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.
xxvii
the poetry of it may be, always seems to me to be thoroughly characteristic of their thoughts, viz. that " the girls have hold of the tow-rope and can't haul the slack in fast enough."
There is yet another class of songs that would come under the heading of " Music of the Waters," though they are half of the shore. I mean those which the coasters croon in their lonely watches, those the fishermen sing when mending their nets; for, though certainly this is properly speaking land work, still the sea is all about them, the very air is laden with its fresh briny smell, the sounds in their ears are the sounds the waves make as they break on the shore, their thoughts are probably far away from the comfortable haven where they sit, so naturally their song follows their thoughts and becomes of the sea.
Rowing-songs should, I think, also be included in this class. They can scarcely be considered as working-songs, though I have no doubt the tune and swing of the music will have as much effect on the oarsmen as all rhythmical music has on work that requires to be done with strength and in unison. There is a certain charm about music on the water which that of the shore can never give, and pro­bably we all have some pleasant souvenirs in our minds of golden August mornings on the sunny Thames, or soft moonlit nights on some placid lake, when the perfection of the already perfect situation was enhanced by some dreamy, soothing song that seemed to waft itself over the water and find its echo on the distant shore.
Doubtless more than half the romance we always associate with Venice is due (for those who have been there) to the memory of the gondolas that carried them through the many canals of the City of Doges, and the gondoliers who






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