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The ‘Skye Boat Song’

By: Celtic Bard Jeff


"The Skye Boat Song" is a Scottish folk song, which can be played as a waltz, recalling the escape of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) from Uist to the Isle of Skye after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The song tells how Bonnie Prince Charlie, disguised as a serving maid, escaped in a small boat after the defeat of his Jacobite rising of 1745, with the aid of Flora MacDonald. The song is a traditional expression of Jacobitism and its story has also entered Scotland as a national legend. The song has been recorded by such notables as Roger Whitaker, Julian Lloyd Webber, and Rod Stewart. Bear McCreary adapted the song as the opening titles of the 2014 Outlander TV series, sung by Raya Yarbrough, changing the text of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem Sing Me a Song of a Lad That Is Gone to fit the story. ¹ Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing Onward the sailors cry Carry the lad that's 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 by the shore Follow they will not dare


Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing Onward the sailors cry Carry the lad that's born to be king Over the sea to Skye


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


Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing Onward the sailors cry Carry the lad that's born to be king Over the sea to Skye


Though the waves leap soft shall ye sleep Ocean's a royal bed Rock'd in the deep Flora will keep Watch o'er your weary head


Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing Onward the sailors cry Carry the lad that's born to be king Over the sea to Skye


Burned are our homes exile and death Scattered the loyal men Yet ere 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's born to be king Over the sea to Skye ²


Sources: ¹ Wikipedia; ² Songfacts

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