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.               13
bowline." When a ship is tacking, the tacks and sheets are let run in order that the yards may be swung round to meet the altered position of the ship. They must then be hauled taut again, and secured, in order to keep the sails in their place, and to prevent them from shaking when the ship's head comes up in the wind ; the sail is for a moment or two edgewise to it, and then is the nice moment, as soon as the head-sails fairly fill, when the main-yard and the yards above it can be swung readily, and the tacks and sheets hauled in. If the crew are too few in number, or too slow at their work, and the sails get fairly filled on the new tack, it is a fatiguing piece of work enough to " board " the tacks and sheets ; you pull at one end of the rope and the gale tugs at the other. The advantages of lungs are all against you, and perhaps the only thing to be done is to put the helm down a little, and set the sails shaking again before they can be trimmed properly. If the watch on deck has not been over spry, the consequence is that the big main is slatting and flying out overhead with a might that shakes the ship from stem to stern. The flapping of the mad canvas will be like a giant's fist thump­ing on a drum. The sheets will be jerking at the belaying-pins, the blocks rattling in sharp, castanet-like snappings. The sea is lashing and seething alongside in white particles of phosphorescent foam, whilst overhead all is black with the flying scud. All the most forcible expressions that can be thought of may be used without avail, the sail won't come. " Then give us the song, men," sings out the mate at last. " Pull with a will," " Together, men ! Alto­gether, now! " And then a voice will strike up—
Solo. Moderate.                                        __
We'll haul the bow - line, so ear - ly in the morn- ing.
rs a-
We'll haul the bow - line, the bow - line haul I

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III