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This tune was first published as The Arran Boat Song around 1875 in James Kerr's first Merry Melodies volume. Is is named after the Scottish Arran Islands and not the Irish Aran Islands, and is usually played as an air and not a jig. It is also known as The Highland Boat Song and Queen Mary’s Escape From Loch Leven Castle. The latter is a song that commemorates the escape of Mary, Queen of Scots, from Loch Leven Castle in 1568, which "involved drugging half the island with hearty doses of wine whilst young Willie Douglas pegged all the boats to the shore bar one.