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.              345
national song he proved to his astonished companions the truth of his assertions. They were able by means of an aquascope to perceive the eagerness with which the piscine population gathered around the little boat. Casting over the nets they had brought, they instantly made such a catch as has rarely, if ever, been known on the lake, and they may be said indeed to have made another miraculous draught of fishes."
Fish again are charged with being voiceless, but how then about the gurnard that pipes, the diodon that grunts, and the others that drum and whistle and play on Jew's harps ? The legend that they were caught in Egypt by singing to them is not without its plausibility. " Fishes, though little, have very long ears" is an old Chinese proverb ; and to this day, on the Danube, men hang little bells to their nets to attract fish. In Japan the same fish are summoned to dinner by melodious gongs. In India we have seen them called up out of the muddy depths of the river at Dholpore by the ringing of a handbell; and from the abbey in Belgium, where the carp answer at once to the whistle of the monks who feed them, right away to Otaheite, where the chiefs have pet eels which they whistle to the surface, the same belief in the sym­pathy of fish with musical sounds will on inquiry be found prevailing. "Dull as a mullet" was a Roman proverb, yet the very men who quoted it, prided themselves on the docility, sensitiveness to sound, and personal attachment of their favourite mullets. We are inclined, therefore, to think that the finned folk have been somewhat calum­niated ; a grudge, it is possible, has been borne against the fish, under the idea that they escaped the deluge.
In Chambers' Journal (July 3rd, 1886) there appeared a very interesting article entitled " Musical Sand." The existence of musical or sonorous sand is not much known, although such sand appears to occur in localities widely distributed over the earth's surface. There is the so-called " Singing Beach " at Manchester-by-the-Sea,Massachusetts,







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