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Skye boat song lament (satbarb with piano)

by Ruth McCall

Skye boat song lament


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Skye boat song lament : for SSATBarB choir with piano / Ruth McCall.

Library shelf no. 782.5542/MCC 2 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

This song combines a fragment of the Latin Mass with the traditional Scottish folksong, The Skye Boat Song (otherwise known as Speed Bonnie Boat). The song is used as a metaphor for the current refugee crisis, as the singers yearn for the bonnie Prince Charles to return safely across the turbulant waters both physical and political, so to do they long for asylum seekers to find a place of safety. The Latin Mass text is a section of the Credo which refers to one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. This is likewise a picture of humanity going down and through troubled waters to rise up to renewal on the other side.

This work was written initially for the Song Company and Slava and Leonard Grigoryan on guitars in their "Ship to Shore" concert series. It was later adapted to be used on a music video as a protest against the treatment of asylum seekers in offshore detention centres. 170 musicians, including 9 choirs, came together to perform on the video.

Work Details

Instrumentation: SSATBarB choir, piano.

Duration: 3 min.

Difficulty: Medium — Singers need to be able to perform in 6-parts and sing in Latin.

This piece is also available with strings from the composer.


Skye boat song lament


Performances of this work

2012: Ship to Shore concert series. Featuring Song Company, Slava Grigoryan, Leonard Grigoryan.

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