A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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always be best remembered as a song-writer. It was a tremendous favourite with Antoinette Sterling, and was also sung a great deal by Madame Sainton-Dolby, though it is interesting to note that each singer gave the song a totally different rendering. Antoinette Sterling once referred to this, when she said:1 "Although I had never been to sea in a storm, and had never even seen fishermen, I somehow understood that song of ' The Three Fishers' by instinct. On reading the poem over for the first time no one could know from the opening that the men would necessarily be drowned. Therefore it was a story. But there is a natural tendency to anticipate an unhappy ending; hence it was customary to begin the song so mournfully that everybody realised from the very start what the end was going to be. Madame Sainton-Dolby, for in­stance, used to sing it sorrowfully from the first note to the last. I had never seen or known of anyone who was drowned, but that mysterious instinct was so strong that I could not foreshadow the finish. When, therefore, I started, I always made the first verse quite bright. I must believe it was the true way, since both the poet and com­poser endorsed my rendering of it."
"The Three Fishers " was sung by Antoinette Sterling at her debut in London, which was made
1 Antoinette Sterling and Other Celebrities. M. S. Mackinlay.
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