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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208              Music of the Waters.
Upon the Irish shore—ore, Upon the Irish shore.
Solo.—Next year the Danes took terrible pains
To wipe that stain away ; They came with a fleet their foes to meet
Across the stormy say. Each Irish carl great stones did hurl
In such a mighty rain, The Danes went down with a horrible stoun,
An' never came up again.
Chorus.—Oh! this is the way," &c.
In Mr. Samuel Laing's admirable translation of Snorro Sturleson's " Heimskringla" (Chronicle of the Kings of Norway), there are many famous sea-songs; indeed, the volumes are so interspersed with them that it would be a difficult matter to make a selection from so inexhaustible a mine. Many of the same expressions and even senti­ments that may be found in the modern sailor's songs are introduced in these old Icelandic Sagas; for instance, in the following:—
" The hero who knows well to ride The sea-horse o'er the foaming tide ; He who in boyhood wild rode o'er The seaman's horse to Scandia's shore, And showed the Danes his galley's bow, Right nobly scours the ocean now."
The expression sea-horse (or sometimes ocean-steed) is commonly used for a ship, probably from many having had the figure-head of a horse on the bow. Mr. Laing seems to rate Snorro Sturleson's powers as a dramatic his­torian very highly, ranking him with Carlyle, Scott, and even with Shakespeare himself, and placing him very far above Joinville or Froissart. Therefore, we may venture to regard as authentic his account of the half-fabulous tales of the time of Odin, though it must, I think, be a







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