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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246             Music of tsje Waters.
but little known now. I have never read anything more generous than his opinion of the Dutch people, or an account so picturesque and interesting of their country.
He also speaks of the lonely island of Marken. " The women/' he says, " hardly ever quit the island; the men, on the contrary, inhale the breath and life of the sea. The flounder-catchers enter' their j boats at midnight each Sunday ; they pass the week in the Gulf, and only return home on Saturday night. The only day they spend ashore is employed in repairing nets, sacks, and tackle. Great dangers menace these indefatigable voyagers ; the wave of the Zuyder Zee is shorter and less tumultuous than that of the ocean, but it is perfidious. Their coolness amid dangers and storms equals their humanity ; ever ready to help im­perilled vessels, they have furnished proofs innumerable of their courage and presence of mind. The sea is the visible conscience of the fisherman of the Zuyder Zee, and he is ever anxious to prove himself honest and pure in its sight. They are remarkably temperate men—the cause, probably, of their longevity. You meet many old men on the island, and at the sight of their faces, calm as the sea on a fine summer night, you grow to love this humble mediocrity, these poor people, rich in things they are ignorant of, and this family of fishermen who are so closely connected by a uniformity of labour, inclinations, and dangers." The house belongs to the wife; but the fly-boat, the external house, to the husband. He displays the same coquetry and zeal in adorning this floating abode as his wife does in cleaning the cottage; and on Sundays and holidays the fishing-boats 'collected in port seem rather a squadron of yachts arranged for the pleasure of the eye, than a fleet of toil and utility. But the wives of the fishermen of Marken have other duties besides that of cleaning the cottage to attend to. The first consists in the education of her children, which entirely devolves upon the mother— sometimes the family numbers twelve children; add to this the making of all their clothing, including the hus-

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III