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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xxx                      Introduction.
lyric, not only in our country, but in those Northern ones more truly the theatre of the Vikings' exploits. Another point, which I think may be found open to discussion in D. T.'s remarks, is the fact of Dibdin having only tempo­rarily succeeded in popularizing sea-songs. Are the songs of this great master any less popular than they were ? I doubt it. " Tom Bowling," perhaps his masterpiece, never fails to elicit hearty cheers and rapturous applause whenever and wherever it is heard, and there are many others almost equally well known and well liked.
Different periods have, of course, great effect on all the arts and sciences of a country, and it would be natural to suppose that Music would undergo much the same change, but she is a vagrant Muse, and ever has been, and is no more to be relied upon than the moods of the wind, "which bloweth where it listeth." Period has made very little difference in the music of the sea. The " Tar " has sung his song and the winds moaned their sad dirges, or thundered their great storm-chords, the waves have mur­mured their lullabies to the waiting shores, and the wild sea-birds have screamed their hoarse choruses through all ages, and will continue to do so as long as man and the world of waters exist.
The first vocal performance recorded in the Bible is the song of Miriam the prophetess and her companions after the crossing of the Red Sea. Surely this song of praise, commemorative of perhaps the most wonderful event in all the history of the mighty deep, is worthy a place 'midst the music of the waters.
Mr. Engel, in his valuable book on " The Music of the most Ancient Nations," says, in speaking of this song of Miriam, "that it is in the form of alternate soli and chorus.

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