You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘England’ tag.

A 45-day event starting on August, 15, the Scarborough Fair was a trade meeting and a festival of music and goods in the Mediaeval town of Scarborough, England.

The song with the same name tells a story of a man challenged by his lover with a series of hard tasks, like doing a shirt without a seam and wash it in a dry well. The prize for such impossible tasks would be taking her love back.

The theme of impossible tasks given by a courted lover is common in Mediaeval music and literature.

On video, british actress and singer Amy Nuttall sings Scarborough Fair.

(Image: Scarborough Castle)

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
He once was a true love of mine.
Tell him to make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Without no seam nor needle work,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine.
Tell him to find me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Between the salt water and the sea strand,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine.
Tell him to reap it with a sickle of leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
And to gather it all in a bunch of heather,
Then he’ll be a true love of mine.
Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
He once was a true love of mine.

In 1688, James Stuart II, catholic and king of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his Queen Mary had a son. Until then the throne will be granted to their daughter Mary, protestant and married with William, from the House of Orange. But now everything has changed: there was a possibility of creating a catholic dynasty in England.

But the protestants reacted. William mobilized the dutch troops, invaded England and started the Glorious Revolution. The Stuarts left the country, and William and Mary were assigned as rulers. James, from his exile in the catholic portion of Ireland, organized an army (whose members were called Jacobites, or the restorers of “Jacobus”, the latin form of James) and started a revolt to what he sees as a coup d’etat in his country. Once again defeated by troops ruled by William himself, James has fled to France for all. After leaving their irish troops, James was called in that country as Séamus an Chaca, or “James the be-shitten”…

Siúil A Rúin is one of the most traditional songs of Ireland, and is related to the Jacobites who fight the Glorious Revolution. Its refrain was composed in gaelic, an irish celtic language:

    Siúil, siúil, siúil a rúin (Shule, shule, shule aroon,)

    Siúil go socair agus siúil go ciúin (Shule go succir agus, shule go kewn,)

    Siúil go doras agus ealaigh liom (Shule go dheen durrus oggus aylig lume,)

    Is go dtéann tú mo mhuirnín slán (Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.)

In a free english translation,

    Come, come, come, O love,

    Quickly come to me, softly move;

    Come to the door, and away we’ll flee,

    And safe for aye may my darling be!

On video, a contemporaneous version from Cécile Corbel to Siúil A Rúin:

I wish I were on yonder hill
and there I’d sit and I’d cry my fill
and ev’ry tear would turn a mill,
and a blessing walk with you, my love

I’ll sell my rod, I’ll sell my reel
I’ll sell my only spinning wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
And a blessing walk with you, my love

Siuil, siuil, a ruin
Siuil go sochair agus siuil go ciuin
Siuil go doras agus ealaigh liom
Is go dte tu mo mhuirnin slan

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I had my heart again,
And vainly think I’d not complain
And a blessing walk with you, my love

But now my love has gone to France
To try his fortune to advance.
If he e’er comes back, it’s but a chance
And a blessing walk with you, my love

Image: King James Stuart II; Wikipedia Commons

Lyrics translation: http://www.extrasolar.net/CLANNAD/song.asp?SongId=131