|11/03/15 - NNHS Newsletter - Scarborough Fair|
“When the trees their summer splendor
Change to raiment red and gold,
When the summer moon turns mellow,
And the nights are getting cold;
When the squirrels hide their acorns,
And the woodchucks disappear;
Then we know that it is autumn,
Loveliest season of the year."
- Carol L. Riser, “Autumn"
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
The theme song of today's Newsletter, originating at least as far back as 1670, is far more abstruse than I ever imagined.....
BONUS #1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdz8m_PImwI - Scarborough Fair - Simon & Garfunkel live in concert in Central Park, 1981
BONUS #2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiZJP_XLmrQ - Scarborough Fair - Celtic Woman: Hayley Westenra in concert at Slane Castle, Ireland
|"Scarborough Fair" is a traditional
Great Britain and more precisely
The song relates the tale of a young man who instructs the listener to tell his former love to perform for him a series of impossible tasks, such as making him a shirt without a seam and then washing it in a dry well, adding that if she completes these tasks he will take her back. Often the song is sung as a duet, with the woman then giving her lover a series of equally impossible tasks, promising to give him his seamless shirt once he has finished.
As the versions of the ballad known under the title "Scarborough Fair" are usually limited to the exchange of these impossible tasks, many suggestions concerning the plot have been proposed, including the hypothesis that it is about the Great Plague of the late Middle Ages. The lyrics of "Scarborough Fair" appear to have something in common with an obscure Scottish ballad, The Elfin Knight (Child Ballad #2), which has been traced at least as far back as 1670 and may well be earlier. In this ballad, an elf threatens to abduct a young woman to be his lover unless she can perform an impossible task ("For thou must shape a sark to me / Without any cut or heme, quoth he"); she responds with a list of tasks that he must first perform ("I have an aiker of good ley-land / Which lyeth low by yon sea-strand").
The melody is very typical of the middle English period.
As the song spread, it was adapted, modified, and rewritten to the point that dozens of versions existed by the end of the 18th century, although only a few are typically sung nowadays. The references to the traditional English fair, "Scarborough Fair" and the refrain "parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme" date to 19th century versions, and the refrain may have been borrowed from the ballad Riddles Wisely Expounded, (Child Ballad #1), which has a similar plot. A number of older versions refer to locations other than Scarborough Fair, including Wittingham Fair, Cape Ann, "twixt Berwik and Lyne", etc. Many versions do not mention a place-name, and are often generically titled ("The Lovers' Tasks", "My Father Gave Me an Acre of Land", etc.)....
Much thought has gone into attempts to explain the refrain "parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme", although, as this is found only in relatively recent versions, there may not be much to explain. One common theory is that they are the ingredients for stuffing used in many baked poultry dishes.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme have — like many other herbs — a symbolic meaning that goes back centuries: it has also been known (parsely, sage, rosemary, and thyme) were the main ingredients to an old witches love potion.
Both man and woman in this ballad invoke said powers in naming these herbs: mildness to soothe the bitterness of their relationship, spiritual strength to endure being apart from each other, faithfulness and lastly encouragement, to fulfill the impossible tasks given.
As in most stories concerning impossible tasks set for lovers or suitors, the tasks set forth in this song are probably riddles, and once the riddle is solved then the task can be performed easily. "Plough it with a rams horn, and sow it all over with one peppercorn" could be seen as a sexual reference.
Plague doctors at the time are also thought to have used the herbs to cover-up the smell of death and decay. The herbs were supposedly put in the beak of their costumes.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme are all members of the mint family, and are documented emmenagogue, contraceptive and abortifacient herbal remedies. Contraceptives were preferred to abortifacients, because utilization of abortion as a birth control method was more risky, and abortions required assistance and/or instruction (McLaren, 1990)....
THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS:
A Belated Halloween Birthday to Nuel Quisenberry ('58) of FL!
Happy Birthday this week to:
04 - Mike Jeffers ('61) of VA;
05 - Patsy Blackard Hallett Parker ('65) of VA AND My Son of Other Parents, Joe Mansfield (Stanton College Prep School, FL - 2002) of TX AND My Grandson, Thomas Harty of UT;
06 - Marion Timberlake Gitchel ('57) AND Maria Velma Vidales Scott ('57) AND Pam Smith Arnold ('65) of CA;
07 - Pam Larmer Traugott ('62) of VA;
08 - Lawson (Buddy) Sparrow ('53) of VA AND Woody Hudson ('57) AND Joe Madagan ('57) of FL AND David McCoy ('67) of VA;
09 - Hilton Henderson ('57) of NV and FL AND My Grandson (by My Children of Other Parents), Jacob Mansfield of TX;
10 - The United States Marine Corps - 1775 AND Tamsie Warren Ellis ('57) AND David Wittan ('57) AND Angie Ray Smith ('64) of VA AND the late Steve Pullen ('65) (deceased 22 Apr 2012)!
Many Happy Returns, One and All!
THIS DAY IN WWII:
THIS DAY IN 1965:
|Wednesday, November 03, 1965 - Footballer and manager Gert Heerkes was born in Lutten, The Netherlands.|
|“Replacing rudeness and impatience with the Golden Rule may not change the world, but it will change your world and your relationships.”|
From Charlie Snead ('64) of NC - 11/02/15:
|TRUE DAT! Thanks, Charlie!|
From www.ajokeaday.com - 11/02/15:
DATES TO REMEMBER:
Are you goin' to Scarborough Fair?
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
"Scarborough Fair" midi (sequenced by Antonio Calado Lopes) courtesy of http://sglyrics.myrmid.com/midi.htm - 11/03/08
"Scarborough Fair" lyrics courtesy of http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/simon+and+garfunkel/scarborough+fair_20124689.html - 11/03/08
Pumpkin Image courtesy of http://www.winmarkcom.com/thanksgivingactivities.htm - 11/03/08
Pumpkins Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.christmas-graphics-plus.com/free/kids-halloween-clip-art.html - 10/24/08
Birthday Cake clip art courtesy of
Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of
VA - 08/31/05
Coast Guard Seal clip art courtesy of http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/SealsEmblems/USCG.htm - 10/03/07
Stanton College Prep School's logo courtesy of http://www.stantoncollegeprep.org/central/ - 08/01/10
Air Force Seal clip art courtesy of
http://www1.va.gov/opa/feature/celebrate/milsongs.htm - 07/07/06
Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06 (still
Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06 (still
Thanks again, Herbie!!
Animated USMC Flag clip art courtesy of http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/KevsGifsGalore/Patriotic.html - 06/18/03
Navy Seal clip art courtesy of http://www.onemileup.com/miniSeals.asp - 05/29/06
Laughing Jerry courtesy of Cookie Phillips Tyndall ('64) of VA - 06/14/06
Big Grin Smiley
courtesy of Domi O'Brien ('64) of NH - 07/05/09
Return to NNHS Class of 1965