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  1. #1
    Nefertiti is offline Member
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    Default Michael Row The Boat Ashore

    Hi there.

    " Sister help to trim the sail"
    1. Does 'trim' mean to cut?

    "Jordan's river is chilly and cold"
    2. Any significance about the river, Jordan's river?

    " Milk and honey on the other side"
    3. Any significance about 'milk' and 'honey'? Why not beef or lamb is mentioned?


    Thanks in advance.


    sail (MATERIAL)
    noun [C]
    1 a sheet of material fixed to a pole on a boat to catch the wind and make the boat move:
    to hoist/lower the sails

    pasture
    noun [C or U]
    grass or similar plants suitable for animals such as cows and sheep to eat, or an area of land covered in this:
    The sheep were grazing on the lush green pastures.
    Some fields are planted with crops for several years, and then returned to pasture for the cattle.

    (from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

    ___________
    The Song Michael Row The Boat Ashore - Lyrics
    Last edited by Nefertiti; 18-Nov-2007 at 02:41.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Michael Row The Boat Ashore

    [quote=Nefertiti;228580]Hi there.

    " Sister help to trim the sail"
    1. Does 'trim' mean to cut?
    This is a sailing reference. In general, the closer you sail to the wind, the closer the sails are pulled or trimmed to the midline of the boat. As you sail away from the wind, the sails are progressively let out. The exact position of the sails are based upon the direction and speed of the apparent-wind.
    "Jordan's river is chilly and cold"
    2. Any significance about the river, Jordan's river?
    The River Jordan is often used as a metaphor for death. According to Slave Songs of the United States, the "Michael" referred to in the song is the Archangel Michael. In Christian tradition, Michael is often considered a psychopomp, or conductor of the souls of the dead.
    " Milk and honey on the other side"
    3. Any significance about 'milk' and 'honey'? Why not beef or lamb is mentioned? The reference is from the Bible.
    "And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey: unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites." -- Exodus 3: 8 (KJV)


    I hope this helps,

  3. #3
    Nefertiti is offline Member
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    Default Re: Michael Row The Boat Ashore

    Hi, Carl.

    A couple of questions I forgot to ask. It's about the tense of the song.

    "Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister help to trim the sail, hallelujah
    "

    Michael is singular and third person, so is sister.

    How come the verse doesn't appear as,
    "Michael rows the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister helps to trim the sail, hallelujah"

    1. Does the original verse go like this,
    "Michael, you row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister, you help to trim the sail, hallelujah"

    "You' is omitted. Correct?

    2. Does 'Sister' refer to Michael's sister or a nun?


    Thanks for the details, they help me a lot.

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Michael Row The Boat Ashore

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Hi, Carl.

    A couple of questions I forgot to ask. It's about the tense of the song.

    "Michael, row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister, help to trim the sail, hallelujah
    "

    Michael is singular and third person, so is sister.

    How come the verse doesn't appear as,
    "Michael rows the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister helps to trim the sail, hallelujah"

    1. Does the original verse go like this,
    "Michael, you row the boat ashore, hallelujah
    Sister, you help to trim the sail, hallelujah"

    "You' is omitted. Correct? No - it is a command/request: "Do this". If punctuation was always properly included in texts of poems and songs, they would be much more easily understood!

    2. Does 'Sister' refer to Michael's sister or a nun? This song is an evangelical one - brother and sister are symbolic terms for other men and women, who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.


    Thanks for the details, they help me a lot.
    .

  5. #5
    Nefertiti is offline Member
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    Default Re: Michael Row The Boat Ashore

    Hi, Anglika.

    "You' is omitted. Correct? No - it is a command/request: "Do this". If punctuation was always properly included in texts of poems and songs, they would be much more easily understood!

    A sentence must have a subject. A basic form of a sentence is a subject + a verb. (i.e. S + V)

    When you say, "Do this." I think the subject must be 'YOU', but it's omitted.
    For instance, come here, go there, don't cry, come in, fire...etc.

    Don't you think so?

    Thanks for your explanations on brothers and sisters.

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