Heritage and Culture

The Skye Boat Song

By Sophie

Take a look at the Skye Boat Song, which tells the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie's escape to Skye after the Jacobite rebellion. On the 28th June 1746, Flora MacDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie set off in a boat to smuggle him over the sea to Skye. Dressed as a spinning maid, this was his only option to escape his capture by the British Government.

"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.
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 their homes, exile and death
Scatter the loyal men;
Yet ere the sword cool in the sheath
Charlie will come again."