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.              169
I could not attempt a translation of this last; it is essentially French, almost a Vaudeville in character, and possessing as sole merit the gaiety which is inseparable from that class of French song. To France, I think, belongs the dis­tinction of having produced some of the saddest and most of the brightest songs in the world. They have a saying that, " A song without its tune is a bird without its wings " (" Un chanson sans son air est un oiseau sans ses ailes "), and it is peculiarly true of their songs ; words and music are so absolutely wedded, that to sever them is to lose half their beauty. But, sad or gay, they are all dear to the song-loving French, and from the haunting sorrow that breathes through every line of Alfred de Musset's " Rappelle-Toi",—
" Rappelle-toi quand l'aurore craintive," to
" Au clair de la lune, Mon ami Pierrot, Pretes-moi ta plume Pour ecrire un mot! "
all are beloved, all are popular, on sea and on shore ; and so, quoting the words of the French " King of Songsters," Beranger, I bid adieu to the blue-jackets of that country :—
II Go, then, and let the rising race through thee that history
know ; Be thou a pilot to their bark, the rocks and sands to show ; And if perchance the pride of France some day they help
to raise, Go, in their beams of glory warm thine own declining days ;
Adieu then, songs, adieu ! "
Farewell Songs.

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