The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122536   Message #2688770
Posted By: GUEST,Jack Campin (in Transylvania)
28-Jul-09 - 11:04 AM
Thread Name: Tune Req: Sea songs about Explorers
Subject: RE: Tune Req: Sea songs about Explorers
There are two tunes I can think of relating to Captain Cook: "The Lament for Captain Cook", a fiddle tune by Miss Oswald of Auchincrieve (not to be confused with her appalling mother) given words by Burns which have no maritime connection at all, and "Omai", a spectactular reel published by (and probably written by) William Campbell - Omai was the Tahitian who came back to England with Cook. You can find the lament in Kinsley's edition of Burns: Campbell's books are very rare but I have an ABC transcription of the tune at home.

There is also a Polynesian verse/song/dance drama about Cook's vsit to one of the Pacific atolls (Mangareva?), dating from the time of the event, which survived in oral tradition long enough to be written down in the early 19th century. The missionary collector didn't write down the music. The text (and stage directions) are in Anthony Alpers' "The World of the Polynesians", I think. There may well be surviving Polynesian songs about their own colonization of the Pacific.

The big sea-exploration poem is Camoes' "Os Lusiadas" - was any of it ever sung?