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Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme

DigiTrad:
BRAES OF BALQUIDDER
FLOWERS OF PEACE
GO, LASSIE, GO
HIGHLANDS OF HEAVEN
PEGGY ALISON
THE BRAES OF BELQUETHER
THE FAIR O' BALAMINNA
THE WILD MOUNTING TIME
WILD MOUNTAIN THYME


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Wild Mountain Thyme/Braes o' Balquhidder (38)
wild mountain thyme (30)
Chord Req: Braes o Balquhidder (47)
Wild mountain thyme (63)
Lyr Req: Fourth verse for Wild Mountain Thyme (41)
Lyr/Chords Req: Wild Mountain Thyme (43)
(origins) Origins: And Holy Is His Name (12)
(origins) Origin: Wild Mountain Thyme (56)
Lyr/Chords Req: Wild Mountain Thyme (6)
Name that tune? (16)
Lyr Req: Go, Lassie, Go (15)
Lyr Add: Braes o' Balquidder (27)
Wild Mountain Thyme as Tuvan throat (9)
Tablature needed for Wild Mountain Thyme (7)
Chords Req: Go Lassie Go (4)
Mrs Pavane sings Wild Mountain Thyme (7)
Lyr Req: woman pulling wild mountain thyme (17)
Lyr Req: Will ye go Lassie, go. OTHER PARODY (13)
Lyr Req: Will ya go lassie go. (19)
Lyr/Chords Req: wild moutain thyme (7)
Lyr Req: Wild Mountain Thyme / Braes o' Balquidder (8)
Lyr Add: Braes o' Balquither (13)
Lyr Add: Wild Mountain Thyme--Variation (32)
Lyr/Tune Req: Wild Mountain Thyme (17)
we'll all go together,neath bloomi'n heather (9)
Scottish poem on which Wild Mtn.Thyme based? (3)
source req: Wild Mtn. Thyme (4)
Wild Mtn. Thyme print source (1)


MikeofNorthumbria 16 Apr 10 - 02:29 PM
buddhuu 15 Apr 10 - 03:07 PM
Tootler 15 Apr 10 - 02:26 PM
John MacKenzie 15 Apr 10 - 11:06 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 15 Apr 10 - 10:48 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Apr 10 - 12:12 AM
Tootler 14 Apr 10 - 05:57 PM
Jim McLean 14 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Apr 10 - 12:07 PM
Dave Roberts 14 Apr 10 - 11:17 AM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Apr 10 - 11:05 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Apr 10 - 10:19 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Apr 10 - 09:55 AM
Tootler 14 Apr 10 - 09:01 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Apr 10 - 08:31 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Apr 10 - 08:29 AM
buddhuu 14 Apr 10 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,machree01 08 Jul 08 - 08:37 AM
Mr Red 08 Jul 08 - 08:14 AM
MMario 08 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM
Mr Happy 08 Jul 08 - 06:48 AM
Phil Edwards 07 Jul 08 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,jo 06 Jul 08 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,rico [guest] 06 Jul 08 - 05:38 AM
Tattie Bogle 07 Apr 08 - 08:17 PM
Don Firth 06 Apr 08 - 01:41 PM
mike gouthro 06 Apr 08 - 01:26 PM
goatfell 06 Apr 08 - 11:17 AM
Jim McLean 06 Apr 08 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM
Joybell 05 Apr 08 - 07:04 PM
eddie1 04 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM
Fliss 03 Apr 08 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 02 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM
PoppaGator 02 Apr 08 - 02:11 PM
Santa 02 Apr 08 - 01:31 PM
Lady Constance 02 Apr 08 - 11:14 AM
Big Tim 02 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM
Rumncoke 02 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM
Flash Company 02 Apr 08 - 10:20 AM
Jim McLean 02 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM
Jim McLean 02 Apr 08 - 04:24 AM
Big Tim 02 Apr 08 - 03:43 AM
Joybell 01 Apr 08 - 05:19 PM
Peace 01 Apr 08 - 04:37 PM
Big Tim 01 Apr 08 - 04:35 PM
Big Tim 01 Apr 08 - 12:06 PM
Mr Happy 01 Apr 08 - 08:57 AM
Jim McLean 01 Apr 08 - 08:31 AM
Big Tim 01 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 02:29 PM

"April is the cruellest month, breeding        
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing        
Memory and desire, stirring        
Dull roots with spring rain. ..."

"Oh, when I was young and easy
In the mercy of his means
Time held me green and dying,
Though I sang in my chains like the sea."

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity..."

Those don't rhyme either, but they're poetry right enough.

For poets and songsmiths rhyme is a resource, not an obligation. If the poem/song works for its intended audience, then whether it rhymes or not matters little. Despite the missing rhyme in verse one, the MacPeake version of WMT has lifted the hearts and voices of audiences for many years, and long may it continue to do so.

Other versions or variants also have their devotees, and good luck to them. Scholars may debate which version of text or tune is the 'original' one, if they wish, but no Central Committee of the Folk Party has the power to decide which is the 'correct' version for singing.

Wassail!

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: buddhuu
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 03:07 PM

Did anyone say that verse had to, or even should, rhyme?

In the specific case of WMT the other verses set a bit of a pattern that makes the lone non-rhymer seem, to some of us, a little curious.

Nothing wrong with non-rhyming verse in poetry or song.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 02:26 PM

There is an excellent precedent for verse that doesn't rhyme. Shakespeare wrote his plays in verse, but the verse doesn't rhyme.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 11:06 AM

Deportees doesn't rhyme


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 10:48 AM

Returning to the matter of rhyming (and assonance, alliteration &c), in one of his Commonplace Books - I think the First, kept when he was in his early twenties - Burns considers this and, as far as I recall, wonders whether "some poet with a particularly nice ear might make a song which dispensed with rhyme entirely". I think the phrase "sameness of jingle" occurs, too; perhaps someone with access to a published copy could give the passage more accurately?


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 12:12 AM

Indeed, Geoff: I have often wondered about the Coppers' ©-ing of their family versions. I don't know if they get much in way of royalties via PFS, & I am sure they don't strictly police clubnites &c to make sure their 'work' is not being sung without authorisation and so on. Not sure of legal position whatever.

We know that Jon Dudley reads this site and sometimes comments regarding Copper matters. Perhaps he will come across this and have something to say?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 05:57 PM

MtheMG,

Leaving aside my original comment which was not meant to be too serious, you have touched on an important point.

You refer to the Coppers' versions of the songs they sing as "(c)Coppersongs" which touches on the issue of what copyright they are entitled to? I suspect their attribution should be "Trad arr. Coppersongs" or something similar. Are there versions sufficiently different for a copyright to stand up and so make them truly "their songs"? I don't know the answer and I suspect that if you asked the lawyers you may well get as many different answers as the number of lawyers you asked.

In the meantime, we will all sing the versions we individually prefer and that is how it should be.

Geoff

PS. I don't think I've put that very well but I hope you get my drift. G


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Jim McLean
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 01:54 PM

Jeannie Robertson's song comprises the first verse of Hugh McWilliam's Lass Among the Heather and the second verse of Tannahill's Braes o' Balquhither.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 12:07 PM

Indeed, Dave. This thread has been in danger thruout of becoming one of those chimerical searches for a 'correct' or 'definitive' version: we, of all people should know, that when it comes to tradition there ain't no such animal: and which is the 'best' version can only ever be a question of taste. So what's not to like about loving both [or all] versions?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 11:17 AM

I can't make up my mind. I like the non-rhyming version and the rhyming version.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 11:05 AM

If the rules abouit poetry were that natural and eternal, we'd not be rhyming nowadays but still using assonance and alliteration.

Ayway, here's another version from the tradition:

THE FAIR O' BALNAFANNAN

I was come from a fair,
From the fair o' Balnafannan,
When I met a winsome dame,
She was as fair as the Annan,
I asked her where she dwelt
As we strode along together
On the bonny mountain side.
She replied "amang the heather".

I will build you a bower
Down by yon clear fountain,
And I'll cover it a' o'er
Wi' the floo'ers o' the mountain;
I'll range the mountain side
And the dark glen so weary,
And I'll bring home my spoils
To the bower o' my deary.

As sung by Jeannie Robertson as "The Braes o' Balquidder" on Collector 10" LP JFS4001, "Lord Donald".


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 10:19 AM

Taking my parenthesis above as a basis, I have started a new BS thread about the difference between 'pedantry' & 'accuracy'.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:55 AM

Not too sure about that, Tootler. Of course there are other versions of all the Copper Family songs; but you must remember that the versions they sing are actually "(c) Coppersongs". If one is singing a version learned from them, which they would sing from Jim's Book ~~ or perhaps Brasser's before him ~~ then one is singing one of 'their' songs, however it may be that other traditional singers have sung different variants. I can appreciate where this may be regarded as a debatable point: but, from the point of view of accuracy [& I have still to come across a valid argument as to the difference between the pejorative 'pedantry' & the essential watchword & principle that 'accuracy matters'], I still think I was justified in writing that "it's their song".


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Tootler
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 09:01 AM

But that is not how the Coppers sing it so I always sing it the way they do ~~ it's their song.

Since you take great pride in being pedantic, I'll indulge in a little myself. It's not their song at all, it's a traditional song and they no more own it than you or I do. Agreed it's the version they sing and you may like to stick to that version which is fair enough.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 08:31 AM

... sorry, that should of course have read 'end of line 3'


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 08:29 AM

A comparison might be drawn here to the Coppers' Sweet Lovely Nancy, stanza 2:

When I am far across the sea
And you know not where I am
Kind letters I will write to you
From every foreign land

I have known singers who used 'thee' instead of 'you' at end of line 2, thus getting an extra rhyme. But that is not how the Coppers sing it so I always sing it the way they do ~~ it's their song. But no harm really done by those who do emend it to 'thee' if it makes them feel more comfortable with it, surely?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: buddhuu
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 07:42 AM

Sorry to resurrect another oldie. Not trying to start (or revive) an argument, but I'd add my take, FWIW.

Firstly, I love the song in both rhyming and non-rhyming form. I have nothing against either, although I do have a preference.

I've always found the non-rhyming version, with its "Grows around the blooming heather" too repetitive to my ears: just a sprig too much blooming heather. I always preferred the "perfuming" version. I think it is valid. It certainly seems to make sense in light of various clues.

a) The rest of the verses approximately rhyme to the scheme that would allow "perfuming".

b) The "source" by Tannahill went:
An' the wild mountain thyme
A' the moorlands perfumin'


To me the question is not so much why should it have to rhyme as why should it not when the rhyme was in the "original" and works perfectly.

I have no objection to others singing it the other way, but I'll stick with "perfuming". It isn't in the least bit forced, it is natural and perfect and faithful to the source that inspired Mr McPeake.

If McPeake really did intend "Grows around the blooming heather", I find myself wondering why. The imagery is great, but for me personally it works slightly less well in the overall context of the song.

I have my asbestos drawers on.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:37 AM

Here is the Clancy Brothers singing Will Ye Go Lassie Go.

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=-BEl5hTNWh8


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:14 AM

Thyme, Rhyme

Pretty close for my calculations.

Anyway Rhyme is the punctuation of poetry and lyrics. The music has echoes and repeats, and choruses to do that anyway. There is a whle sub-genre called tone poems. Rhyme is just one more bullet and you can slay them in other ways. No sense in filling them with lead if you have already deaded them.

I personally like the occasional "rhyme refused", it has a certain humour if the word they all expect is rude and the first sounds let them think it will be that word, not to be overused though.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: MMario
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 08:01 AM

Rico - was that Baj? I remember she used to add a verse - but don't remember the words either.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Mr Happy
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 06:48 AM

.........so to rhyme he should have a 'hornet in his bornet'??


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 07 Jul 08 - 09:37 AM

There was an old a man from St. Bees
Who was stung on the arm by a wasp.
When they said, "Does it hurt?"
He said, "Not very much,
It's a good job it wasn't a hornet."

- W. S. Gilbert (after Edward Lear)


(quite a long way after)


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: GUEST,jo
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 09:47 AM

Heard Dylan's 'Hurricane' today. Rhyme thin. Still XLTE.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: GUEST,rico [guest]
Date: 06 Jul 08 - 05:38 AM

First, I'd like to say, "Wow." I did a quick google search to find a good link to the variant origins of this song - but never thought I'd hit such an interesting goldmine in one thread.

My personal experience and opinion is this:

Firstly, I was searching for this song because I worked for years at a renaissance faire; as many do, ours in Sterling, NY ended with this song - kind of a beautiful way to say "last call, folks." I remember it fondly and often. The troupe there sang it with the "bloomin' heather" line as well -- and I must say that it is that particular line that sticks in my head, which may relate to the next point:

As an amateur who has studied language and poetry, even I understand a few easy, strong points [:Dave] -- rules can be broken, and when they are, and done so gracefully, they are more powerful for it; in addition, a great deal of poetry and prose throughout the centuries has delicately wove its way between rhyme and un-rhyme, in the same piece; lastly, FORGET how YOU might pronounce it -- have you ANY idea how a 17th to 18th century balladeer, or peasant for that matter, would pronounce it?? Or how others assemble it?

When I was at the Faire, the queen would pause long (as most people I've heard sing this do...) on the word blooming right before heather, thus rhyming with the previous bloomin, and moving heather, memorably, nearly to it's own line in the stanza.

She also added a lovely verse that I wish I could remember fully -umm..

and we'll all raise our glasses
and [toast] the evening come

... {wish I could remember the second 2 lines..
... ...that's why I was looking in the first place... :) }

Point - it's creativity, intelligence & style, Dave. And not limiting yourself to rhyme, even -- or especially --when the 'rest' of your piece does rhyme, shows a true comprehension of the possibilities of the human voice -- and an insight into the different ways that the same sentence, or verse, can be read, or sung, by each of us just a wee bit differently than another.

Don't be afraid
of words that
don't rhyme, Dave.
Or don't, if you
aren't
list
en
ing.

( tell e e cummings he sucked. i dare you. he'll haunt yer ass :) )

Yessir that's me -- rico
rico@i8theworld.com


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 08:17 PM

Well it still seems strange that when the rest of the whole song DOES rhyme, there's this one line that DOESN'T in the most commonly sung version. I'll stick with "perfuming" if I'm doing it solo (but then you never are as everyone else expects "grows around the blooming heather")!
A friend just wrote a new song, sang it through to me: after she'd finished, said, "Did you notice it wan't it rhyme?" To be honest, I hadn't, tho' the words were excellent and really told a story! But I'd say, be consistent: either rhyme all the way through, or don't rhyme at all.
And I guess "Santa" has blocked (blacked?)sinuses from climbing dowm all those chimneys and can't smell the heather perfuming the moorlands?


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 01:41 PM

I've been singing "Wild Mountain Thyme" for fifty years now and I never noticed that it didn't rhyme. That never bothered me, and it doesn't bother me now that I see it pointed out.

I've seen a fair number of songs royally screwed up by someone (technically minded) trying to cram them into a rhyme scheme. Sometimes the unrhymed line evokes a vivid image that you lose when the word or words are changed to make it rhyme. All too often, wrenching the words around to make them rhyme replaces the image and / or the general flow of the song with something pedestrian and awkward.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: mike gouthro
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 01:26 PM

I have no comment about the rhyme scheme but I do have a vivid memory of hearing the song for the first time. I'm almost certain that Peace (Bruce Murdoch) did a powerful open D or D modal version of this song in his sets circa 1965 - 1967. It was one of his big numbers along with Love One Another and Walking Down The Line.

Bruce, is my memory deceiving me?


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: goatfell
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 11:17 AM

WHO CARES IT'S A LOVELY SONG


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Jim McLean
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 10:28 AM

I think it should be emphasised that The Wild Mountain Thyme is a modern song based on old lyrics. The verse that 'doesn't rhyme' is madeup from parts of two different verses and is just the way the McPeake's decided to sing it.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Apr 08 - 10:01 AM

I don't believe anybody has mentioned this possibility - that thanks to 'the rainbow of British vowels' the song used to rhyme.

I can't say for sure, but I believe there were times or places when 'coming' and 'blooming' were similar words.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Joybell
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:04 PM

I am a McGonagal groupie. Thanks, Eddie and Guest of 31st. Quite right too.
I start each day with one of his masterpieces.
They get delivered to my email box thrice weekly. On the in-between days I re-read yesterday's again.
I've never seen a no-rhyme one.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: eddie1
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 05:30 AM

Like Guest of 31 Mar, I am puzzled by references to McGonagall! He went to tortuous lengths to ensure his poems always rhymed. Note the following:

The Tay Bridge Disaster
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clods seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say-
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."


When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."


But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.


So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.


So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.


As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.


It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

Love the rhyming of "Edinburgh" and "sorrow"!

As for "Wild Mountain Thyme", it's a beautiful song. If it has to rhyme for you, then rhyme it, if not, sing it the way you always have.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Fliss
Date: 03 Apr 08 - 02:00 PM

Rod Stewart version is 'purple heather', perhaps he thought 'blooming' was a swear word:)!!


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM

'And anyway, copyright laws didn't stop Dylan! '

Unfortunately they haven't stopped a good number of people, but, yes, Dylan is the best example

Charlotte (the continuing view from Ma and Pa's piano stool)


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 02:11 PM

If a song is good enough (don't ask me to define what might make a song "good"!), it can lack rhyme without the listener even noticing that anything is amiss. I think that is true of "WMT" and a few other classics mentioned above.

One outstanding and well-known lyric that has no rhymes at all is Woody Guthrie's "Deportee." I knew this song for years, and sang it regularly for a while, without taking conscious note of its lack of rhymes. It's only upon re-learning it within the last year that I noticed. Maybe that's because I learned it the first time strictly by listening and repeating, whereas the second time around I printed the lyrics from the internet and read them off a page.

Another thing I learned about "Deportee" only recently is that Woody never put it to music, or at least that he didn't write the currently-known melody. I think it's even more remarkable that such a "folk poem" NOT set to music would feature a very regular meter, readily adaptable to song form, but no rhymes.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Santa
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 01:31 PM

It doesn't rhyme when sung as a closer in folk clubs because people drag it out so slowly they've forgotten what the previous lines ended with.

I must agree that the "perfuming" line sounds horribly forced: it is pretty poor English and distorting English for the sake of rhyme is not good poetry or song. Now people will produce a long list of perfectly good traditional songs that do just that..........


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Lady Constance
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:14 AM

Galway Races - recreation and nation? The rest is assonance. I never noticed it didn't rhyme.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Big Tim
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM

Jim, I'm glad you class T's song as a more or less independent one. I wouldn't like to see him robbed after two centuries.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Rumncoke
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 10:38 AM

I sing the Braes of Balquhidder to an Irish tune with the chorus 'will you come to the Bower' but I don't know the title or the rest of the words, or I won't until I hear the original again and then only for an hour or so.

These days my memory is so bad that I'd never notice if a song rhymed or not.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Flash Company
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 10:20 AM

I always sang.....
And the wild mountain thyme,
All the valley is perfuming,

I used to get told off by purists!

Knew one guy who put in an extra verse, (Try it)

Well it's one for the money,
And it's two for the show,
And it's three to get ready,
Then go lassie go,
Will you go lassie go.......

FC


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM

And anyway, copyright laws didn't stop Dylan!


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 04:24 AM

Big Tim, I think if you compare Tannahill's song to Hamilton's it stands up to being an original song in its own right. He didn't even parody Hamilton's lyrics as Dylan did with various songs nor did he chose the same melody. It wasn't until after his death that Smith set it to a similar melody to Hamilton's (who copied Burns' melody). Got to go out now but will check back later.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Big Tim
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 03:43 AM

Very sad to think that Tannahill committed suicide mainly because he couldn't get his second poetry collection published. A tragic example of 'the poet and the painter far behind his rightful time' (Bob Dylan).

Mind you, could he have written his version of Braes if copyright had existed at the time?


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Joybell
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:19 PM

Another aside set in the same season and devoid of rhyme - (There's a hint of rhyme of course, but nothing serious)

In the Summertime when all the trees and leaves are green
and the red bird sings I'll be blue
'cause you don't want my love
"Some other time" that's what you say when I want you
Then you laugh at me and make me cry
'cause you don't want my love.
                                  Roger Miller

He was good. Love this song.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:37 PM

I am in awe.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Big Tim
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 04:35 PM

Oops!


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Big Tim
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 12:06 PM

This is a selection of various recordings of various versions, taken from Wikipedia.
Francis McPeake - for the BBC series As I Roved Out (1957)                                                          Sandy Paton - Many Sides of Sandy Paton (1959)                                                            The McPeake Family - McPeake Family of Belfast (1961)                                                            Bob Dylan- The Minnesota tapes                                                                Jean Redpath                                                                                                                               The Chieftans                                                                                                                            Judy Collins - Maid of Constant Sorrow (1961)                                                               The Clancy Brothers - The Boys Won't Leave the Girls Alone (1962)                                                          Paul Clayton (1964)                                                               Joan Baez – Farewell Angelina (1965)                                                               The Byrds - 5th Dimension                                                            The Corries - The Corries: In Concert                                                             The Strawbs - as 'Will You Go'                                                                  Van Morrison- as 'Purple Heather'                                                             Rod Stewart - as "Purple Heather"                                                             James Taylor                                                               Kate Rusby - as 'Blooming Heather'                                                             Lucy Wainwright Roche - 8 Seconds (2007)


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 08:57 AM

Coincidentally, this song was discussed at a sessh recently, someone commenting that their schoolchild's songbook seemed 'dumbed down' as it had 'I will build my love a ' tower ' !! instead of 'bower' - the teacher's expanation being that 'bower' could confuse the kids!


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Jim McLean
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 08:31 AM

Big Tim, The Tannahill Weaver's sing the standard (see Norrie Buchan's 101 Scottisg Songs) first part of the tune which most people know. It's the second part where they fudge the octave jump that is different slightly. Also their pronunciation is comletely haywire.


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Subject: RE: Wild Mountain Thyme - Why doesn't it rhyme
From: Big Tim
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:55 AM

I think the McPeake version is 'more singable' simply because it is better known, thanks largely to the Clancy Brothers. Personally I prefer the Tannahill Weavers version, 'Braes' not 'Lassie.' (Sorry Jim, I know you weren't very impressed by their recording). However. you can't sing this version if you have never heard it, which many people haven't.


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