Knoydart is a remote, mountainous area to the north-west of Lochaber. Roads go as far as the end of Loch Arkaig and Loch Huorn, but from then on you’re in boots. Other than that, you approach by boat from Mallaig to Inverie. Knoydart is, effectively, an island that isn’t quite surrounded by the sea. The Rough Bounds of Knoydart refer to the rugged nature of the terrain in and around the area, which is a Mecca for mountaineers, containing as it does a series of fine hills, including several Munros.
The song was written after my first visit, with the Ochils Mountaineering Club. We hiked through from Loch Arkaig, via the pass of the Mam na Cloich Airde, and camped beside the bothy at Sourlies. The weekend was as described, right down to the weather and the peregrine falcon. Some place names have been approximately rendered into English.
"Hold the rainbow, I’m coming through."in the chorus, has a double derivation. Knoydart is notorious for its rainfall, and the line is firstly a plea to let us get out before the deluge, in line with the promise made to Noah. There was also a separate occasion on which I was driving into Glencoe, aiming straight at one of the most magnificent rainbows I’ve ever seen, arcing between Buachaille Etive Mor and the Aonach Eagach ridge. Now you know, so next time you hear it, be sure to join in.