#01127
The Cambric Shirt (Traditional)
(Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, And Thyme)
See also: Scarborough Fair (Martin Carthy)
And also: The Cambric Shirt - Var A (Peacock)
And also: The Cambric Shirt - Var B (Peacock)
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Can you make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Without any seam or needle work?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

Can you wash it in yonder well,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Where never sprung water nor rain ever fell?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

Can you dry it on yonder thorn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Which never bore blossom since Adam was born?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

Now you have asked me questions three,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
I hope you'll answer as many for me,
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

Can you find me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Between the salt water and the sea sand?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

Can you plow it with a ram's horn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
And sow it all over with one pepper corn?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

Can you reap it with a sickle of leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
And bind it up with a peacock's feather?
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

When you have done, and finished your work,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme;
Then come to me for your cambric shirt,
And you shall be a true lover of mine.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 17th-century British broadside ballad, The Elfin Knight [Child ballad #2G] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965) ....####
Two variants were collected by Kenneth Peacock and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, p.6, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

From Wikipedia: Cambric is a lightweight cotton cloth used as fabric for lace and needlework. Cambric, also known as batiste in a large part of the world, was invented by Jean-Baptiste Cambrai, France, which gave the fabric its name, as early as 1595; It is a closely woven, firm fabric with a slight glossy surface produced by calendering. Modern cambric is made from Egyptian or American cotton and sometimes flax, but also polymer fibres can be added. Cambric is also used as a coating for professional playing cards, to protect them for longer and make them easier to handle.



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