Scarborough Fair - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Scarborough Fair was made famous by Simon and Garfunkel. But in fact Paul Simon learned the song from the English singer and guitarist, Martin Carthy and anyway, the song itself is thought to date from the middle ages. You'll find an explanation of the meaning of the herbs mentioned in the song along with an extended set of lyrics, here.

Scarborough Fair is relatively easy to play. It has only four chords - Am, Em, D and G. It works nicely if you play it in 6/8 time, using your thumb to pick out the bass note and your fingers to pick out each chord's remaining notes. Experiment with the key. Putting a capo at the 5th fret, as I do, places the song in the key of D minor. Try moving your capo up and down the fretboard to transpose it higher or lower until you find the key that works for your voice.

song - Scarborough Fair - on iTunes

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Chords

Capo at 5th Fret


Am                        Em                  Am

Are you going to Scarborough fair?

                         D                      Am
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

                    Em     Am                   G
Remember me to one who lives there,

Am           G        Em                Am
She once was a true love of mine.

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Lyrics

Are you going to Sacrborough 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 any seems, 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.

 

Tell her to plough it with a sickle of leather.

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

And bind it all in a bunch of heather,

Then she'll be a true love of mine.

 

Traditional, arranged by Peter Webster

Other English Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs


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