Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Herbs’

First Herb Garden Based on a Song? Why Not!

It all started over nine years ago when I planted my first herb garden when living in the Beaux Arts cottage.   Not knowing what herbs to start with, I decided to plant Parsley, Sage & Thyme since there was already a HUGE Rosemary bush in the garden and the phrase “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme” was stuck in my head.   I figured it was from a song — I just didn’t know what song. 

This system of picking herbs actually worked out great for me.  Not only do I still grow all four of these herbs, but I’ve since added Oregano, Cilantro, Dill, Basil, Chives, Mint, Bay and Bee Balm to my garden.  It gave me a great foundation of easy to grow herbs without being overwhelmed. 

Now, some of you are probably still SHOCKED that I didn’t know what song these herbs were mentioned in.  (At least I knew it was from a song.)  Anyway, just the other day I remembered how I picked my first herbs and decided to find out what song it was from. 

And, well, you guessed it.  I had the 1966 song by Simon & Garfunkel called Scarborough Fair/Canticle stuck in my head.  Which was based on a ballad from the 1800’s.  What’s even better (according to Wikipedia) is that the pegans believed by combining these four herbs together you could create a love charm.   Good thing my “young & stupid” self didn’t know this or I may have tried it.

Here’s how the song goes:

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt
(On the side of a hill in the deep forest green)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground)
Without no seams nor needlework
(Blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine
(Sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

Tell her to find me an acre of land
(On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Washes the ground with so many tears)
Between the salt water and the sea strand
(A soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine

Tell her to reap it in a sickle of leather
(War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Generals order their soldiers to kill)
And to gather it all in a bunch of heather
(And to fight for a cause they’ve long ago forgotten)
Then she’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
She once was a true love of mine