The bittersweet story behind the Outlander season seven theme tune revealed

What you need to know about the season seven Outlander theme tune 'The Skye Boat Song' - and the talented singer behind it

Outlander theme song
(Image credit: STARZ)

The Outlander theme song, 'The Skye Boat Song' is garnering attention as fans discover it was sung by this incredible artist.

We have been loving season seven of Outlander and whether it's finding out more about Buck MacKenzie or Rob Cameron, we want to know everything there is to know about the show! 

As loyal fans know, Outlander likes to switch up the theme tune each season and while it's always the same song, the artist and the tone are often changed from season to season. And season seven was no exception to this rule as fans were treated to a haunting rendition of this incredible theme tune. 

But did you know the bittersweet story behind season seven's Outlander theme tune and the singer behind this incredible song?


(Image credit: Starzplay)

Earlier this year in February it was revealed that Sinéad O'Connor would be singing the season seven Outlander theme song. This was a huge win for Outlander as the singer's incredible talent would be the perfect fit for this moving show.

Speaking about the show's excitement at scoring such an incredible singer, showrunner Matthew B. Roberts said in a press release, "We are honoured to have Sinéad O’Connor performing ‘The Skye Boat Song.’ Her rendition is, for me, a reminder of all that’s beautiful about 'Outlander'. She is talented beyond measure. Hers is a voice of the ages - one which pierces heart and soul - and embodies the spirit of the show."

Sadly, it was announced earlier this week that Sinéad O’Connor had passed away at the age of 56 at her home in Herne Hill, London. 

For fans viewing the show this week, this sad news added a bittersweet tone to this incredible piece. This song has now become one of her final releases before her death, and the lyrics of this piece became all the more moving.

Following her sudden passing, many celebrities shared their condolences and paid tribute to the late star, this included some individuals who were associated with the show.

Among the celebrities releasing tributes to Sinéad O’Connor was the Irish actor Catriona Balfe, who plays Claire in Outlander.  Catriona wrote, "I hope you are at peace … and with your baby boy. Thank you for sharing your soul with us and soothing us with your incredible voice beautiful Sinéad. 💔 RIP."

According to The Herald Scotland, Outlander author Diana Gabaldon said that the world had 'lost a unique voice' and they were 'grateful' to have had her voice in the show. "We're grateful for the gift of one of her last (if brief) performances in the theme to this season's Outlander."

Maril Davis, Executive Producer of Outlander, also paid tribute to the star. "On behalf of the entire cast &crew of Outlander we are deeply saddened about the news of Sinead’s passing. She was an incredible talent &working with her on this season’s main title song was a true honour. Our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time," said Maril.

Who else has sung the Outlander theme song?

Sinéad O’Connor was only featured in the season seven Outlander theme tune, and other singers have had the privilege of also singing this theme tune.

The season 6 rendition of 'The Skye Boat Song' was sung by Raya Yarbrough and Griogair Labhruidh. Season 5 was a big change up with a full choir singing an acapella version of the song. And from seasons 1 to 4 Raya Yarbrough sang the song, but the music was changed to reflect French, American, and Caribbean influences depending on the location where the season was predominantly set.

In a sweet coincidence, Raya Yarbrough is married to Bear McCreary who composed the music for the show. Bear was also the person who made the decision to adapt 'The Skye Boat Song' so that the lyrics were the text of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem 'Sing Me a Song of a Lad That Is Gone.' He of course changed the word 'Lad to 'Lass' to fit the story.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.