Music Of The Waters - online book

Sailors' Chanties, Songs Of The Sea, Boatmen's, Fishermen's,
Rowing Songs, & Water Legends with lyrics & sheet music

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Introductory Note.
Miss Smith was well qualified for the performance of her task, and being a daughter of Mr. C. S. Smith, Russian Vice-Consul at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, she has had excep­tionally good opportunities of obtaining the assistance of the Consuls of many ports.
With the courage of an original investigator, our authoress has ventured to " beard the lion in his den." She has per­sonally gone straight to the " fo'c'sle," and interviewed the sailors not only of her own, but of other lands, and thus has gathered from the men's own lips, and from their manly voices, the words and melodies which are most popular among them. At the same time she has learned to understand and appreciate the force and meaning of that music which enables Jack to accomplish " a long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull all together."
Of course, in language and sentiment, some of these ditties are not all that could be desired, but the work being a collection of curious and genuine sea-songs as they exist not as they should be, the task of selection and translation must have been one of considerable difficulty, and seems to have been ably and judiciously accomplished.
Doubtless to some minds a good deal of the versification may appear absurd, but it must be borne in mind that, in lyrical poetry; a strict regard for sense is not of so much importance as the rhythmical flow of united words and . melody—especially in songs of the sea, where the union of syllables with sounds must be well suited to the " work " which they are meant to enliven and facilitate. Besides, is not the odd jumble of ideas and phrases, pathetic and ludicrous, presented in some of the chanties, in keeping with the well-known rough-and-tumble character of the men who sing them ?

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