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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KEELMEN'S AND FISHERMEN'S SONGS,
AND SONGS OF THE PRESS GANG
ON TYNESIDE.
"WEEL MAY THE KEEL ROW."
The local song of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, " The Keel Row," is intimately connected with Sandgate, the Wapping of Newcastle and the residence of the keelmen and sailors. It is truly the national anthem of the " Canny Toon," and never fails, when heard, to raise the soul of every Tyne-sider.
There are many who dispute the Tynesider's claim to the song, attributing the origin of it to Glasgow. The Scotch version runsó
" As I was going thro' Cannongate."
The Newcastle has it " Sandgate," the locale of the keelmen, and without doubt their original site. The introduction of steamboats, and the general use of staiths, by which the coals are conveyed direct from the waggon to the ship, have greatly reduced the number of keelmen in Newcastle. Sandgate is now chiefly occupied by the Irish. A keelman's hospital may still be seen there; it was erected for the benefit of aged and infirm keelmen, and chiefly at their own cost : probably this is one of the few instances







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