Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
Australia 1966
#6 Sydney #9 Melbourne #9 Brisbane #3 Adelaide

An upbeat r&b arrangement of the old music teachers' favourite, somewhat reminiscent of the Tom Jones version (below). Single on Perth, Western Australia, label Clarion, by Perth band. Vocals by Glen Ingram.

Double-sided hit in Perth with Long Time Gone (vocals by Terry Walker, also the composer). Co-charted in Sydney with version by New Zealand band Peter Nelson & the Castaways.

The Hi-Fives' other lead vocalist, Terry Walker, heard on the B-side, Long Time Gone, was later heard on Pastoral Symphony's Love Machine and The Strangers' Happy Without You.

Skye Boat Song was also recorded by Australian singer Sandy Scott (arr. Joye) on album Sandy Scott... Live! (1969)

Reference: Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of AustralianRock and Pop.
Thanks to Geoff Wood for correction and clarification.
Suggestion from Terry Stacey.
Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
New Zealand 1966
#6 Sydney

Single on HMV label by Christchurch band, later known simply as The Castaways. Listen at MPH.

Co-charted in Sydney with version by Glen Ingram & the Hi-Five.

Bruce Sergent's NZ music site notes that this was The Castaways' last single released in New Zealand before leaving for Australia where they stayed 1966-68. See also Baby Can I Take You Home (1965).

Also recorded by New Zealand band Larry's Rebels on album Study In Black (1967).

Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
UK 1965
Influential version

On 1965 Decca album Along Came Jones.

Elements of the vocal styling and arrangement appear to have been taken on board by some of the locals YouTube. Tom Jones performed it in Australia in 1965. 

Thanks to David Murr and Chas Lane for version alert.

Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)

1963 or 64

Album track on Star Club Time Mit Kingsize Taylor & The Dominos on Ariola label (Germany). Now also on Bear Family CD set Die Ariola Star-Club [Amazon], presumably the same track.

Merseyside group formed in 1957 who often worked in Europe, including Hamburg where Ted "Kingsize" Taylor hometaped The Beatles at the Star Club. Cilla Black often appeared as vocalist with the Dominoes.

See also: Stupidity.

Thanks to Terry Stacey for version alert.
Further reading: More details of the band at British Beat Boom.

Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
New Zealand 1962

Single on Lexian label.

Instrumental version in the style of the Shadows, conceived and arranged by the 17-year-old guitarist Rod Stone, future member of top New Zealand band The Librettos. After relocating to Australia with The Librettos, Rod Stone joined Normie Rowe's band The Playboys, bound for London (see Normie Rowe's Ooh La La). Rod was later guitarist with popular Australian band The Groove. See Rod's biography at his website.

You can hear an excerpt from this version playing in the background if you go to this page at Rod Stone's website.

Thanks to Rod Stone for background and to Bill Casey for version alert.

Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
UK 1884
Original version: published work

Lyrics by Sir Harold Boulton, Bart., melody by Miss Annie MacLeod based in part on a traditional sea shanty or rowing measure, original arrangement by Malcolm Lawson.

Published in Songs of the North by Boulton and MacLeod, London, 1884. See 1997 discussion at

The song is about the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Isle of Skye after his defeat on Culloden Moor in 1746. See, for example, notes at the Contemplator website of Lesley Nelson.

Later versions:

Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
UK 1975
Later version
#39 Adelaide

B-side instrumental to Rod Stewart's Skye Boat Song.

Thanks to Duck for clarification via Usenet.
Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
UK 1983
Later version

Instrumental verson in a classical vein by Steve Hackett, former Genesis guitarist, on the 1983 album Bay Of Kings (reviewed by Robin Platts at All Music Guide).

Thanks to Matt West.
Skye Boat Song
(Harold Boulton - Annie MacLeod)
UK 1986
Later version
#10 UK

Kenyan-born balladeer/whistler teams up with British song and dance man/TV personality.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.