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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174             Music of the Waters.
tions of the people, in Italy is due to the strong emotions and passionate nature of her natives. In Italy the mari­time population amounts to 225,000, of this the greater part are fishermen, though a large number man the Genoese barques in the general carrying trade.
The songs of the fishermen and Lazzaroni of Naples are full of whimsical nonsense and impudence, many of them are merely the popular tunes of the day ; but, like those of Venice, the sound of the boat, with its cadence of rowers, is ever and again heard.
The Mediterranean sailor is popularly supposed to chant snatches of opera over his fishing-nets ; but, after all, his is only a larger sort of lake, with water of a question­able saltness. Sir John Hamner's exquisite sonnet, " The Finmara," or " The Old Fisher," is an admirable picture of those poor creatures, whose living, if it may be so called, is made by fishing for a few sardines in the blue waters of the Mediterranean :—
" Thou art a fisher of Mazorbo ; lone, Drifting a usual shadow o'er the sea, With thine old boat, that like a barkless tree Creaks in the wind a pitiless dreary moan; And there thy life and all thy thoughts have flown, Pouncing on crabs in shallows, till thy knees Crooked as theirs, now halt unsteadily, Going about to move the anchor-stone ; And when the waves roll inward from the east, Takest thy net, and for some few sardines Toil'st in the morning's wild and chilly ray. Then dost thou go to where yon bell-tower leans, And in the sunshine sit, the poor man's feast, Else abstinent in thy poverty, all the day."
Mazorbo, a sea-port of Sicily, where is often witnessed the approach of the Marobea, a violent agitation of the sea, announced by the stillness in the atmosphere and a lurid







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