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.                   39^
This chanty is sometimes called " Blow, boys, blow," and the verses vary, not so much in the theme or the locale, which is always America, but in the dramatis persona. For instance, in one version I found—
Solo.—Who do you think was captain -of her ?" Who do you think was captain of her ? Old John Brown, the boarding master, Old John Brown, the boarding master, Who do you think was looking after ? Who. do you think was looking after ? Cock-eyed Bill, the West-end barber, Cock-eyed Bill, the West-end barber.
In another—
Solo.—Oh blow, my boys, I long to hear you. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—A Yankee Liner coming down the river. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—And how do you know she's a Yankee Liner ? Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—By the stars and stripes-she hangs behind her. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow. .
Solo.—A Colonial packet coming down the river. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—How do you know she's a Colonial packet? Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
Solo.—She fired a gun, I heard the racket. Chorus.—Blow, boys, blow.
And so on. This version was given me by a young Scotch­man, whose time at sea had been limited to fifteen months, nevertheless he had a very intimate knowledge of ship-life, and sailors' ways and songs, and was furthermore possessed of a good voice and a better ear ; he sang several chanties for me, and acted, as far as he was able in a drawing-room, the heaving and hauling which they accom­panied.







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