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.               77
As Willie's ship is supposed to have gone to the .bottom, he cannot be imagined as standing on the main-deck, and it therefore only remains for us to picture this most heroic young gentleman in an upright position on the open sea.
This will serve to give some idea of the ridiculous plight poets and poetesses find themselves in when they attempt, without having any knowledge of nautical terms, to write songs for sailors. Jack must be his own poet, his own composer, and his own compiler, if we are to have good, genuine specimens of them. " It must be admitted that, in spite of the simplicity and purity of character ascribed to the sailor by novelists, not a few of the songs which he sang were highly objectionable on the score of morality. They were, however, no worse in this respect than the songs which one occasionally hears in the smoking-car of an excursion train, and were decidedly better than certain opera-bouffe songs.
" But both the good and the bad ceased when the sailor disappeared, and to revive them on the deck of an iron steamship would be as impossible as to bring back the Roman trireme." (Extract from Harpers Magazine, July, 1882.)
As I write these few closing remarks on the songs and chanties of English and American sailors, a somewhat curious instance of Jack's musical ideas comes before me in the columns of one of the daily papers. " A piano-organ had just commenced to fill the street with the sounds of a hornpipe when a man having the appearance of a sailor passed along, and was at once attracted by the music. He then proceeded to the spot, and commenced to dance to the music. His dancing was neat and finished, and he was soon the centre of an admiring crowd. After a fair turn he gave the woman in charge of the machine a few coppers, and she continued with the hornpipe. He danced again, and was watched by an ever-growing crowd. The man at the

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