1966Released
3:10

Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about Scarborough Fair / Canticle. By Songfacts®.

Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. The "Scarborough Fair" was a popular gathering in Medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th. In the 1600s, mineral waters were found in Scarborough and it became a resort town. Today, Scarborough is a quiet town with a rich history.

In Medieval England, this became a popular folk song as Bards would sing it when they traveled from town to town. The author of the song is unknown, and many different versions exist. The traditional version has many more lyrics.

Paul Simon learned about this song when he was on tour in England, where he heard a version by a popular folk singer named Martin Carthy. When Carthy heard Simon & Garfunkel's rendition, he accused Simon of stealing his arrangement. Carthy and Simon did not speak until 2000, when Simon asked Carthy to perform this with him at a show in London. Carthy put his differences aside and did the show. Martin Carthy learned the song from a Ewan MacColl songbook, and had recorded it on his first album, according to BBC's Patrick Hamphries. Paul Simon admitted to the July 2011 edition of Mojo magazine: "The version I was playing was definitely what I could remember of Martin's version, but he didn't teach it to me. Really, it was just naivety on my part that we didn't credit it as his arrangement of a traditional tune. I didn't know you had to do that. Then later on, Martin's publisher contacted me and we made a pretty substantial monetary settlement that he was supposed to split with Martin, But unbeknown to me, Martin got nothing."

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Scarborough Fair / Canticle.
DKey
MajorMode
3/4Time Signature
129BPM

Album

The album Scarborough Fair / Canticle is released on.

Released By

The record label that has released Scarborough Fair / Canticle.
Columbia/Legacy
(P) Originally released 1966. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

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