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The Wild Mountain Thyme (Will ye go lassie, go)

Wild mountain thyme

The song The Wild Mountain Thyme (Will ye go lassie, go) is usually credited to Francis McPeake senior, written sometime in the 1950's although some claim it was already sung by folk-singers before McPeake's version. Stewart Grant of www.morerootsofbob.com notes that it was sung on the radio in the BBC series "As I Roved Out" in 1957. One thing all sources seem to agree on is that the current version was based on Robert Tannahill's "The Braes of Balquidder" although Grant states:

"Tannahill's melody is probably an earlier traditional air - he followed Robert Burns' interest in collecting and adapting traditional songs, and indeed he seems to have based this one on an even earlier song "The Braes o' Bowhether" - there is no evidence or local tradition that Tannahill ever actually visited Balquidder or indeed anywhere else in the Highlands."

Note from The Collected Works : "Balquhither is pronounced Balwhither, -quh expressing the sound wh in the Scottish language." Whoever wrote the songs, however you pronounce the words (and whatever the spelling!), you can see the lyrics here.

These two YouTube links offer contrasting treatments of the song. The Silencers play a modern folk version with a touch of humour while Lark and Spur offer a more romantic version with views of Scotland

Tannahill Map 1810