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.              195
his " Life on the Lagoons." His book—inscribed by the way to his gondolier " Antonio Salin, my constant com­panion in Venice and Venetia "—has the salt and the free­dom of the grey lagoon, and the light and shade, and laughter and tears of those whose life is passed on it, in all its pages. Long after I had laid it down, I was haunted by the visions it had conjured up for me—visions of Chioggian market-boats jostling each other; of bronzed Chiozzotti with their pipes between their teeth, reposing on top of their cabbage-piles ; of an evening breeze springing up behind, and sail and prow being set for Venice, across the pearly-grey lagoon ; I could hear the clash and the clamour of the evening bells, the splash of the oars, could see the piazza lights and the sunset glow, feel the clear pungent odour of the lagoons, " the breath of Venice," and the thrilling voice of the sea with its ceaseless strain, " II mare mi chiama." Mr. Brown, in his inimitable fashion, analyzes the great charm of the " Queen of the Adriatic ;" he says, " It is the people and the place, the union and interpene-tration of the two, the sea-life of these dwellers in the city that is always 'just putting out to sea,' which constitutes for many the peculiar and enduring charm of Venice. The people and the place, so intimately intermingled through all their long history, have grown into a single life charged with the richness of sea-nature and the warmth of human emotion. From both together escapes this essence or soul of Venice which we would clasp with all the ardour of a lover. Venice, her lagoons, her seafaring folk, become the object of a passionate idolatry, which admits no other allegiance in the hearts that have known its power. To leave her is a sure regret, to return a certain joy.
" Farewell they may not who say farewell."
A few words as to the origin of the word " gondola " may not be out of place in a chapter bearing on the Vene­tian boatmen : again quoting the author of the " Life on the Lagoons." " The derivation of the name is still an open
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