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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Zebedee Martin Carthy: Nice Guy (17) Martin Carthy: Nice Guy 21 Jan 01

I'm sure that many of you are aware of the disquiet that has ensued for many years regarding Paul Simon 'stealing' Scarborough Fair from Martin Carthy.

I've just been looking at the Waterson Carthy web site, where I found the following. It's quite long, but I feel deserves to be reproduced in full.


'Martin appeared onstage with Paul Simon at the Hammersmith Apollo during the last week of October. The "Scarborough Fair Saga" was finally put to bed as the two of them performed it together. Here's a word or two from Martin about the experience.

"It was a great moment and the whole thing is about as satisfying as it could be. And all because of a phone call from Paul a week or so beforehand with, among other things, an invitation to his London gig, an invitation which turned out to be an invitation to sing. So I accepted. The feeling has been growing more and more in me that, at the very very least, it was time to let go. Putting it quite bluntly: even if I had cause to be aggrieved - which I was becoming less and less sure was ever really the case - I cannot be a victim all my life. In fact, in an interview ten years ago or so, Paul thanked publicly all the musicians and others he had known in England in the sixties, and this gave a shove to that train of thought in me. In interviews more recently I have found myself, when faced with the inevitable question, less and less willing to go through this "trudge through the grudge". What I had felt was, I think, more to do with injured pride than actually being cheated by the man. It has become apparent over the years that any such cheating was done by others in the the course of or in the aftermath of lawsuits.

For a fair time now the music he makes has been telling me one important thing and finally I have taken notice. That this is a good man. Gracious too. His musicians love him and feel valued. They respond by being just about the best band they could possibly be. Simply hearing them play that night was to be given a masterclass. I was quite nervy at the thought of going out there and singing but Paul himself made it very easy. What else is there to say? Except that I left the Hammersmith Apollo a very happy man, with a weight off my mind and a real feeling of release. And all it took was to sing and talk with him at the end of the London leg of his tour. This is someone who values the life he has led - all of it - and detests the idea of bad blood. I'm thankful to him for having the imagination and the grace to pick up the phone and set up what has made an end of this nonsense. It's over."'

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