Story about Scarborough Fair

by Neko
(Serbia)

This is one of my favourite songs. I don’t know if the story is interesting but let’s give it a try. It happened back in the Stone Age of cassette players; maybe, some thirty years ago. A schoolfriend came to visit me and my brother and, while we were listening to music, the schoolfriend, at one point, started to shout “Turn it off. I can’t stand country music… I can almost see Simon and Garfunkel playing guitars in some smoky country bar.”


Then it was time for my brother and me to jump: “Are you deaf? Can’t you tell apart English16th century traditional music from 20th century American country?!”

The friend started to defend himself… he didn’t pay attention, he didn’t hear it right.

And to this day I can’t understand how someone who claimed and claims to be a music connoisseur could’ve mistaken English traditional for American country music. Or was it us? Maybe my brother and I were/are tone deaf? What do you think? Does Simon and Garfunkel’s version of Scarborough Fair has any similarity to American country music?


Dana:

Haha- I can see why your friend thought Simon and Garfunkel wrote Scarborough Fair, if he had never heard it sung before. They added a descant line with extra words, and a compelling guitar accompaniment all their own. But their version bears little resemblance to what we in America call "Country-western" music. Wrong chords (should be primarily I-IV-V), wrong key (minor), wrong shape to the melody. But the message is similar to lots of country music: disappointed love!

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