(trad. Hebridean)

Caroline Paton: lead vocal; Sandy Paton: guitar, vocal; Ed Trickett: guitar, vocal; Harry Tuft: bass, vocal; David Paton: concertina; Additional chorus vocals: Cathy Barton, Dave Para

For me, "Dark Island " like "South Wind" and "Star of the County Down," is a melody so beautiful that it simply must have words so that it can be sung. I am told that the tune has an older Gaelic text. Ann Mayo Muir heard it sung by the Captain of the ship as she was sailing between islands in the Hebrides. I learned "Dark Island" from Joe Hickerson, our source for so many great songs over the years. It has also been recorded by the Canadian group Ryan's Fancy.

(Caroline Paton)

Isle of my childhood, I'm dreaming of thee
As the steamer leaves Oban and passes Tiree.
I'll capture the magic that lingers for me
When I'm back once more upon the Dark Island.

Away to the westward I'm longin to be,
Where the beauties of heaven unfold by the sea
And the sweet purple heather blows fragrant and free
On a hillside, high above the Dark Island.

True gem of the Hebrides, bathed in the light
Of the midsummer's dawning that follows the night.
How I long for the cry of the seagulls in flight
As they circle high above the Dark Island.

how gentle the sea breeze that ripples the bay.
Where the streams meet the ocean, young children play.
On the strand of pure silver I'll wander each day,
When I'm back once more upon the Dark Island.

©1992 Folk-Legacy Records, Inc. Sharon, Connecticut 06069
  Used by permission.