3:30 | SATB with Tenor Solo | Score

Program Note

The Skye Boat Song is a Scottish folk song that tells the story of how Prince Charlie escaped from a defeat in battle by disguising himself as a serving maid and sailing away on a boat. The lyrics describe the aftermath of his defeat in battle and refer to the Claymore, which is a Scottish sword, and Culloden’s Field, the battlefield where Prince Charlie’s defeat occurred in 1746.

Commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and Nova Vocal Ensemble, this arrangement reharmonizes the traditional folk song with a contemporary twist and features an SATB choir and featured Tenor solo. This arrangement would work well for any a cappella high school, college, or community choir looking for modern arrangements of traditional folk songs.

Text

Chorus

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.

 

Verse 1

Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,

Thunderclouds rend the air;

Baffled, our foes stand by the shore,

Follow they will not dare.

 

Chorus

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.

 

Verse 2

Many’s the lad fought on that day,

Well the Claymore could wield,

When the night came, silently lay

Dead on Culloden’s field.

 

Chorus

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.

 

Verse 3

Burned are their homes, exile and death

Scatter the loyal men;

Yet ere the sword cool in the sheath

Charlie will come again.

 

Final Chorus

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,

Say, could that lad be I?

Merry of soul he sailed on a day

Over the sea to Skye.