This 1966 hit is based on an English folk song about a market fair that took place in the town of Scarborough in Yorkshire during medieval times. Paul Simon learned the song from British folk singer Martin Carthy in London. Art Garfunkel adapted the arrangement, integrating elements of another song Simon had written called “Canticle.” The song took off after the soundtrack of the movie “The Graduate” was released in January 1968. There was controversy because Carthy was not given attribution when it was released. This was finally resolved many years later.
I was in sixth grade when “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” was released in 1966 and in eighth grade when it took off. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was probably one of the first LPs I bought. It included a number of songs that are favorites of mine including “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her” and “Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall.” It traveled with me through multiple moves over the next 40 years. I have included the version from the album and a live performance from their concert in Central Park in 1981.
Hope you enjoy “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” by Simon and Garfunkel.