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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Music of the Waters.                 7
the information I have obtained. My thanks are also due in a great measure in many other directions—in so many, indeed, that I feel I have not here adequate space to express them, and I trust to be able to tender, them fully and in detail at some other time.
There are several kinds of chanty, though I believe," properly speaking, they should only be divided into two classes, namely, those sung at the capstan and those sung when hauling on a rope: but there are, over and above these, pumping songs—pumping being part of the daily morning duty of a well-disciplined merchant-vessel, just a few minutes' spell to keep the vessel free and the cargo unharmed by bilge-water ; it is not a dismal sound at all, rather a lively one, on the contrary. There are also chanties used when holy-stoning the decks, and when stowing away the cargo ; and indeed I think one may safely con­clude that every one of Jack's duties, from Monday morn­ing to Saturday night, is done to some sort of music, and according to the Philadelphia catechism his labours do not end then, for in it we are taught that—
" Six days shalt thou labour and do all thou art able, And on the seventh, holy-stone the deck and clean-scrape the cable."
There is one job that sailors seldom fail to get, even when the weather is such as to prevent other work being done, and that is holy-stoning the decks. The men have to kneel down and push backwards and forwards a good-sized stone (usually sandstone), the planks being pre­viously wetted and sprinkled with sand. From the fact of kneeling to it, this unpleasant task is known at sea under the title of "saying prayers."
There is also, besides the chanties, another class of song, half of the sea and half of the shore, which I men­tioned in the introduction to this collection. They include those the fishermen and coasters croon in their lonely watches ; the latter in his brief walk, " three steps and







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