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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xxiv                     Introduction.
cargo, it keeps the pumps a-going; in fact, it does all the work where unison and strength are required. I have heard many an old salt say that a good chanty was worth an extra hand. At the capstan, on the topsail-halyards, in port and at seaj in calm or in storm, the ropes run smoother, the work is done quicker, when some twenty strong voices are singing :—
" Haul the bowline, the fore and maintop bowline, Haul the bowline, the bowline haul ! Haul the bowline, the bully, bully bowline, Haul the bowline, the bowline haul !"
In his admirably nautical novel, " Two Years before the Mast, or a Sailor's Life at Sea/' Mr. Dana says of the chanties : " The sailors' songs for capstans and falls are ot a peculiar kind, having a chorus at the end of each line. The burden is usually sung by one alone, and at the chorus all hands join in, and the louder the noise the better. A song is as necessary to sailors as the drum and fife to a soldier. They cannot pull in time, or pull with a will, with­out it. Many a time when a thing goes heavy with one fellow yo-ho-ing, a lively song, like ' Heave to the Girls,' ' Nancy oh !' ' Jack Crosstree,' &c, has put life and strength into every arm. We often found a great difference in the effect of the different songs in driving in the hides. Two or three songs would be tried, one after the other, with no effect; not an inch could be got upon the tackles. When a new song struck up it seemed to hit the humour of the moment, and drove the tackles to blocks at once. ' Heave round hearty,' ' Captain gone Ashore/ and the like, might do for common pulls; but on an emergency, when we wanted a heavy, raise-the-dead pull, which should start the

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