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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108                Music of the Waters.
of seafaring men's forethought, and it may also be said to be a monument to the poor raised by the poor.
For a genuine description of keels and keelmen, their origin, degeneration, &c, I should recommend a perusal of Mr. Charleton's most interesting book, " Newcastle Town."] There will be found a true account of these most quaint craft and quainter craftsmen, beginning with their lineal descent from the "Chiules" of the ancient Scandinavian rovers, in which, nearly five hundred years before Columbus saw America, the adventurous Norsemen crossed the Atlantic and visited Labrador, Newfoundland, and New England—in which, in earlier times, they sailed to harass Ireland and Scotland, and in which, after the retire­ment of the Romans, they came to England and took possession of the country. " They were," he says, "wonderfully fine sailors, and a beautiful sight it was to see a fleet of keels manned by the Tyne keelmen—the finest sailors and handlers of craft in England—beating up-river against a head-wind." It is probable that the keel has sailed the waters of the Tyne ever since the Saxon invasion.
WEEL MAY THE KEEL ROW.
" As I cam thro' Sandgate, thro' Sandgate, thro' Sandgate, As I cam thro' Sandgate, I heard a lassie sing :
Weel may the keel row, the keel row, the keel row ; Weel may the keel row, that my laddie's in.
Weel may the keel row, the keel row, the keel row, Oh ! weel may the keel row, that my laddie's in.
" He wears a blue bonnet, blue bonnet, blue bonnet, He wears a blue bonnet, a dimple in his chin ;
Wee! may the keel row, the keel row, the keel row, Weel may the keel row, that my laddie's in.
Weel may the keel row, the keel row, the keel row ; Oh ! weel may the keel row, that my laddie's in."
1 Walter Scott, Warwick Lane, London.







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