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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192              Music of the Waters.
waves," if those waves echoed with every rise and fall the shrill voices of Italian women at their highest pitch.
Amongst the Venetian maidens, as amongst the Highland clans of Scotland, a sailor's calling is amongst those which are looked upon suspiciously.
" Sailor's trade at sea to die ! "
and again,—
" I want no fisher with a fishy smell, A market-gardener would not suit me well, Nor yet a mariner who sails the sea ; A fine flour-merchant is the man for me."
By which it will be seen that this last singer's evident ideal is a corn-merchant for a husband—rather an exalted lot for a Venetian maid of the people. Fishermen are con­sidered poor, penniless folk, and she who weds a sailor docs so at her own peril.
" L' amour del mariner no dura un' ora, La dove che luel va, lu s' inamora."
And even if the sailor's troth can be trusted, is it not his trade " At sea to die"? But the young girl will not be persuaded. " All say to me, ' Beauty, do not take the mariner, for he will make thee die ;' if he make me die, so it must be : I will wed him, for he is my soul." So the gondolier's Marietta is as true to him in her heart of hearts as Poll or Nancy to her Jack. The following is a verse from a Venetian bead-stringer's song :—
" My love is far and far away from me, I am at home, and he has gone to sea ; He is at sea, and he has sails to spread, I am at home, and I have beads to thread."
The gondolier's love, though, can afford to sing in a lighter strain, there is not the shadow of interminable voy­ages upon her. u I go out on the balcony ; I see Venice,

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