Music Ancient and Modern

The piece of vellum my niece sent me is authentic, a page from a fifteenth century Italian antiphonal hand lettered and notated (is that the right word?) in Gregorian chant. It’s worth about a hundred dollars. Cool!


When I was in US Navy boot camp about a thousand years ago, one of the songs we learned was “WAVES of the Navy,” which I have never forgotten. It’s a “counter melody” to “Anchors Aweigh,” and very pretty when sung with the latter. By the words you can tell this dates to the founding of Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES) in World War II. This past Sunday I was visiting a friend. She’s a musician and an avid looker-upper of things on the Internet. I mentioned that I had never heard that counter-melody outside of boot camp, and she picked up her iBook and seconds later presented me with several links. Here’s one. If you’re musically inclined, try playing it while listening to “Anchors Aweigh” and prepare to be charmed. (“. . . [He] will find ashore his man-size chore was done by a Navy Wave.”) The Internet is wonderful.

Waves of the Navy


There’s a ship sailing down the bay.
And she won’t slip into port again
Until that Victory Day.
Carry on for that gallant ship
And for every hero brave
Who will find ashore, his man-sized chore
Was done by a Navy WAVE.

Words by Betty St. Clair 
(Written to harmonize with “Anchors Aweigh”)

About Ellen

Professional Mad Scientist for several years. Retired.
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