How Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Scarborough Fair/Canticle’ Tells Two Musically Harmonious Stories at One Time

Music writer Polyphonic, who creates incredibly informative video essays on an ongoing basis, takes a deep look at the classic Simon and Garfunkel song “Scarborough Fair/Canticle”. He notes how the musical duo took a traditional Elizabethan era tune and matched it with a musically harmonious original song written by Paul Simon. The resulting counterpoint simultaneously tells the story of a great fight between lovers and preparations for a great war.

The pairing of these two songs creates a sense of timelessness. War is eternal, just as strife between lovers is eternal. They’re both painful realities of human nature. Things that humanity needs to face and overcome as a species and it asks an unanswerable question, if we can’t even keep two people bound by true love together, what hope do we have of reconciling nations and cultures and ending war.