Curiosities of Music - online book

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328                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
Ely, in the evening, when the sound of the monks singing their vesper chants, came across the water; he was greatly moved by the beauty of the song, which, with the accessories of the trac-quil evening, the rippling water, and the measured stroke of the oars, caused him to improvise upon the spot, a song which soon spread among the peasantry as well as the higher classes.
Only one stanza has been preserved of this interesting effusion,
" Merie sungen the muneches binnen Ely, Tha Cnute Ching, reu ther by Rowe cnihtes, nsew the land, And here we thes muneches saeng,"
which may be rendered in English thus:
" Sweetly sang the Monks of Ely, As King Canute rowed there by, Row men, nearer to the shore And hear we these Monks' song."
The minstrels of England from the first, took a more peaceful and religious turn than those of "Wales and Ireland. The most of the really authentic pieces of their era, take the shape of Christmas carols.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III