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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268                Music of tub Waters.
I have sent forth my falcons bright, My falcons bright, the Don Kazaks; Deprived of them my steep banks crumble down, Deprived of them my shoals are thick with sand.'"
"The traditions of the Russian peasants people the waters with spiritual inhabitants. Their songs and stories often speak of the Tsar Morskoi, the marine or water-king, who dwells in the depths of the sea, or the lake, or the pool, and who rules over the subaqueous world. To this Slavonic Neptune a family of daughters is frequently attributed, maidens of exceeding beauty, who, when they don their feather dresses, become the swan maidens who figure in the popular literature of so many nations. The graceful creatures, however, as well as their royal parent, belong to the realm of the peasant's imagination rather than to that of his belief." (Ralston.)
The Vodyany, or water-sprite of Russia, inhabits the depths of rivers, lakes, or pools, but sometimes he dwells in swamps (not necessarily dismal), and he is especially fond of taking up his quarters in a mill-stream, close to the wheel. Every mill is supposed to have a Vodyany attached to it, or several Vodyani—I believe this to be the correct way of speaking of these gentlemen in the plural—if it have more than one wheel. Consequently, millers are generally obliged to be well-versed in the black art, for if they do not understand how to treat the water-spirits all will go ill with them. The Vodyany is also a patron of bee-keeping, and it is customary to enclose the first swarm of the year in a bag, and to throw it, weighted with a stone, into the nearest river, as an offering to his august subaqueous Majesty. He who does this will assuredly flourish as a bee-master, especially if he takes a honeycomb from a hive on St. Zosima's Day, and flings it at midnight into a mill-stream. The Vodyany is not prepossessingly represented by the people, and is supposed to be much given to drinking and card-playing and other vices, which

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