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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Introduction.                     xxiii
authority of the magistrate cannot reach, where public opinion is unfelt, and the Sabbath bell is unheard." He is hardly to be judged by the same standard as a landsman, his life is so different. So much rougher discipline, so much more severe, that no wonder during their sometimes short holidays our tars squander their substance in the riotous manner that has become proverbial of them. Think how many months they spend in exile, enduring many serious hardships, beside which the trials of shore-men seem insignificant; scanty rations, often of the most re­volting description, always of the coarsest; hard, rough work in the most terrible degrees of heat and cold, wretched accommodation, and at all times the presence of imminent peril, which, although naturally the case in all lives, always seems to me to be more terribly near at sea. And we must confess a sailor's life has much to make it undesirable, and yet, for all that, taking them as a class, they are healthy, hearty fellows, and well deserving of the epithet of "Jolly Tars."
Knowing what an impressionable set of men sailors as a rule are, we cannot wonder that anything which appeals so much to the emotional side of nature as music does, should play an important part in their daily round of work. What the " Ranz des Vaches " does for the Swiss herder when minding his flocks on the hills of his country, the " Mar­seillaise " for the eager Frenchman on his way to death or victory, the discordant sound of the bagpipes for the High­lander on a foreign battle-field, that does the chanty for the blue-jacket. It is not recreation, it is an essential part of the work on ship-board, it mastheads the topsail yards when making sail, it starts and weighs the anchor, it brings down the main-tack with a will, it loads and unloads the

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