The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94755   Message #1836544
Posted By: GUEST,Tom Bliss
17-Sep-06 - 07:10 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Skye Boat Song confusion
Subject: Lyr Add: SKYE BOAT SONG (Sir Harold Boulton, Bart.
I just thought I'd check the lyrics and found these by Sir Harold Boulton Bart (1884):

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,
Thunder clouds rend the air;
Baffled our foe's stand on the shore
Follow they will not dare

Speed bonnie boat....

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

Speed bonnie boat....

Many's the lad fought on that day
Well the claymore could wield
When the night came, silently lay
Dead on Culloden's field

Speed bonnie boat...

Burned are our homes, exile and death
Scatter the loyal men
Yet, e'er the sword cool in the sheath,
Charlie will come again.

Speed bonnie boat...

It suggests the first half of the tune trad is a shanty, and the second half (only) by Annie McLeod.

But as a child visiting my Grandmother at Broadford we always sang on the ferry:

Mull was astern, Rum on the port,
Eigg on the starboard bow;
Glory of youth glowed in his soul;
Where is that glory now?

With the chorus above.

So I searched for that and found this by Robert Louis Stevenson:

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

Mull was astern, Rum was on port
Eigg on the starboard bow
Glory of youth glowed in his soul
Where is that glory now?

Sing me song...

Give me again all that was there
Give me the sun that shone
Give me the eyes, give me the soul
Give me the lad that's gone

Sing me song...

Billow and breeze, islands and seas
Mountains of rain and sun
All that was good, all that was fair
All that was me is gone

Sing me song...

And this attributes ALL of the tune to Annie McLeod.

Which came first, does anyone know? And how much of the tune is trad? And when was Annie's contribution made in relation to the two sets of lyrics?