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The Skye Boat Song

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Written by Catriona Stevenson

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.

Now on our tours, we often have our guests advise us how amazing the theme tune for Outlander is. Now this is true and Bear McCreary has done both the song and the show justice BUT did you know that the song, named the “Skye Boat Song” is an ancient Scottish Ballad?

It is so well known in Scotland that we often learn the tune in school on the recorder which I demonstrate in the video below. I must apologise that the recorder is a terrible sounding instrument or at least I am terrible at playing it. I learned this back when I was about 12 years old and it is still sitting in my head.

The History of the Song:

It is a song based on the rescue and assistance to get Bonnie Prince Charlie out of mainland Scotland to the Isle of Skye after the Jacobite defeat at Culloden.

Here is my favourite version of the song by the wonderful Corries:

Isle of Skye Tour

3 nights / 4 days tour of Skye and the Scottish Highlands

Escape the city and join us on this magical tour to the land of the faeries, passing through some of the most majestic scenery in the whole of Scotland.

Isle of Skye Tour

Escape the city and join us on this magical tour to the land of the faeries, passing through some of the most majestic scenery in the whole of Scotland.