Sunday, December 9, 2012

Song of the Day: “Wild Mountain Thyme”

My favorite English folk song is not English, it turns out. “Wild Mountain Thyme” began as the Scottish song “The Braes of Balquhidder” over two hundred years ago. Then it was Irish: In 1957 Francis McPeake, a native of Belfast, adapted it and published “Wild Mountain Thyme.”

Today you’ll hear it everywhere. Golly, it’s even in the CL Songbook.

I learned these indispensable facts about “Wild Mountain Thyme” this morning while listening to my Kate Rusby station on Pandora. The first seven cuts played included three versions of the tune, by Rusby, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and The High Kings. That was too much of a coincidence to ignore, so I ran to Wiki and learned.

Then to YouTube, where I discovered that my favorite 60s band, The Byrds, have a version of WMT. Here it is.

Here’s dear Kate interviewed and singing a lovely orchestral arrangement of the song.

And here’s the Scottish original.

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