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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82               Music of the Waters.
" Jorrams " or rowing songs, to which they kept time with their oars. These "Luinigs " and "Jorrams" differ from the Highland music in being adapted to the harp, on which a chord was doubtless struck from time to time to serve as a rudimentary accompaniment, and after the harp fell into disuse the Luinigs gradually died out. A very character­istic sample of the style of one of these old " Jorrams," or rowing songs, is to be found in Sir Walter Scott's " Lady of the Lake." The song "Hail to the Chief," which is sung by the clansmen in honour of Roderick Vich Alpine, is an imitation of the Jorrams or boat-songs of the High­landers, which were usually composed in honour of their chief. They are so adapted as to keep time with the sweep of the oars, and it is easy to distinguish between those in­tended to be sung to the oars of a galley, where the stroke is lengthened and doubled as it were, and those which were timed to the rowers of an ordinary boat.
" Row, vassals, row, for the pride of the Highlands, Stretch to your oars, for the evergreen pine. O' ! that the rosebud that graces yon islands, Were wreathed in a garland around him to twine ! O that some seedling gem, Worthy such noble stem, Honoured and blessed in their shadow might grow. Loud should Clan-Alpine then Ring from his deepmost glen, Roderigh Vich Alpine Dhu, ho ! ieroe ! "
" In Gaelic music all is modal. The words occupy the first place, words and music implicitly following the idiosyn­crasies of the Gaelic language.
" In Gaelic there is no such thing as the last syllable of one line being in rhyme with the last syllable of the next, the rhyme being not on the syllable, but on the vowel sound."
The foregoing remarks, although in no wise applicable to water-songs in particular, I have nevertheless thought advisable to quote from Professor Colin Brown's (Anderson's

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