It’s time to sharpen your number two pencils for another Way Back Studios pop quiz. Ready? Here we go. Name the song that contains the following lyrics: “Remember me to the one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine.” Okay, time’s up. If you said Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country,” you’re right. So if you said, Simon and Garfunkle’s “Scarborough Fair,” you’re also right. And if you said, but those are completely different songs, you’re also right. And that raises the question: How’d that happen? The answer to that is found in the year 1670 where we find a Scottish ballad titled “The Elfin Knight.” Now, according to the people who keep track of these things, “The Elfin Knight” was the source for an English folk ballad called “Scarborough Fair.” Scarborough being a town on the North Sea coast where, during the late Middle Ages, they held an annual trading event known as Scarborough Fair. A few hundred years later the English folk singer, and occasional member of Steeleye Span, Martin Carthy taught this traditional ballad to Bob Dylan and later to Paul Simon. Bob took the two lines from the original ballad and incorporated them into his “Girl From the North Country.”
Three years later, Simon and Garfunkle took a different approach. They used one of the many versions of the ballad and sort of hand-mixed it with a Paul Simon song called “The Side of the Hill,” singing the two songs simultaneously as melody and counter melody. For reasons unexplained they titled the resulting track “Scarborough Fair” slash “Canticle.” I say unexplained because a canticle is typically a hymn with lyrics taken directly from the Bible as opposed to Paul Simon. Also unexplained is why today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl features a Dylan song from Blood on the Tracks instead of “Girl From the North Country.” We’ve also got a nice segue suggested by our pal Kimberly featuring Fleetwood Mac and the Doobie Brothers. But first we’ve got a sweet little mix involvingb John Lennon and the one-time guitarist for Glass Harp, Mr. Phil Keaggy.
|Oh My Love
|Simon & Garfunkle
|Scarborough Fair / Canticle
|If You See Her Say Hello
|Jewel Eyed Judy
That’s what Fleetwood Mac sounded like in 1970 after Peter Green hit the road. Before that, the Doobies from 1972. Those last two tracks were suggested by our pal and favorite national wildlife refuge system employee, Kimberly. She sent me an email to say she was listening to Toulouse Street one night and couldn’t help but notice that the Doobie Brothers’ “White Sun” sounded a lot like Fleetwood Mac’s “Jewel Eyed Judy” so we gave it a try and sure enough, it’s a nice little mix. Thanks Kimberly. By the way, if you’ve got any segue suggestions, I’m all ears. You can find an email link at billfitzhugh.com. Before the Doobie Brothers, we had “No Expectations.” The Stones from Beggar’s Banquet which segued nicely out of The Allman Brother’s “Melissa.” And leading into that was another acoustic beauty from the Cat Stevens album Teaser and the Fire Cat. A song called “The Wind” which I think is the third shortest song he ever recorded.
At the top, a brief instrumental called “Evensong” by Phil Keaggy that segued nicely into John Lennon’s “Oh My Love.” After that, Simon and Garfunkle did a mix of their own. They took the traditional English folk ballad, “Scarborough Fair” and sang it simultaneously with an early Paul Simon song called “The Side of the Hill.” Two songs for the price of one. Earlier we talked about how “Scarborough Fair” and Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” shared that lyric about remembering me to the one who lives there. Well I tried “Girl From the North Country” in the set but it didn’t quite work. So we went with a different Dylan track that had similar sentiment. “If You See Her, Say Hello.” Well, that’s all the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme we have this week. Thanks for listening. I’m Bill Fitzhugh and I’ll be back next time with a fresh batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl and I hope you’ll join us, right here in the Deep Tracks.