The Skye Boat Song

  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • "The Skye Boat Song" is one of the most famous of all Scottish folk songs. Like "Will Yae Ne'er Come Back Again?" it was inspired by the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie after the Battle of Cullloden in June 1746 with the assistance of Flora MacDonald. Dressed in drag, Prince Charles Edward Stuart fled from Uist to the Isle of Skye and thence to France. The original lyrics were written by Sir Harold Boulton; the melody is a traditional air. The author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote an alternative set of lyrics, which are probably better known.

    The song has been extremely widely recorded, not only by Scottish artists; Roger Whitaker whistled it in German! Instrumental versions have been equally popular over the years. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • Roger Whittaker and Des O'Connor recorded a duet version, which peaked at #10 on the UK singles chart in 1986. Their rendition combined O'Connor's vocals with Whittaker's whistling version, which had been part of his repertoire since the mid-1970s.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.