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Paul Simon – Scarborough Fair lyrics

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt

(On the side of a hill in the deep forest green)
Parsely, sage, rosemary & thyme
(Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground)
Without no seams nor needlework
(Blankets and bedclothes a child of the mountains)
Then she'll be a true love of mine
(Sleeps unaware of the clarion call)
Tell her to find me an acre of land

(On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves)
Parsely, sage, rosemary, & thyme
(Washed is the ground with so many tears)
Between the salt water and the sea strand
(A soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
Then she'll be a true love of mine

Tell her to reap it in a sickle of leather

(War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions)
Parsely, sage, rosemary & thyme
(Generals order their soldiers to kill)
And to gather it all in a bunch of heather
(And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten)
Then she'll be a true love of mine

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine.

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  • u
    Heart broken because of his lost love, a man finds that a friend is going to scarborough fair in the very town where this lost love lives. After so long, the bitterness of being dumped still lingers on. He decides to give her one more chance, but not an easy one. She must make him a cambric shirt with no seams or needle work. An almost impossible task. She must also buy an acre of land between the salt water and seastrand (sea shore). This would be an almost impossible island on the sea. Also she must cut the grass with a sickle of leather. Sickles are made of steal with a sharp blade. A very hard piece of leather with a sharp blade would be difficult to cut an acre of land. If this is all done then finally he would take her back as his true love.
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  • s
    I have only ever heard this song without the () lyrics. Here is what I believe it all means. I believe that this man was deeply hurt by his lover, who left him. He is asking her to do that which is impossible, and if she does so, she will again be his true love. Basically, he still loves her, but is bitter. The parentheses lyrics seem to indicate a different aspect of the song, which implies the man is about to go to war, and has a need for closure regarding his ex-lover. The singer is expressing the deepest love imaginable, with the deepest wound of hurt accompanying it. Ouch.
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