The Arran Boat jig

Also known as Aran Boat Song, The Arran Boat Song, Erin Boat Song, Highland Boat Song, Push Off Push Off, Put Off And Row Wi’ Speed, Queen Mary’s Escape From Loch Leven Castle.

There are 13 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Arran Boat has been added to 308 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Arran Boat
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:E3 FE2|B3 cd2|A3 FD2|A2 AF D2|
|E3 FE2|B3 cd2|AF3 D2|1 E6:|2 E4 B2||
|:e3 fe2|g3 fe2|d2 dB G2|A2 AF D2|
|1 e3 fe2|g3 fe2|dB3 d2|e6:|
|2 E3 FE2|d3 BG2|AF3 D2|E6||
# Added .
ABC
X: 2
T: The Arran Boat
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|: E6 | B3 c d2 | A3 F D2 | A3 F D2 |
E6 | B3 c d2 | A F3 D2 |1 E6 :|2 E4 B2 ||
|: e4 fe | g3 f e2 | d3 B G2 | A3 F D2 |
e4 f e | g3 f e2 | ^d B3 d2 | e6 :|
2 E6 | B3 c d2 | A F3 D2 | E6 ||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Arran Boat
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Edor
1 e4 f e | g3 f e2 | ^d B3 d2 | e6 :|
2 E6 | B3 c d2 | A F3 D2 | E6 ||
ABC

Nine comments

The Arran Boat Song - Air

NOTE: Play the Arran Boat Song as a slow air, not a jig.

Whenever someone asks for an easy tune to start out on (particularly on whistle or flute), I mention this beautiful air/song. This is one of the first tunes I learned on fiddle many years ago, and was the first tune I figured out on whistle. I enjoy playing it today as much as I did when I first learned it.

Domino, from Scotland, asked about this tune in a thread on good tunes for beginners. Thanks to Alice Flynn for correcting my many previous mis-spellings, and for the following info which she posted on that same thread:

"Domino, The Arran Boat is named for the Scottish Arran [isles], not the Irish Aran. It is often spelled incorrectly, but the melody goes to "Queen Mary’s Escape From Loch Leven Castle". It is an old trad Scottish tune. Old sheet music for it can be found at the Lester Levy sheet music site. http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/ It was also published in a book called "Seventy Scottish Songs" collected by Helen Hopekirk under the title of the first words of the lyrics, "Push Off, Push Off". I wrote my own lyrics to the melody about 5 years ago.

Posted .

P.s.

I realize that it might have been more accurate to notate it in waltz time, but I decided that more ITM beginners might be more familiar with 6/8 and so could read the dots easier in that time signature. Regardless, this is a good starter tune for practing learning by ear as well.

Posted .

Waltz time

I think it would have made more sense in waltz time, especially for beginners.

When you see 6/8, especially when you’re not yet good at finding the natural accent point, you tend to hit the 1 and the 4. This tune (and it is a really beautiful one!) really doesn’t work well with the accents hitting on the 4. But the standard waltz pulse works really well with it .

Lyrics for Arran Boat Song

This waltz tune is for singers with a high range if you want to sing in the key you will hear at sessions.

Here are the old lyrics:
Robert Allan (1774-1841)
Queen Mary’s Escape From Lochleven Castle
also known as PUT OFF, AND ROW WI’ SPEED

Put off, put off, and row with speed,
For now is the time and the hour of need,
To oars, to oars, and trim the bark,
Nor Scotland’s Queen be a warder’s mark!
Yon light that plays round the castle’s moat,
Is only the warder’s random shot.
Put off, put off, and row with speed,
For now is the time and the hour of need.

Those pond’rous keys, shall the kelpies keep,
And lodge in their caverns so dark and deep,
Nor shall Lochleven’s tower or hall,
Hold thee our lovely Queen in thrall,
Or be the haunt of traitors sold,
While Scotland has hands and hearts so bold,
Then onward, steersman, row with speed,
For now is the time, and the hour of need.

Hark, the alarum bell has rung,
The warder’s voice has treason sung,
The echos to the falconets roar,
Chime sweetly to the dashing shore,
Let tower, hall, and battlement gleam,
We steer by the light of the taper’s gleam,
For Scotland and Mary, on with speed,
For now is the time, and the hour of need.

Aran Boat a SHETLAND LISTENING piece

The tune, Aran Boat, is a Shetland listening piece. To play well, is not easy. It needs great restraint to keep the pace as an air and yet generate the pathos that it requires.It is beautiful when played well.

This is very similar to a tune that I composed out of thin air twenty five years ago for my new daughter, Kerry Rose.

I honestly had never heard this tune, so didn’t "copy" it, although you know how music can be almost genetic in the way it transfuses sometimes. It’s definitely not the same, but close enough to make one wonder.

Here are the lyrics. I know they are a little sappy, but what the hey. New daughter. I was pretty sappy at the time.

Kerry Rose I love you my baby
I look in your eyes and see a young lady
I give you these years, eternity’s pages
Smile at them sweetly as they pass you by.

Walk on the earth with all of her creatures
and sip the sweet nectar of roses in bloom
Walk hand in had with love and creation
Stand bold in the face of trouble and doom.

First verse over again and end.

I will post they music soon, but it’s hauntingly similar to Arran Boat Song, which I just heard for the first time today.

Amazing.

“The Arran Boat Song” ~ brought back from duplication in the future

Key signature: E Dorian
Submitted on December 8th 2006 by Tessa.
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/6478

M: 3/4
L: 1/8
R: waltz
K: E Dorian
|: E6 | B3 c d2 | A3 F D2 | A3 F D2 |
E6 | B3 c d2 | A F3 D2 |1 E6 :|2 E4 B2 ||
|: e4 fe | g3 f e2 | d3 B G2 | A3 F D2 |
e4 f e | g3 f e2 | ^d B3 d2 | e6 :|
2 E6 | B3 c d2 | A F3 D2 | E6 ||

Oops! ~ wasn’t looking, I forgot the ‘1’ for the first ending:
~ ~ ~
1 e4 f e | g3 f e2 | ^d B3 d2 | e6 :|
2 E6 | B3 c d2 | A F3 D2 | E6 ||