The Skye Boat Song

Album: various (1875)

Songfacts®:

  • "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.

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