The Gleeman

Notes on Scarborough Fair



Scarborough Fair is included under #2 in the Child cannon (The Elfin Knight). Child (1882-1898)CPB also has this variant. However, it is in the "Additions and Corrections" sections of vol II (pp495-496) and vol IV (p440). Bronson (1959-1972)BTT also has this variant (vol I, p18). However, Bronson slightly alters the score, changing it from a 3/4 to a 6/8 time signature. Bronson also makes a correction to the text, changing "thine" in verse 4 to "mine".

According to Kidson, his copy, including the tune, used to be sung by by a ballad singer in Whitby streets twenty or thirty years before he published his volume, and was still remembered in the district.

Regarding the lyrics on the score, the lyrics are as set out in Kidson's book. The lyrics do not quite match the words in the text.

Typesetting note - In Kidson's original score, the noteheads for the two downward-stemmed minims (in the 3rd and 13th bars - partial bar is bar 0) faced the 'wrong' way. I haven't been able to re-create this in LilyPond.

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