Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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Three fishers went sailing out into the west,
Out into the west as the sun went down; Each thought on the woman who loved him the best, And the children stood watching them out of the town; For men must work, and women must weep, And there's little to earn, and many to keep; Tho' the harbor bar be moaning.
Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower. And they trimmed the lamps as the sun went
down; They looked at the squall, and they looked at the
And the night-rack came rolling up, ragged and brown : But men must work, and women must weep. Tho' storms be sudden and waters deep : And the harbor bar be moaning,
Three corpses lay out on the shining sands,
In the morning gleam as the tide went down, And the women are weeping and wringing their their hands, For those who will never come back to the town; For men must work, and women must weep, And the sooner it's over, the sooner to sleep,
And good-bye to the bar and its moaning.
The words of this favorite of former years are no doubt of English origin; but I have do clue to their authorship. The air is by the well-known musician, Sir Henry Rowley Bishop, who was born in London, in 1786, and was carefully educated there under Italian music-masters. His first noticeable composition was "The Circassian Bride," which was destroyed in the burning of the Drury Lane Theatre, the day after a most successful production upon its stage. Bishop was for fourteen years director of music at Covent Garden Theatre, and for thirty years thereafter he was a leader in London musical matters. Besides, to use his own words, " operas, burlettas, melodramas, inciĀ­dental music to Shakespeare's plays, patchings and adaptations of foreign operas, glees, ballads, canzonets, and cantatas," he wrote more than fifty operas, including "Guy Mannering," and others that still hold their place; was for years director of the famous "Ancient Concerts," was first director of the Philharmonic concerts, and composed for the sacred musical festivals. He succeeded Sir John Stevenson in arranging Moore's "Irish melodies," and edited several musical publications, including " Melodies of Various Nations," and the closing volumes of Thomson's " Scottish Songs," and also set many old English airs to words by Charles Mackay. In 1842 he was knighted. At the time of his death, he held the professorship of music at Oxford. In 1831, he married Anna Riviere, who became the well-known vocalist, Madame Anna Bishop. In spite of the apparently great success of his career, his closing days were clouded not only by bodily and mental disorder, but by pecuniary troubles. He died, April 30, 1855.