The Skye Boat Song

The Skye Boat Song TAB

This Banjo TAB for The Skye Boat song is written for the Beginner Banjo player in mind.  It does move around the neck a good bit.  However, it’s in a slow enough time that you have plenty of time to move from chord shape to chord shape.


The Skye Boat song is Scottish in origin and details the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his escape to the Isle of Skye.  Lyrics to the tune were composed somewhere around the late 1800’s.  Recently, this song was made famous in the TV series Outlander



The structure is basically AABB like your standard binary form tune, repeating each section twice.  The 2nd time through the A section you have a slight variation. You’ll notice where in the attached jpg file, I notified you on the B section where the repeat was.  No sense in memorizing more than you must.

At the same time, I must tell you-this is a FOLK SONG.  I about drove my self nuts trying to figure what are THE CHORDS.  The answer-there isn’t a definite version.  Every version I heard had different harmonies.  Some play E minors in spots, some play G majors.  Hence, while I have listed options in a few places.

Here’s a FREE Chord Chart for The Skye Boat Song

Please understand these chords change depending on the version you listen to.  It’s a folk song, hence the tradition.  Many have C major or D major instead of Aminor.

chord chart for skye boat song

Page 2 of Skye boat song chord chart

Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in 6 different countries. All things Banjo and Acoustic Guitar.