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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210              Music of the Waters.
arrows of the sea ; and there is a play upon the words " pil " (arrows) and " sild " (herrings), as being somewhat similar in sound in the original translation.
In the reign of King Magnus the Good (1035—1047) there appears to have been a great deal of fighting, and most of the songs of that period tell of battles by sea and land ; some few lament the hardships of sea-life, such as—
" No drink but the salt sea On board our ships had we, When, following our king, On board our ships we spring. Hard work on the salt sea, Off Scandia's coast, had we ; But we laboured for the king, To his foemen death to bring."
But most of these are stirring battle-songs :—
" Brave Magnus, from the stern springing On to the stem, where swords were ringing, From his sea-raven's beak of gold Deals death around—the brave ! the bold !
'Twas on a Sunday morning bright, Fell out this great and bloody fight, When men were arming, fighting, dying, Or on the red decks wounded lying. And many a man foredoomed to die, To save his life o'erboard did fly, But sank ; for swimming could not save, And dead men rolled in every wave."
There seems to have been an origin for the well-known song, most familiar, perhaps, to children, of " London Bridge is broken down," in the reign of King Olaf. Speaking of the invasion of England in the timeof Ethelred, Mr. Laing says : " The Danes who had already been settled in England some time—King Ethelred having gone to France —had raised a great work, a bulwark of stone, timber, and







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