Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Isle of Skye

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Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

There are twa bonnie maidens, and three bonnie maidens
Come owre the Minch, come owre the main
With the wind for their way and the corry for their hame
They are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

Come along, come along wi' your boatie and your song
My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids
For the night it is dark, the Redcoat is gone
And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

There is Flora, my honey, sae dear, sae bonnie
And ane, that's sae tall, sae handsome and all
Put the one for my king and the other for my queen
They are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

Come along, come along wi' your boatie and your song
My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids
For the Lady Macoulain, she dwelleth all her lane
And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

Her arm it is long and her petticoat is strong
My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids
The sea moullit's nest I will watch o'er the main
And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

Come along, come along wi' your boatie and your song
My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids
And saft shall ye rest where the heather grows best
And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

There's a wind in the tree, a ship on the sea
My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids
Your cradle I'll rock on the lea of the rock
And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

Come along, come along wi' your boatie and your song
My ain bonnie maids, my twa bonnie maids
Mair sound shall ye sleep as she sail o'er the deep
And ye are dearly welcome back to Skye once again

Written by James Hogg (1770-1835), recorded by The Corries on 'A Little of What
You Fancy' in 1973
[?:] This Jacobite song narrates the adventures of Prince Charles Edward Stewart
 [sic!] and Flora MacDonald during the wanderings of the Prince in Skye. (Songs
of Scotland I, p 40)
[1972:] [Charles's] flight was a desperate business; he was an embarrassment to
the chiefs into whose lands he came; only reluctantly did Flora Macdonald, whose
 father was with the government forces, convey him to Skye [...]. (Mackie, Histo
ry of Scotland 275)
[1975:] Charles [...] took leave of his preserver. Flora [...] says nothing of a
ny emotional scene on this occasion - in striking contrast to the accounts given
 by several of the Prince's male companions on the occasion of their parting wit
h him: we remember, for example, O'Sullivan's loud weeping and long embrace. Flo
ra was a hard-headed and highly competent young woman who managed her part of th
e affair very successful
f the revolt of the American colonies. (David Daiches, Charles Edward Stuart 227
)
[1986:] The Twa Bonnie Maidens were Flora McDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie, wh
o was disguised as her serving woman 'Betty' in order to escape the Redcoats, i.
e. soldiers. (Conway, 100 Songs 86)
[1991:] Flora MacDonald was a native of South Uist, the daughter of a leading me
mber of the MacDonald clan. June of 1746 found her at her brother's farm, in cha
rge of the cattle at their summer upland grazing. She was just 24 years old. Her
 involvement came through her cousin, Neil MacEachern MacDonald, who was with th
e fugitive, and her stepfather, Hugh MacDonald - who although he was a captain o
n the government side, had no desire to see the Stuart prince caught. On the nig
ht of the 20th of June, Neil came to Flora with a proposal; that she take the pr
ince, disguised as her maidservant, to the island of Skye. Despite the risks, Fl
ora agreed. On the 28th, with Neil, four oarsmen, and Charles Edward Stuart disg
uised in pett
the British throne - and with that glib assurance she and her prince parted comp
any. Charles Edward Stuart finally landed on the safe soil of France on the 20th
 of September that same year - and proceeded to reward those who had risked life
 and limb for him by spending the rest of his days within easy reach of the bran
dy bottle. But for Flora it was not so easy; word of the deed got out, and she w
as arrested. If she had been just another grim highlander, doubtless she would h
ave been given no mercy by the Hanoverian courts, but her youth and beauty catap
ulted her to instant celebrity. The legends around her grew. King George's son,
Frederick, Prince of Wales, is said to have visited her - and to have been told
that, had he been in distress like Prince Charles, she would have done the same
for him. True or not, the story is indicative of the grip she had on the popular
 imagination - the government did not dare try her case; when the amnesty came f
or most of the Jacobites in 1747, Flora was included.

SKW
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