Skye Boat Song
Sir H. Boulton


Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing,
'Onward' the sailors cry!
Carry the lad that is born to be King,
Over the sea to Skye.

Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
Thunderclaps rend the air,
Baffled our foes stand on the shore,
Follow they will not dare.

Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing,
'Onward' the sailors cry!
Carry the lad that is born to be King,
Over the sea to Skye.

Though the waves leap, soft shall ye sleep,
Ocean's a royal bed;
Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep
Watch by your weary head.

Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing,
'Onward' the sailors cry!
Carry the lad that is born to be King,
Over the sea to Skye.

Many's the man fought on that day,
Well the claymore could wield,
When the night came, silently lay
Dead on Culloden's field.

Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing,
'Onward' the sailors cry!
Carry the lad that is born to be King,
Over the sea to Skye.

Burned are our homes, exile and death
Scatter the loyal men;
Yet, e'er the sword cool in the sheath,
Charlie will come again.

Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing,
'Onward' the sailors cry!
Carry the lad that is born to be King,
Over the sea to Skye.

Skye Boat Song
Robert Louis Stevenson


Sing me a song of the lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.

Mull was astem, Rum on the port,
Eigg on the starboard bow:
Glory of youth glowed in his soul:
Where is that glory now?

Sing me a song of the lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.
    
Give me again all that was there,
Give me the sun that shone,
Give me the eyes, give me the soul,
Give me the lad that's gone.
     
Sing me a song of the lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.

Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair
All that was me is gone.

Sing me a song of the lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.










Midi sequenced by Diego Gallarate
Used with permission

E-mail to: Diego Gallarate

Half of the tune is an old Gaelic sea-shanty noted down in 1879 by Miss A. MacLeod, who later became Lady Wilson. She herself added the other half of the tune. The usual words are those composed in 1884 by Sir Harold Boulton while the alternative version was composed by Robert Louis Stevenson. This song commemorates the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie from Scotland when Flora Macdonald took him, disguised as her serving maid, from Uist to Skye in a small boat after the Battle of Culloden. Although there was supposed to have been a romance between the two it did not last. Four years after Bonnie Prince Charlie went into exile Flora married her clansman, Macdonald of Kingsburgh. Flora later emigrated to the Carolinas in what is now the USA but is now buried at Kilmuir on the north coast of Skye. She died at the age of sixty-eight, two years after Prince Charlie. Prince Charlie is buried near Rome where he was born.

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