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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218              Music of the Waters.
To this last capstan tune no words were sent me. Some of the songs furnished with verses are of very little use, save to those who are acquainted with the Norwegian language as sung by the sailors ; it is almost impossible to make any correct translation of the words. They mean but little to the singers of them, that is, judging them from a sensible point of view ; but they mean decidedly less to us, who are not Norwegian. It has often struck me that there must be a very forcible freemasonry between sailors of all nations with regard to their language, even putting aside those technical terms which hold good all the world over, and which enables the Norwegian to understand as readily as the Italian, with whom they originate, the words " starboard " and " larboard," when the Dutchman and Englishman, the Frenchman and Russian exchange glances of sympathy over some thrilling yarn told in the strange forecastle vernacular of an English vessel.

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