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Twa Bonnie Maidens

Listen: LoFi | Download | Email It | Chords
possibly on Real Men Wear Kilts

words and music Traditional

There were twa bonnie maidens, and three bonnie maidens,
Cam' ower the Minch, and cam' ower the main,
Wi' the wind for their way and the corrie for their hame,
And they're dearly welcome tae Skye again.

Come alang, come alang, wi' your boatie and your song,
Tae my hey! bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maids!
The nicht, it is dark, and the redcoat is gane,
And you're dearly welcome tae Skye again.

There is Flora, my honey, sae neat and sae bonnie,
And ane that is tall, and handsome withall.
Put the ane for my Queen and the ither for my King
And they're dearly welcome tae Skye again.

There's a wind on the tree, and a ship on the sea,
Tae my hey! bonnie maidens, my twa bonnie maids!
By the sea mullet's nest I will watch o'er the main,
And you're dearly welcome tae Skye again.


D-A7-D D D
D G D A7
D G D A7-D-A7-D

D-A7-D A7 G A7
D G D A7
D G D A7-D-A7-D

Background: O'Carolan tune "Planxty George Brabazon." The event described here took place during Bonnie Prince Charlie's months in hiding after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden (April 16, 1746). By late July, the Hannoverians thought they had Charlie pinned down in the outer Hebrides.

But a woman named Flora MacDonald set out to rescue him. She dressed him as her maid, and in this disguise the two managed to escape the redcoat sentries and sail across to the island of Skye. Despite the hints in this song, there was no romantic attachment between Flora MacDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie (apart from the fact that Flora, like all the young women of the time, seems to have been enamoured of Charlie).

The two were together for only a short time, and indeed Charles had apparently already formed the only significant romantic attachment of his life -- but with Clementina Walkinshaw (who bore his only child), not Flora MacDonald. (Charles did not marry until he was in his fifties; the union produced no children).

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