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PostPosted: Sat February 19th, 2005, 23:21 GMT 

Joined: Sat February 19th, 2005, 23:03 GMT
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Can someone help me or set me in the right direction? What is the relationship between Girl of the North Country/Scarborough Fair? It seems to me that Girl of the North Country had to come first because the it came out in 1963. Scarborough Fair didn't come out until 1966. My teacher says that Scarborough Fair was first and that the dates on recordings don't always reflect the time that a song was written. I'm trying to find an explanation for the similarity between these songs.


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PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 00:06 GMT 

Joined: Sat February 19th, 2005, 18:40 GMT
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Location: Auatria
Dylan used the basis from "Scarborough Fair" for his 'Girl From The North Country'.
In the moment I´m too tired to write more about it, but I think this site will help you:

http://www.realbeds.com.au/dylan'ns'101.html


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 Post subject: Scarborough Fair
PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 00:09 GMT 
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I have a 1959 recording of "Scarborough Fair" sung by the British Folk singer Shirley Collins. Her liner notes say this:

"Derived by Ewan MacColl from Cecil Sharp's anthology 'English Folk Songs.' Scarborough Fair is a fragment of an extremely ancient ballad (Child No. 2 'The Elfin Knight'), common in all areas of Britain and North America. In the original song a girl hears the far-off blast of the elfin knight's horn and wishes he were in her bedroom. He straightaway appears, but will not consent to be her lover until she answers a series of riddles. This trait of test-by-riddle is a heritage from remote antiquity. The survival of this ancient piece of folklore is assured by the fact that all the couplets in this song contain gentle, but evocative erotic symbols."

Scarborough Fair itself was established in the 12th century.


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PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 00:27 GMT 

Joined: Sat February 19th, 2005, 23:03 GMT
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Thanks so much. I found the answer after I posted this but did not find all of the information you two posted. I just did a search of "Ewan MacColl from Cecil Sharp's " copied from your post and I found the coolest site. I think I'll be busy for the rest of the night. Thank you .


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PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 11:20 GMT 

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Location: Wales
Bob learned 'Scarborough Fair' from Martin Carthy when Bob first visited Britain in 1962. Bob crashed at Martin's place and jammed at 'The Troubador' folk club in London. Bob was also roundly slagged off by folk music snobs like Ewan MacColl and Bert Lloyd.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarborough Fair
PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 11:22 GMT 

Joined: Wed December 1st, 2004, 16:02 GMT
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Location: Wales
pinhedz wrote:
I have a 1959 recording of "Scarborough Fair" sung by the British Folk singer Shirley Collins.


pinhedz: Shirley Collins is brilliant! I'm so glad to know there are other fans out there! :D


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PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 12:20 GMT 

Joined: Tue November 2nd, 2004, 22:48 GMT
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Location: Old Europe
it is so sad that you won't get recordings like this no more - or has anybody a hint?


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 Post subject: Shirley collins
PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 13:04 GMT 
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Quote:
it is so sad that you won't get recordings like this no more - or has anybody a hint?

It seems that everything by Shirley Collins is back in print, and she just wrote a book called "America Over the Water." Here's the description:

"... she describes her affair with Alan Lomax and their year-long trip to uncover the traditional music of America's heartland. Travelling through Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia they recorded Mississippi Fred McDowell, met Muddy Waters and many others. The story that emerges is of two lost worlds."


Last edited by pinhedz on Sun February 20th, 2005, 13:07 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 13:06 GMT 

Joined: Wed December 1st, 2004, 16:02 GMT
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Location: Wales
I think Carthy's version is available on his debut album (c.1963)


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PostPosted: Sun February 20th, 2005, 13:09 GMT 

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Location: Wales
Shirley also has a web-site. Most of her albums are available. she also made some great stuff with her sister, Dolly, and also with Ashley Hutchings and the Albion Band. For starters, I recommend 'Sweet Primeroses' (sic) and 'Anthems In Eden' (with Dolly).


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PostPosted: Mon February 21st, 2005, 23:01 GMT 

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Dylan mentioned Martin Carthy in the sleeve notes to The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, and also said in 1984: "Martin Carthy's incredible. I learned a lot of stuff from Martin. 'Girl From the North Country' is based on a song I learned from him."
The song that "Girl From the North Country" was based on is "Scarborough Fair," and Carthy's arrangement is found on his eponymous debut album. Martin Carthy has expressed bitterness about Paul Simon's lifting the song since Simon failed to acknowledge or credit Carthy for the arrangement, but none towards Dylan for his more "creative" adaptation.

I had the opportunity to talk to Martin Carthy (who visited Tokyo in 1995), and he spoke at length about Paul Simon's appropriation - Simon had even gone so far as to release "Scarborough Fair" with words and music credited to himself at one point.

Concerning the similarity between "Scarborough Fair" and Dylan's "Girl From the North Country," Carthy stated: "That was completely different, completely legitimate. Bob never hid anything. And he made his own song from it. That's what folk music is all about. He'd always be asking me, 'Martin, play 'Scarborough Fair,' play 'Scarborough Fair.' He was in England to appear in a TV play, Madhouse On Castle Street, for the BBC, and he was over for a few months, I think. He went over to Portugal or somewhere for a few days, and when he came back he said he had a new song. He played me this thing, and when he got to 'She was once a true friend of mine,' he burst into laughter and said something like 'Oh I can't do that one in front of you!' and then he started playing something else."
)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon February 21st, 2005, 23:04 GMT 

Joined: Fri November 12th, 2004, 18:47 GMT
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Those were notes taken from Mathew Zuckerman on Dylan influences


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PostPosted: Mon February 21st, 2005, 23:20 GMT 
And here I thought that Paul Simon wrote Scarborough Fair. They do both have the line:

"She once was a true love of mine."

Interersting stuff...


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PostPosted: Tue February 22nd, 2005, 15:48 GMT 

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Location: Wales
Paul Simon is a thief!


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 Post subject: thief
PostPosted: Tue February 22nd, 2005, 16:34 GMT 
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Paul Simon is a thief!
Not exactly. Scarborough Fair is centuries old, so Simon probably should have noted it was "traditional." He combined it with an original counter melody called "Canticle," so the attribution should have been "traditional/Simon." By just saying "Simon," the traditional element was ignored; but that wasn't necessarily his fault--someone on the Columbia Records staff no doubt did the jacket design and was responsible for taking care of that sort of thing. There would not have been any royalties to pay for use of the traditional material anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue February 22nd, 2005, 22:56 GMT 
I was curious so I pulled out my old dusty vinyl album of Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits ... Columbia KC 3150. On the back it says:

All songs composed by Paul Simon except "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" by Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel and "El Condor Pasa" by Paul Simon, Jorge Michberg and Daniel A. Robles.

Turns out it wasn't quite right.

Simon did write some good songs though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri February 25th, 2005, 16:56 GMT 

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Scarborough Fair is an old traditional song and what Paul Simon plays on the album is Martin Carthy's arrangement which Paul had learned from him while living in England (in 1964-1965). The Canticle part of the song (the counter melody: "on the side of a hill in a deep forest green, tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground...") is, however, written by Simon & Garfunkel (the only S&G song where Art Garfunkel shares the writer's credit with Paul Simon).

If I remember correctly, on my album the Scarborough fair is marked "traditional/arranged by P. Simon & A. Garfunkel" which isn't completely correct since it was Carthy's arrangement.

The English lyrics of El Condor Pasa are by Paul Simon but the song is a traditional Peruvian song.


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PostPosted: Fri February 25th, 2005, 20:17 GMT 

Joined: Wed December 1st, 2004, 16:02 GMT
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Location: Wales
True, true; but I think Martin Carthy's differing attitude towards Dylan and Simon says it all. Carthy understands the folk process and acknowledges Dylan as part of that. Simon was pretty unpopular over here (UK) in the mid-60s due to his egotistical approach to folk song. Same could (possibly) be said of what he went on to do with South American, Jamaican and South African music. Of course, you could argue that he also helped to popularise these forms...but I'm with the cynics on this one.


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 Post subject: arrangement
PostPosted: Fri February 25th, 2005, 23:43 GMT 
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Quote:
it was Carthy's arrangement.
The melody and words are the same in recordings much older than Carthy's. What does Carthy claim Simon stole from him--the guitar licks?

Simon was right to treat the song as Public Domain.

Be that as it may, Simon made an interesting comment in a 1990 interview; he said: "My old songs don't move me anymore, but Dylan's old songs still move me." I don't remember him as having an attitude about folk music--if anything he was modest--he once said that he wrote pop songs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat February 26th, 2005, 04:02 GMT 

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Carthy claims that Simon stole his "arrangement" of the song...I haven't heard any prior versions of the song to judge it by. I know that for example Dock Boggs version "Pretty Polly", a traditonal folk song, sounds completely different, than say Judy Collins...Same with Dylans version of Froggy Went A Courting


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 Post subject: Judy Collins
PostPosted: Sat February 26th, 2005, 13:22 GMT 
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Shirley Collins' 1959 version of "Scarborough" sounds like it could have been the source for Simon's version--the only thing missing is the guitar.


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PostPosted: Sun February 27th, 2005, 11:53 GMT 

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Quote:
Same could (possibly) be said of what he went on to do with South American, Jamaican and South African music. Of course, you could argue that he also helped to popularise these forms...but I'm with the cynics on this one.


If you have read the album notes of Graceland and The Rhythm Of The Saints you'll clearly see that Paul has mentioned the African and Brazilian musicians...

http://thedreamerofmusic.com/Video_Disc ... #GRACELAND

http://thedreamerofmusic.com/Video_Disc ... E%20SAINTS


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 Post subject: Scarborough
PostPosted: Wed April 27th, 2005, 11:32 GMT 
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This should save some time on future North Country vs Scarborough Fair discussions....


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