Sinking of the Titanic (Titanic #9)
DESCRIPTION: The Titanic leaves Southampton. After the ship strikes an iceberg, her officers call upon the Carpathia for help. The passengers and crew place women and children in the lifeboats, leaving the men to go down with the ship.
AUTHOR: Probably Richard Brown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (recording, Richard "Rabbit" Brown)
LONG DESCRIPTION: The Titanic leaves Southampton, bound for America with happy passengers and crew. After the ship strikes an iceberg, her officers call upon the Carpathia for help, but she is far away. The passengers and crew, realizing the ship is sinking, place women and children in the lifeboats, leaving the men to go down with the ship. The band plays "Nearer My God to Thee" as the ship sinks (Singer sings the hymn)
KEYWORDS: ship wreck disaster death drowning religious
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(So)
ST RcTitaIX (Partial)
Richard "Rabbit" Brown, "Sinking of the Titanic" (Victor 35840, 1927; on TimesAint01)
NOTES: This song can be distinguished from the other Titanic songs primarily by its lack of a chorus, by its description of the SOS call to the Carpathia, and by the singing of "Nearer My God to Thee" at the end. - PJS
Richard Brown in fact not only sang "Nearer..." but did it in a sort of distorted voice, like music heard through water. A cute trick. Although the song was not recorded until 1927, Lyle Lofgren thinks it was written soon after the tragedy, because of the details it has, most of which (except for the playing of "Nearer...") are accurate. 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.
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
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.