The Skye Boat Song is a traditional Scottish song. It tells the story of the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Isle of Skye after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. He traveled in disguise with the help of Flora McDonald.

The song begins with the chorus. Each verse is then sung with the chorus between. Here are the lyrics:

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

Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,

Thunderclaps rend the air;

Baffled, our foes stand by the shore,

Follow they will not dare.

Repeat Chorus

To play the song on the piano you are going to use the range of one octave (8 notes). The lowest note is G and the highest note is G. Place both thumbs on Middle C. The right hand will cover the notes Middle C, D, E, F and G. The left hand will cover the notes directly below Middle C. They will be B, A and G. To help distinguish the right and left notes, the left hand notes will be written in lower case. So the B, A and G will be written as b, a and g.

The song begins in the left hand. Here are the notes of the Skye Boat Song:

Chorus

g a g C, C C D E D G

E D E a a g

g a g C, C D E D G

E D E a a g

Verse

E C E E, D b D D,

C a C C C a

E C E E, D b D D,

C a C C C a g

Repeat Chorus

Source by Andrea Monk