Titanic (VIII), The ("Fare Thee Well, Titanic, Fare Thee Well") (Titanic #8)
DESCRIPTION: "It was midnight on the sea, The band was playing 'Nearer, My God, to Thee"; Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well." The Titanic hits an iceberg; women and children survive; men die. Jack Johnson survives because he is refused passage
EARLIEST DATE: 1949
KEYWORDS: death ship wreck disaster religious Black(s)
April 14/15, 1912 - Shortly before midnight, ship's time, the Titanic strikes an iceberg and begins to sink. Only 711 survivors are found of 2224 people believed to have been aboard.
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Courlander-NFM, pp. 77-78, (no title) (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Moses Asch and Alan Lomax, Editors, _The Leadbelly Songbook_, Oak, 1962, p. 26, "Titanic" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harold Courlander, _A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore_, Crown Publishers, 1976, pp. 404-405, "Fare Thee Well, Titanic" (1 text)
Art Thieme, "Faretheewell Titanic" (on Thieme01)
cf. all the other Titanic songs (plot)
NOTES [93 words]: Despite this song (and other folklore), the band on the Titanic did NOT play "Nearer My God to Thee" as the ship sank. Instead, they played light music to prevent panic.
This particular version, known and sung by Lead Belly, is based on the story of Black boxer Jack Johnson, who was refused passage on the Titanic due to his color.
For an extensive history of the Titanic, with detailed examination of the truth (or lack thereof) of quotes in the Titanic songs, see the notes to "The Titanic (XV)" ("On the tenth day of April 1912") (Titanic #15) - RBW
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