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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72               Music of the Waters.
This song was noted down for me by the steward of the Dreadnought Hospital for Seamen, at Greenwich, who per­suaded the one remaining pensioner to sing it. The old fellow was upwards of ninety, and almost stone deaf, so attempting any vocalization at all was, to say the least of it, courageous on his part. He is known as " Daddy." This white-haired old hero, who had been in many perils and braved much danger in his day, now sits calmly talking it all over, and waiting for the end, in the noble home for old mariners at Greenwich. We had some difficulty in explaining to him why I wanted him to sing me something he had known in his younger days, but when he did understand he seemed greatly interested, and assured me over and over again what a fine set of men sailors were, and how well worthy of any com­memoration, for he added, " They've done, something for England, and England hasn't always done much for them." Then he went on to speak of some of the stirring scenes he had taken an active part in, and his face lighted up as he told of them, and the poor old man became quite animated, almost shouting in his eagerness to ex­plain some act of heroism, and trembling with anger at some remembered cowardice. When I left, old Daddy shook me warmly by the hand, and asked me to let him see my book when it was ready ; of course, I promised him I would, but I thought how improbable it was that those nearly sightless eyes would still be gazing on this world when " The Music of the Waters" was ready for publication.
By the kind permission of Captain Algernon Drum-mond, composer of the music, and his co-author of the words, I am able to quote a very charming and favourite boat-song. It is known as " The Eton Boat-Song," and is much in vogue with the habitues of that place. "In tempo di Barcarola" is indicated at the beginning of the music, and " in tempo di Barcarola " it most certainly is.

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