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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66                Music of the Waters.
Something in it commends this song to the sailors of to-day ; the sentiment, it may be, is somewhat after the fashion of that expressed by some of their chanties, and it has a good swing about it. Whatever it is, however, it is frequently to be heard amongst forecastle assemblies.
In Mr. Christie's collection of "Traditional Ballad Airs " (" Traditional Ballad Airs, from copies procured in the counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray," by W. Christie, M.A., and the late Wm. Christie ; 2 vols.), I found a song called " Sailing in the Lowlands, Low " :
"There was a good ship from the North countrie, And that ship's name was the Golden Vanitee; Sailing low in the Lowlands, low in the sea, Sailing low in the Lowlands, low."
The story is that of the cabin-boy boring two holes with an auger in the Spanish galleon, an heroic feat which he had been promised should be rewarded by the master of the Golden Vanitee, with gold, and his eldest daughter's hand ; the crew of the sinking Spanish ship fire on the boy as he swims towards his own, and his cruel master refuses to take him on board again.
'"I will not take you up, boy,' the master he replied, ' Though you sink in the Lowlands, low. I will not take you up, boy,' his cruel master cried ; ' I will kill you, if you come on deck, and throw you down the tide, I will sink you in the Lowlands, low in the sea, I will sink you in the Lowlands, low."

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