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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330              Musio of the Waters.
Mr. George W. Cable, writing in the Century Magazine, April, 1886, on Creole slave-songs, devotes a page to the songs of the chase and of the boat. Of these latter he has most courteously allowed me to make use. He says " that the circumstances which produced these songs have dis­appeared. Travelling in Louisiana used only to be by water. Every planter had his boat and skilled crew of black oarsmen. The throb of their song measured the sweep of the oars, and as their bare or turbaned heads and shining bodies bowed forward and straightened back in ceaseless alternation, their strong voices chanted the praise of the silent, broad-hatted master, who sat in the stern. Now and then a line would be interjected in manly boast of their own brawn, and often the praise of the master softened off into tender laudations of the charms of some black or tawny Zilii, Zabette, or Zalli." The following are a few stanzas of one of the rowing-songs :—

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