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Skye Boat Song

The Skye Boat Song, 3-5 octaves, level 3, 1998, AGEHR, AG35123
Massed ringing selection 4th Scottish Handbell Festival 1996 and 1st Canadian Handbell Festival 1998. Massed ringing selection 1999 HRGB National Residential Ringing Week, Dunblane. Massed ringing selection at International Handbell Symposium 2004 in Toronto. Music selected for Festival of Bells 2009, New Brunswick, Canada.

Traditional Scottish melody (for the song Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing) which has been set to the modern hymn Spirit of God as strong as the wind by Margaret Old and to the modern Christmas carol Hush little baby, peace little boy by Michael Perry.
Annie MacLeod (later Lady Wilson) heard the first part of this old Highland rowing tune in 1879 while being rowed from Torrin to Loch Coruisk in Skye. She added the second part herself and in 1884 Sir Harold Boulton (editor of "Songs of the North") wrote the words. They tell the story of an episode in the wanderings of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the winter of 1745-6 when he made his escape, disguised as a maid to Flora Macdonald, in a small rowing boat with a few loyal highlanders. A storm was rising and his pursuers chose not to follow

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