Every year I replay this article at about mid-summer
There are innumerable songs about Christmas and the Winter Solstice, but apart from ‘Summertime” how many songs celebrating Summer come to mind? This is certainly one of the most evocative of all. Although the top version is by far the most popular to record, Tannshill’s original below may be the more beautiful.
The Wild Mountain Thyme
O the summer time has come And the trees are sweetly blooming And wild mountain thyme Grows around the purple heather. Will you go, lassie, go?
Chorus And we'll all go together, To pull wild mountain thyme, All around the purple heather. Will you go, lassie, go?
I will build my love a tower, By yon clear crystal fountain, And on it I will pile, All the flowers of the mountain. Will you go, lassie, go?
I will range through the wilds And the deep land so dreary And return with the spoils To the bower o' my dearie. Will ye go lassie go ?
If my true love she'll not come, Then I'll surely find another, To pull wild mountain thyme, All around the purple heather. Will you go, lassie, go?
Mountain Thyme", also known as "Purple Heather" and "Will You Go Lassie, Go", is a folk song, written by William McPeake, a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland and first recorded by McPeake in 1957. It is often mistakenly believed to be a traditional song, but the copyright is held by English Folk Dance and Song Society Publications, who published it for McPeake. It was first recorded by Francis McPeake in 1957, and has since been covered by numerous artists.
The song is commonly described as a variant of "The Braes of Balquhidder" by Robert Tannahill (1774-1810), which was named after the braes, or hills, of Balquhidder near Lochearnhead, and has a similar lyric and tune. For example, the first two verses of "The Braes of Balquhidder" are:
Let us go, lassie, go
Tae the braes o' Balquhidder
Where the blaeberries grow
'Mang the bonnie bloomin' heather
Whar the deer and the rae
Lichtly bounding thegither
Sport the lang summer day
On the braes o' Balquhidder
I will twine thee a bower
By the clear silver fountain
And I'll cover it o'er
Wi' the flowers o' the mountain
I will range through the wilds
And the deep glens sae dreary
And return wi' their spoils
To the bower o' my dearie
This original melody is heard in one of the opening scenes of the movie, The Woman in Green (1945). The film's central character, Sherlock Holmes, played by Basil Rathbone, is playing the tune on a violin as Doctor Watson interrupts him.
If somehow, you can’t remember the tune, take your pick of recording artists:-
There have been numerous recordings of this song, including:
•Francis McPeake - for the BBC series As I Roved Out (1957)
•Sandy Paton - on Many Sides of Sandy Paton (1959)
•The McPeake Family - on McPeake Family of Belfast (1961)
•Judy Collins - on A Maid of Constant Sorrow (1961)
•The Clancy Brothers - (as "Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?") on The Boys Won't Leave the Girls Alone (1962)
•Paul Clayton - on Folk Singer (1965)
•Joan Baez - on Farewell Angelina (1965)
•The New Christy Minstrels - (as "Go, Lassie, Go") on Wandering Minstrels (1965)
•The Byrds - on Fifth Dimension (1966)
•Marianne Faithfull - on North Country Maid (1966)
•Long John Baldry - on Everything Stops for Tea (1972)
•Van Morrison - as "Purple Heather" on Hard Nose the Highway (1973)
•Nigel & the Crosses - on Time Between - A Tribute to The Byrds (1989)
•Meg Davis - on Meg Davis Live at Dennos (1992)
•Strawbs - (as "Will You Go") on the B-side to the single "Part of the Union" and on the album Halcyon Days
•Glenn Frey - on Glenn Frey Live (1993)
•The Silencers - on So Be It (1994)
•Jim Diamond - on Sugarolly Days (1994)
•The Corries - on The Corries: In Concert (1995)
•Rod Stewart - as 'Purple Heather' on A Spanner in the Works (1995)
•The Irish Rovers - on The Irish Rovers' Gems (1996)
•Real McKenzies - on Clash of the Tartans (2000)
•Mark Knopfler - on A Shot at Glory (2001)
•Enter the Haggis - on Live! (2002)
•The Chieftains - on Further Down the Old Plank Road (2003)
•Emerald Rose - as "Wild Mountain Thyme" on Celtic Crescent (2003)
•James Taylor - on Telluride Bluegrass Festival: Reflections, Vol. 1 (2003)
•Broadside Electric - on Black-edged Visiting Card
•The Real McKenzies - on Clash of the Tartans
•Albert Kuvezin and Yat-Kha - on Re-Covers (2005)
•Keltik Elektrik with Jim Malcolm - on Putumayo Presents Celtic Crossroads (2005)
•Kate Rusby - as 'Blooming Heather' on Awkward Annie (2007)
•Lucy Wainwright Roche - on 8 Songs (2007)
•The High Kings - (as "Will Ye Go, Lassie Go") on their eponymous first album (2008)
•Lauren Yason, Richard Fox, and Caroline Dale - for the film Stone of Destiny (2008)
•Blake - on And So it Goes (2008)
•Fotheringay - on Fotheringay 2 (recorded 1971/2007 released 2008)
•Ronan Keating - on Songs for My Mother (2009)
•Robin Pecknold (as White Antelope) (2009)
•Bob Dylan - on the bootleg album The Minnesota Tapes and on bootleg recordings of his Isle of Wight Festival performance on August 31, 1969.
•Brother - (as Will You Go) on the album Pipe Dreams (1994)
•Amanda (sångensemblen) - on Tres (2005)
•Damh the Bard - on Tales from the Crow Man (2009)
Wild Mountain Thyme
July 28, 2014 2:38 PM