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    Scarborough Fair

    Scarborough Fair is a traditional English ballad about the Yorkshire town of Scarborough. 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 theory 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 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.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. A number of older versions refer to locations other than Scarborough Fair, including Wittingham Fair, Cape Ann, "twixt Berwik and Lyne", etc.The earliest notable recording of it was by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, a version which heavily influenced Simon and Garfunkel's later more famous version. Amongst many other recordings, the tune was used by the Stone Roses as the basis of their song "Elizabeth my Dear". To view a sample PDF score click here.

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    North of England Folk Song Suite | trad. arr. Alwyn Green

    An excellent concert piece of three traditional but contrasting songs, a love poem, a song of longing and loss, and a quick jaunty celebration of traditional life.The Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill from Yorkshire is a love ballad. The lass is Frances l'Anson, whose parents disapproved of her chosen love, and the couple eloped. The piece popularised the poetic phrase - A Rose without a Thorn.The Oak and the Ash from Lancashire is a traditional song comparing town and country life - a very popular theme in the 17th century. A girl from the North of England has moved to London to find a husband, but she is lonely in the city and wishes she could be home again - 'O the Oak and the Ash and the bonny Elum tree, they're all growing green in the North Country'The Keel Row from Northumberland is a traditional folk song evoking the life and work of the Keelmen of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and with it's quick light beat it is used as the trot march for the Life Guards and the Royal Horse Artillery.InstrumentationSoprano, Solo, Repiano, 2nd and 3rd CornetsFlugelhornSolo, 1st and 2nd Tenor Horns1st and 2nd Baritone1st, 2nd and Bass TromboneEuphoniumEb and Bb BassesPercussion parts (2):1: Timpani, Glockenspiel, Cymbal, Sleigh Bells, Maracas2: Drum Kit, Gong, Side DrumISMN: 979-0-708127-02-4