Fairy Stories

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Strange New Words

Scarborough Fair is a ballad from the deep middle ages, maybe as old as Robin Hood or even King Arthur. It’s certainly older than its trade-show namesake to which the song was associated with only as late as the nineteenth century, which is also when it got its notorious refrain:

Fairy-kind had a different set of manners than those of humans, and one of their rules was that you couldn’t just refuse someone when they wanted a thing, because it’s important to them, there’s attachment. There’s destiny. And so was the case for The Elfin Knight who pranced and strutted in all his hunky glory atop a Scottish hill and was spied by fair maiden / bonny lass / hip chick, Isabel who decided she wanted a bit of that.

Some versions justify her lust because he was tooting a magic horn of love. (Yeah. Read into that

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