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Lighter Review: Davis & Tozer 50 Sailors Songs or Chanties (34) RE: Review: Davis & Tozer 50 Sailors Songs or Chanties 24 Feb 21


People who were publishing or paying for music in the 1880s were interested in one thing (musically, that is): songs that made sense and were enjoyable to sing and listen to.

I suspect that if D&T had published nothing but field-collected words, the book would have never seen the light of day, even if the words were inoffensive.

So if Davis had to rewrite in order to preserve the "airs" and maybe the basic idea of various songs, no one would have faulted him for it. In fact, he was doing music-lovers a favor - as was Tozer with his piano arrangements.

The point of popular art in the '80s was to improve taste and morals.

Sailors didn't need a book of chanteys, and landlubbers weren't much interested in documentation or authenticity.


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