Scarborough Fair is one of many songs in British folklore in which there are impossible tasks and questions which cannot be answered. In its oldest form it’s associated with outwitting the evil one by having the last word. In this song there’s no hint of the supernatural, but a verbal battle between old lovers.
From Whitby fisherman William Moat, printed in English County Songs by Lucy Broadwood, 1893. The photo is Roseberry Topping, in the North York Moors National Park, a giant’s stroll from Scarborough.