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.                83
College, Glasgow) introduction to the " Killin Collection of Gaelic Songs (with music and translations, by Charles Stewart, Tighn-Duin, Killin)," before giving the very few specimens of genuine Gaelic boat-songs, which, in spite of every endeavour, I have alone been enabled to collect.
" The gallant seaman has a somewhat light reputation in Gaelic poetry, more perhaps from his wandering life than any inconsistency peculiar to his profession. It is impossible to conceive that an open, honest, sterling character, like the British seaman, could be inconstant in love ; but if a heart­less fickleness is really his character, it is not to be wondered at that a simple, honest-hearted lassie will not believe so. Be that as it may, however, he has ever been the object of ardent love and enduring constancy with the warm-hearted Highland maiden.
" ' Fear a Bhata' (literally ' Boatman,' the usual title of a man sailing his own ship in the Highlands) is the title of one of the Gaelic songs, remarkable both for its extreme beauty of sentiment and imagery. Although the Duanagan or lilts are generally of a light, hilarious character, they are not all so, and ' Fear a Bhata' is one of the excep­tions." The verses and tune of this water-song whicl follow, together with these quotations on the subject, I owe to Mr. Donald Campbell, late Lieutenant of the 57th Regiment, author of the valuable treatise1 "The Language, Poetry, and Music of the Highland Clans."
(" Fear a Bhata " is pronounced " ear a vata." " Na horo eile " is merely a call used by the boatmen.)
1. " How often hunting the highest hill-top, I scan the ocean thy sail to see ; Wilt come to night, love ? Wilt come to-morrow ? Wilt ever come, love, to comfort me ?
1 Published by D. R. Collie and Son, 19, St. David Street, Edin­burgh.
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