Twa Bonnie Maidens
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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The words to Twa Bonnie Maidens were published by James Hogg in Jacobite Relics, Volume II (1819) as Prince Charles and Flora Macdonald's Welcome to Sky. Hogg took the words down from Mrs. Betty Cameron from Lochaber. It was originally in Gaelic. The tune is George Brabazon (Second Air), which is attributed to Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). The song is also known as Isle of Skye.

The two maidens referred to are Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald. Charles Edward Stewart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), the Young Pretender, was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland on Culloden Moor in 1746. Aided by Flora MacDonald, Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to the island of Skye. He was later taken by a French vessel to Morlaix on the coast of Bretagne.

For a complete list of Jacobite tunes at this site go to The Contemplator's Short History of the Jacobite Uprisings.

There were twa bonnie maidens, and three bonnie maidens,
Cam' owre the Minch, and cam' owre the main,
Wi' the wind for their way and the corry for their hame,
And they're dearly welcome to Skye again.
Come alang, come alang, wi' your boatie and your song,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maids!
For the nicht, it is dark, and the redcoat is gane,
And ye are dearly welcome to Skye again.


There is Flora, my honey, sae dear and sae bonnie,
And ane that's sae tall, and handsome withal.
Put the ane for my king and the other for my queen
And they're dearly welcome to Skye again.
Come alang, come alang, wi' your boatie and your song,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maids!
For the Lady Macoulain she dwelleth in her lane,
And she'll welcome you dearly to Skye again.


Her arm it is strong, and her petticoat is long,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maidens,
The sea moullit's nest I will watch o'er the main,
And ye are bravely welcome to Skye again.
Come alang, come alang, wi' your boatie and your song,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maids!
And saft sall ye rest where the heather it grows best.
And ye are dearly welcome to Skye again.


There's a wind on the tree, and a ship on the sea,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maids!
Your cradle I'll rock on the lea of the rock,
And ye'll aye be welcome to Skye again.
Come alang, come alang, wi' your boatie and your song,
My ain bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maids!
Mair sound sall ye sleep as ye rock o'er the deep,
And ye'll aye be welcome to Skye again.



Related Links
From Songs of Scotland, Vol. II
See Bibliography for full information.
Also from The Mudcat Cafe.