Friday, December 11, 2009

*In Folklorist Harry Smith’s House-"When That Great Ship Went Down" — William & Versey Smith (1927)

Click on the title to link to a presentation of the song listed in the headline.

The year 2009 has turned into something a year of review of the folk revival of the 1960s. In November I featured a posting of many of the episodes (via “YouTube”) of Pete Seeger’s classic folk television show from the 1960s, “Rainbow Quest”. I propose to do the same here to end out the year with as many of the selections from Harry Smith’s seminal “Anthology Of American Folk Music,” in one place, as I was able to find material for, either lyrics or "YouTube" performances (not necessarily by the original performer). This is down at the roots, for sure.

When That Great Ship Went Down

Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).

Check out VERNON DALHART's and LESLEY RIDDLE's variants of the same song.

Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 13:44:28 -0500
Organization: University of Georgia Chemistry Department

It surprises me that your Titanic songs don't include a representative of the one most commonly sung here in the U.S. Here is one, as printed in D. T. Cain, Westminster, SC, Songs for Revival Services (no publisher, no date). Internal evidence suggests publication during WWI: a song (LEAVING MOTHER FOR WAR) includes the following lines:
How it grieves your loving Mother
When her boy must go away;
May you ne'er forget her counsel,
Though in France you long must stay.
Here it is.
Info and lyrics kindly provided by John Garst

It was on one Monday morning,
About one o'clock,
When the great Titanic
Began to reel and rock.
People began to scream and cry,
Saying, Lord, I'm going to die.
It was sad when that great ship went down.

It was sad when that great ship went down --
Husbands and wives
And children lost their lives.
It was sad when that great ship went down.
When the ship first left England
And was making for the shore,
The rich declared they would not
Ride with the poor.
So they put the poor below,
They were the first who had to go.
It was sad when that great ship went down.
When they were building,
They said what they would do,
They would build a ship
That the water couldn't break through.
But the Lord in power and hand
Showed the world it could not stand.
It was sad when that great ship went down.

When Paul was sailing
With men all around,
The Lord who sits in Heaven
Said no man should be drowned.
If they'd trust and obey
He would save them today.
It was sad when that great ship went down.

There were people on the ship,
And a long ways from home,
With friends all around them who
Did not know their time had come.
Old Death he came riding by,
Sixteen hundred had to die.
It was sad when that great ship went down.

1 comment:

  1. If you steal my work, you should at least attribute it!