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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Music of the Waters.             283
made from a black pebble ; the board is divided into 361 squares, and the game consists in trying to enclose a certain space and preventing the opponent from doing the-same. In days gone by, some horrible legend about instant death to the vanquished in this game was current. To think of this fatal gambling at sea, brings to one's mind that horrible phantom ship in Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner ":
" The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice ; The game is done : ' I've won ! I've won ! ' Quoth she, and whistles thrice."
Many harbours, as in our country, claim for their own certain chanties. Some of these become popular, and are soon heard all over Japan or wherever the Japanese flag is hoisted, but in some harbours the prerogative of singing them is retained. There is one sung when lifting heavy cargo, peculiar to the harbour of Matsumai, although its popularity amongst the sailors of other ports has led to its becoming an established Japanese sea-song. Matsumai is also the name of a great chieftain who lived in feudal times, and was a man of such renowned bravery that no one could beat him. He seems to have had no rival in strength, and has been handed down to posterity as a naval Samson. It is also sung when pulling the ropes, though more generally when lifting any heavy weight. While the solo is being sung, the rest hold themselves in readiness either to pull or to heave, as the case may be.
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Mat - su - mai sa - ma -de - mo yaa - yai. Chorus
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Yat - to Ro - se - i Yon           ya              na.............

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