Skye Boat Song

This Scottish folksong, with words by Harold Boulton set to an air collected in the 1870’s by Anne MacLeod, recalls the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who disguised himself as a maid and journeyed from South Uist (Outer Hebrides) to the Isle of Skye in a small boat, following the Jacobites’ defeat at the battle of Culloden (1746).  The song is often sung as a lullaby, in a slow rocking 6/8 time.  In this arrangement, the final verse is marked loud, emphasizing the forcefulness of the text, which concludes with a sense of hope that Charlie will one day return.



Traditional Scottish – Arr. Nancy Litten
Text paraphrased by Harold Boulton