24 Comments

  1. “Their song” – although Simon & Garfunkel apparently claimed copyright on their arrangement of Scarborough Fair/ Canticle, and the Canticle bit was original, Scarborough Fair (with the herbal refrain) is of long-standing in a host of variations. Paul Simon learned it in 1965 in London from Martin Carthy, who is still around at 78 (which is some sort of a record).

    “The copyright credited only Simon and Garfunkel as the authors, causing ill-feeling on the part of Carthy, who felt the “traditional” source should have been credited.This rift remained until Simon invited Carthy to perform the song with him as a duet at a London concert in 2000.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough_Fair_(ballad)#Simon_&_Garfunkel

  2. narmitaj, doesn’t the album list SF as traditional and Canticle as written by Simon? I’m not really able to check right now.

    And if the 2-song arrangement was copyrighted by Simon, that does sound kosher.

  3. One hundred years ago the phrase was “He thinks he’s all the candy.”

    The song sold dozens of copies.

  4. “who is still around at 78 (which is some sort of a record)” – Smile.

    I don’t know how Simon’s “El Condor Pasa” is credited, but I know someone who’s not happy that he used a traditional Andean song. Though my feeling is that if he marked the tune “trad”, all is fine.

  5. @ CIDU Bill – I am not sure what the album released in the 1960s said on it… my brother had a copy back then, not sure where it is now. It being an ancient song in many variations, the issue seems more that Carthy had shown Simon his own arrangement – written the chords and lyrics down – which then got used:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4722968/Friends-again-with-Paul-Simon.html 12:00AM BST 19 Apr 2001

    ‘Friends again with Paul Simon: Folk legend Martin Carthy tells Colin Randall about the end of a 35-year feud’

    ‘The ill-feeling over Scarborough Fair dates back to the Sixties, when Simon was one of several Americans, loosely lumped together as folk singers, drawn to the London acoustic scene. With another of the troubadours, Tom Paxton, he went for dinner at the Hampstead flat of Carthy. Before the evening was out, Carthy had “given” Simon his own arrangement of Scarborough Fair.

    ‘”I wrote the whole thing down, with lyrics and chords, and handed it to him.” Carthy recalls. Simon, of course, went off back to America and, with Art Garfunkel, turned the song into the inspiration for their monster 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

    ‘With the benefit of his later exchanges with Simon, Carthy says now: “It turned out he had never claimed to have written the song, and had never received authorship royalties for it.” Moreover, in at least one interview, Simon had paid due tribute to all the musicians he had known in Britain in the Sixties.

    ‘When the boxed set [The Carthy Chronicles] was being put together, producer Neil Wayne called Simon’s office to ask if he would contribute a few words for the accompanying booklet.

    ‘Simon chose to deliver the quote personally, and rang Carthy at his home in Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire coast. “We had a long talk, and he invited me to one of his concerts at Hammersmith last October,” Carthy says.

    ‘They ended up singing that song on stage together, and talked again afterwards. “He asked ‘Were you mad at me?’ and I said that yes, I had been.”

    ‘Carthy admits to a great sense of relief. “I had decided 10 years earlier to stop being a victim. It’s not as if I would have ever have made millions from my own version, or gone on to do what he has done. But he took the time to sort it out and I am so happy about that.”‘

  6. Several months ago we bought some allspice for a recipe that needed about 1/4 teaspoon of the stuff. Shortly thereafter, I tried it again in something else, and discovered that it is so strong that I don’t think I would ever use more than a tiny bit of it in any recipe.
    P.S. In German, allspice is called “Piment“.

  7. “Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of a plant known as Pimenta dioica, which is a member of the myrtle family. The flavor of allspice brings to mind cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.”

    I’ve always added a leetle bit to my pumpkin pie; never tasted pepper. Why I added it, I don’t know, seeing as how I’d already put in cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. ‘Cause it was there, I s’pose.

  8. @ lazarusjohn – At first I thought that was a typo, and that you had intended to write “Ahlspeiß“, but then I realized that spelled that way, it is indeed both an “awl” and a “skewer”, so “sharp” is a brilliant pun. 😉
    P.S. … (for everyone else) … because the German word for “spicy” also means “sharp”.

  9. I like allspice. I put it, along with some cinnamon and nutmeg, into my oatmeal. I just had some a little while ago.

  10. beckoningchasm, they get tired of always standing in the same positions. Parsley was once quoted as complaining “What are we, the !@#$ Von Trapp kids???”

  11. Thank you lazarusjohn, I was waiting for someone to mention that.

    Just remember, kids, allspice and mixed spice are not the same thing.

  12. Bill – since you gave an opening – while not the bitter herb tyme of year – it is Happy New Year time. Best wishes to you and your family and any other of “the tribe” on the site.

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