Wild Mountain Thyme

Francis McPeake

Audio clips

This example of  "Wild Mountain Thyme" is  performed by 3 Pints Gone on their CD Auld Lang Syne, available in the Chivalry Music store.

This example is performed by Andrew Scarhart.

Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

sheet music (toggle as desired for printing)

Background notes

"Wild Mountain Thyme," also commonly known as "Will You Go Lassie, Go" was first recorded by Francis McPeake in 1957 for the series "As I Roved Out" on BBC. We've found conflicting information on whether he actually wrote this song.  Ireland the Songs, Volume 2, pub. 1993 Walton Mfg, Walton Music Inc. says, "He learned it from his uncle, which gives it definite Ulster credentials."

However, Eric Winter writes in the liner notes of the 1995 re-release of The Corries: In Concert/Scottish Love Songs:
        ... this is an elegant variant of a Scottish song by Robert Tannahill (1774-1819), "The Braes of Balquidder." The senior member of the McPeake family of Belfast, Francis I, wrote this version (the tune is markedly different from Tannahill's) and dedicated it to his first wife. Long after she died, he married again and his son, Francis II, wrote an extra verse to celebrate the marriage. 

The younger Francis McPeake still lives in Belfast and is a well known Uilleann piper.

Cantaria user Jay Hirshman sent us the last verse included here, which he wrote for his daughter, Rebecca.

Oh, the summertime is comin',
And the trees are sweetly blooming,
Where the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather

Will ye go, lassie, will ye go?
And we'll all go together to pick wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Will ye go, lassie, will ye go?

I will build my love a bower
By yon pure crystal fountain
And around it I will place
All the flowers of the mountain.


If my true love e'er should leave me
I would surely find another
Where the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather.


Oh, the autumn-time is comin',
And the leaves are gently falling,
Where the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather


And an extra verse if you're looking for a happy ending:

Now our daughter's grown up fine
And a suitor comes a callin'
I can see it in her eyes
It's a true love that's blooming