Mingulay Boat Song

Mingulay is an uninhabited island with high cliffs with nesting seabirds, at the southern end of the Outer Hebrides. Fishermen returning home from the Atlantic would feel that they were nearly home when they passed by the islands. Although the tune and these words are similar to other sea shanties, these words were written by Sir Hugh Robertson in 1938 for the Glasgow Orpheus Choir.

Mingulay Boat Song

Heel y'ho boys, let her go, boys
Bring her head round, into the weather
Heel y'ho boys, let her go boys
Sailing homeward to Mingulay!
 
What care we tho' white the Minch is
What care we for, wind and weather?
Let her go boys, every inch is
Wearing homeward to Mingulay!
 
Wives are waiting on the bank, boys,
Gazing seaward, from the heather.
Pull her 'round boys, and we'll anchor
'Ere the sun sets at Mingulay!
 
Ships return now, heavy laden
Mothers holdin’, bairns a –crying
They’ll return now, when the sun sets
They’ll return to Mingulay
 
Repeat last line
Sailing homeward to Mingulay!