Back to Whitingham Fair
WHITTINGHAM FAIR. AKA and see "Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme." English, Air (6/8 time). England, Northumberland. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "This is another example of the enigmatically duo-linear ballad, and popular in the north and west of the county of Northumberland; it is also known in several parts of England, but is sung usually as a nursery ballad" (Bruce & Stokoe). It is a riddle song and a variant of the better-known “Scarborough Fair,” however, both songs derived from the Child Ballad No 2., “The Elfin Knight.” “Whittingham” is pronounced ‘Whitting-jum’, and is a village in Northumberland, about 20 miles south of the Scottish border. It was is the site for the Whittingham Show, also called the Whittingham Games or Whittingham Fair, a country fair (held on the third week of August) that goes back many hundreds of years.
Are you going to Whittingham Fair,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
For once she was a true love of mine. ... (Thomas Hepple)
The music and words were entered by Thomas Hepple (Northumberland) into his c. 1855 song manuscript.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 81-82.