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Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?

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  • Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?

    I came across a YouTube piece with all of the lyrics and, although I've heard this song for more years than I care to think about, I never paid much attention to the secondary lines. I thought they were filler backing up the main part. But they weren't at all what I expected. Watch: and pay attention to the lines in parenthesis. It's apparently another whole song.

    There are some interesting comments on it as well. What do you think?

  • #2
    The second song is 'Canticle'.

    I remembered that the 'impossible tasks' were actually punning riddles of the sort popular in the Middle Ages, but google, wikipedia and the such aren't coughing them up.


    • #3
      I knew that!


      • #4
        I've been wracking my memory about those riddles. It was in a library book that I took out in the '90s. The author posited that several different folk songs had been bowdlerized or christianized. One of her arguments that I remember better is her take on 'Where have you been Billy Boy, Billy Boy', claiming that the woman he's courting isn't ridiculously old to be 'too young to leave her mommy' but right on the average age for marriage for the time.

        I could lay my hands on it in twenty minutes flat at the downtown library if they hadn't renovated. Middle Aged memory is a danged thing.


        • #5
          I had never thought of the tasks as riddles. If they are, there should be answers to them.

          I did find a different version of the song: