Queen Mary's Escape From Lochleven 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 Queen be a warder's mark; Yon light that plays round the castle 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 lady in thrall, Or be the haunts 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. I was just looking through a Scottish songbook, and I came across this song with yet another title: PUT OFF, AND ROW WI' SPEED. The book credits Robert Allan (1 774-1841) and calls the tune Highland Boat Song. The lyrics and tune are exactly as I found them in the Levy sheet music site under the title QUEEN MARY'S ESCAP E. It would be interesting to find out if there is a record of Gaelic lyrics tha t are older than this Queen Mary version. From the Lester S. Levy sheet music website, 19th Century Scottish Ballad AF apr00
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!