Melody: The Skye Boat Song
(Duration: 2:59) [Artist: Unknown]
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.
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.
Many's the lad
Fought on that day,
Well the claymor could wield,
When the night came,
Dead in Collodens field.
Burned are our homes,
Exile and death,
Scattered the loyal man.
Yet ere the sword,
Cool in the sheath,
Charlie will come again.
Commemorating his escape from these shores when Flora Macdonald took Bonnie
Prince Charlie, disguised as a serving. maid, from Uist to Skye in a small
boat. Flora is buried at Kilmuir on Skye. Prince Charlie near Rome where he was
Words by Sir Harold Boulton, Bart., 1884. Music by Annie MacLeod.
Charles Edward Stewart, the Young Pretender, was routed by the
Duke of Cumberland on Culloden Moor in 1745. Aided by a Jacobite
heroine, Flora MacDonald, Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to the
island of Skye in the inner Hebrides. He was finally taken by a
French vessel to Morlaix on the coast of Bretagne. The first
half of the tune is said to be an old sea shanty; the other half
is traditionally attributed to Miss MacLeod.