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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314                Music of the Waters.
Sir John Barrow gives an English translation of the words of the song " Moo-lee-wha ;" it is in praise of the flower Moo-lee:—
" How delightful this branch of fresh flowers ! One morning, one day, it was dropped in my house. I, the owner, will wear it not out of doors, But I will hold the fresh flower and be happy. How delightful this branch of the Moo-lee flower ! In the full plot of flowers blooming none excels it; I, the owner, will wear this gathered branch, Wear it, yet fear, the flower seen, men will envy."
As the gondoliers of Venice while away their long midnight hours on the waters with strophes of Tasso, the Greek sailors of the Archipelago with fragments of Homer, so the trackers in China accompany their severe labour with a song. Mr. Ellis, in his book of travels in that country, mentions that the sight of the lofty pagoda of Tong-chow, served as a great topic of incitement in the trackers' song.
A traveller in China has remarked that " A Chinaman rehearsing a song looks and gives utterance to such goat­like bleats, that it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that he is labouring under a violent attack of chronic whooping-cough, combined with intermittent seizures of hiccough— the dying falls of the inhuman falsetto at the end of each verse finishing in the most confounding hysterical perturbations of the vocal chords."
The Chinese are excellent sailors, and in many points not at all unworthy of comparison with our own. A great number of them were for some time on the Tyne, awaiting the completion of one of their vessels at Elswick. They seemed to be very general favourites, and usually walked about with an attendant crowd of admirers. They were very polite; indeed, one of the officers was so gallant on one occasion, when he was out spending the evening with some friends, that he cut all







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