believed that “Scarborough Faire” was just referring to the town as a nice place. It is common in poetic and archaic speech to put adjectives after the nouns they modify. Old English did this a lot, and Gaelic does it that way exclusively, I believe. In other words, “Faire” is the adjective, not “Scarborough”. So it is just talking about “Fair Scarborough”.

Then again, I’ve never done any research into it. But since none of the rest of the song seems to refer to a fair, it seems resonable to me.

Sorry to distract from the search for sources. Just thought this minor comment was better here than in a new thread.

Saltire Faire:
As adjectives follow nouns in the Anglo-French used in heraldry, of course someone named after a heraldry term would think that! :smiley: