Skye Boat Song

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 on the shore,
Follow they will not dare.

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.

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

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

Lyrics by Sir Harold Boulton, Bart., 1884. The first half of the tune is said to be an old sea shanty; the other half is traditionally attributed to Annie MacLeod.

Sound file created by Lesley Nelson-Burns,

This page is maintained by Noel S. McFerran ( and was last updated October 25, 2003.
© Noel S. McFerran 1997-2003.