Stand To Your Post / Be British

Stand To Your Post / Be British

Titanic Historic Recordings

Recorded in London May or June 1912

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"Stand To Your Post" by Bennett Scott
"Be British" by Lawrence Wright and Paul Pelham
Both performed by Robert Carr
Edison-Bell, Velvet Face (1316), London 1912
Exact Recording Date and Location Unknown


"Stand to your post" and "Be-British" were published within weeks of the sinking. Both songs feature rousing lyrics encouraging listeners to support the relief funds set up to help the victims' families.

Because early recording relied on purely mechanical methods, records such as this tend to feature brass instruments in preference to strings or wind and employed vocalists who could clearly articulate every word.

Stand To Your Post (3122)

Hear the original recording

Be British (3123)

Hear the original recording

Descriptive Passage (Spoken without musical support)

"Dedicated to the memory of the greatest shipping disaster in the history of the world, the loss of the world leviathan the Titanic, of forty five thousand tons, forty six thousand horse power, by collision with an iceberg in the mid-Atlantic when on her maiden voyage on the fourteenth of April nineteen hundred and twelve and the deaths of the one thousand six hundred and thirty five passengers and crew who perished in the icy seas."
Also in proud remembrance of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for others in obedience with the instincts of their race.
And the grand old Captain's exhortation 'Be British!'

Hats off please!

Two Verses with Chorus (vocal, supported by band)

When the mighty ship Titanic parted from Southampton bay
There were tears and fond goodbyes too as she proudly steamed away
But soon alas disaster came and filled all hearts with woe
Although in sorrow now we weep, we yet are proud to know.

Every man at his post as the big ship went down,
To save precious lives 'ere we find them
They died like heroes true
Now something we must do
For the wives and little ones they left behind them

In the darkness of the night there came a crash, a crash of doom
And the gallant crew soon realized the sea must be their tomb
The order came to lower the boats and one thing had to be
The women and the children first, for that's the way at sea.

Introduction (instrumental)

First Verse (vocal, supported by trumpet soloist).

What a glorious thing it is to know,
that the breed is just the same
as it was when the Anglo-Saxon race,
first gained immortal fame.
What a glorious thing it is to know
when dangers hour was nigh;
when the mighty liner sank to her rest,
our men knew how to die.

Descriptive Passage (Spoken to the tune "Horbury" - Nearer My God to Thee - played by strings.

In rode the feeling of courage, of duty to be done and men behaved like men should do, all heroes every one. Millionaire and poor man's son, when she was sinking fast, worked like Britons side by side all faithful to the last and though they found a cold, cold grave beneath the icy seas. Up on high these words were heard, Nearer My God to Thee. With men like these we still can boast and as of old can sing O death, where is thy victory, O grave, where is thy sting [1] .

Chorus

Be British was the cry as the ship went down
Every man was steady at his post
Captain and crew when they knew the worst
Saving the women and children first
Be British is the cry to everyone
And though fate has proved unkind.
Show that you are willing, with a penny or a shilling for those they left behind.

Finale (identical to the introduction) [2]

These recordings were also issued under the British "The Winner" title, the recordings appear to be identical although here the performer is listed as "Ernest Gray".

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Notes
1. A curious corruption of Revelation 6:8 and Corinthians 1 15:55: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"
2. Additional verses were written but not included on this disk presumably due to the time contrainst of a 10 inch 78 rpm disk.

Audio Samples
Stand To Your Post
Be British

Source Material
Recordings Audio Restoration and RealAudio® Conversion © Encyclopedia Titanica (1999,2001)
Sheet Music courtesy of Robert DiSogra, USA

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    Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Thursday 28th August 2003, last updated .