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.             161
in the loud tone of people accustomed to talk 'in the open air; the youngster hums the famous song of " The Bargemen of the Loire ;" the barge that meets them gets a merry cheer as it passes, or gives them some useful bit of news; and in this way they all reach the evening's anchorage, where the crews who have had equal luck of wind and tide during the day, meet together at the public-house patronized by " the River Service."
The following verses are often to be heard sung by these bargemen, rarely twice to the same tune, sometimes an opera air is used, anon a hymn tune, anything that adapts itself to the singer's feelings and the rhythm of the words.
I do not know whether it is generally known that the
Vaudeville is really an early form of French water-song. It originated with the workmen of a fuller of Vau de
Vire, or the valley by the River Vire ; these men used to sing while spreading their cloths on the banks of the river, usually the subject was some incident or adventure of the day, and thus from Vau de Vire we get the Vaudeville. It seems strange that so rustic a custom should have originated the gayest songs of France. The Sanjaneus are credited with the authorship of this comical little song :
" Fisher, fishing in the sea ; Fish my mistress up for me. Fish her up before she drowns Thou shalt have four hundred crowns. Fish her for me dead and cold Thou shalt have my all in gold."
The following famous song of the Rhone I have given in its entirety, as it is well deserving of the space it takes up. It is " Le Revestidon, ou Les Equipages du Rh6ne "" The Revestidon, or the Boats' Crews of the Rhone.-" The Revestidon means one of the pontoons for embarking and debarking from the steamboats which ply between Lyons and Avignon. I am again indebted to Monsieur Borel for his translation of the Provencal version; indeed, what
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