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Designed and hand-printed just for you by Barrow Bookstore of Concord, this "Sing Me A Song of A Lad That Is Gone" is tea towel sails straight from history and the pen of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson.


On April 16, 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie made a final effort to reclaim the throne of Scotland that had been stolen from his father, James Francis Edward Stuart, son of King James II and VII of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Supporters of James Stuart were called "Jacobites" (for "Jacob" the Latin version of "James"). Amassing on Culloden Moor, the Jacobites led a charge against King George II's army. A disastrous battle unfolded and the Jacobites were all but obliterated. Bonnie Prince Charlie fled the field, making his way from Culloden south-west across Scotland to the coast where, as legend shares, he was picked up in a rowboat by Flora MacDonald of the Isle of Skye. In Flora's boat, Bonnie Prince Charlie was rowed past the Isles of Mull, Eigg, and Rum, and North to the Isle of Skye.


His leaving of Scotland symbolized the end of the Jacobite cause and the old ways of the Highland clans and Scottish autonomy. Permanent English rule began.


Over time, the Bonnie Prince's flight inspired a poem called "The Skye Boat Song". The poem was set to music in the 1800s and became popular. However, Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson did not feel the commonly known Skye Boat Song did full justice to the moment in history. Stevenson decided to write his own version, also setting his poem to the well-known Skye Boat song tune. Stevenson's "Sing Me A Song Of A Lad That Is Gone" reflects the deep grief and lasting loss experienced by the Jacobites and people of Scotland following the Battle of Culloden. In Stevenson's versions, Bonnie Prince Charlie represents every person and the old Scottish culture and pride, and how it left the shores of Scotland that April 16th day as Bonnie Prince Charlie sailed away to Skye. "Sing me a song of a lad that is gone, say could that lad be I? All is good, all that is fair, all that is me is gone."


Stevenson's version of The Skye Boat Song is today used as the theme song for the Starz TV Show "Outlander" based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon. In the TV show, the word "she" is substituted for "he"; otherwise, the theme song is verbatim from Stevenson's poem.


Printed on a cotton base, this tea towel is ~18" x 24" and has a hanging loop sewn into the top corner.

Dark blue ink reflects the color of the ocean waters on the way to Skye.

Handprinted, each tea towel may vary slightly in appearance and is made with care just for you.



Tea Towel: Sing Me a Song of a Lad That is Gone (Skye Boat Song)

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