Titanic in Song


Jim Kalafus

There is an "uncensored" Ttianic song floating around, ca 1920, which contains some extremely graphic passages most accounts, and later recordings, gloss over. Very similar in content to the better known Jack Johnson piece (although he is not named in this version) and "Dolemite" and once heard never forgotten.
Shelley Dziedzic

Shelley Dziedzic

The song "Two Pennies" (by Padraig Lalor of the Irish music group Henry Marten's Ghost) http://www.hmg-irishmusic.com tells the true story of a boy from Belfast whose father died aboard the Titanic. His father, Thomas Millar, gave him two pennies before he left, telling him not to spend them until he returned. The full story of the two pennies can be seen and heard on the Belfast Titanic Society site http://www.belfast-titanic.com/.

"Two Pennies" was released to help raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution http://www.rnli.org.uk Padraig asks that you consider making a donation to the lifeboat institution if you download the song.

Cliff W West

The late Roy Acuff had a song about the Titanic recorded in the early 1950's. I found it on Youtube under Roy Acuff

Luke Owens

Back in the 1950s, Dick Sherman and Milt Larsen released an album called "Smash Flops", which contained the following song:


Bon voyage to you new Titanic
You're the greatest ship on the sea
Bon voyage to you new Titanic
Say hello to the Statue of Liberty
To wish you a safe crossing is unthinkable
We know with what you're costing you're unsinkable!
So bon voyage to you new Titanic
You're the greatest ship on the blue
Bon voyage to you new Titanic
I'm so lucky to be sailing with you!


Ann Whitworth Unemori

"Bon Voyage..." ah, how our thoughts would have wished it to be so. At least, to let us have riden with her as far as she did...

Jim Kalafus

The Titanic was a feature in country and rural black music (which, in truth, IS a type of country music) for quite a bit longer than it did in popular music.

Perhaps the best "country" Titanic song, is 1924's The Titanic (better known as "It Was Sad As The Great Ship Went Down") by Ernest Stoneman, who having recorded in every medium (except for CD) begining with Edison ca 1909 and ending with LP albums in the late 1960s/early 1970s can truly be said to have been the Father of Country Music.

Stoneman's 1924 performance was equalled, but not excelled, by the husband and wife team William and Versey Smith, black "street musicians" who released their own version of The Titanic in 1927. It is the same song, but totally different, and is as first rate a street-shouting performance as Stoneman's is excellent mountain country.

Titanic Blues, by Hi Henry Brown and Charlie Jordan, 1932, is a great twin-guitar number by a pair of St. Louis performers:
Some was drinkin'
some was playin' cards
some was in the corner praying to their God.

Loretta Lynn, in her autobiography, mentions a song about the Titanic she learned from her mother, ca. 1935-'40. In the film Coal Miner's Daughter, if you pay attention you can catch Sissy Spacek, as Loretta, singing a few lines of the soft, hymn-like song, which ends with the words "...will raise the Titanic some day." I've not heard that song anywhere else.

"Dolemite" the 1920s proto-rap about a black superhero, contains a Titanic section in which Dolemite finds himself aboard the sinking Titanic with women begging him to save them. He replies:

"I can paddle you back across the ocean with the end of my ____

I can eat nine pounds of cat s--- and not get sick."

Now, I GET the first line, but the significance of the second boast is has not stood the test of time. Every time I've used it as a pick-up line, my intended has been repulsed by it. But, I digress.....

Now, "Rabbit" Brown recorded a song called "The Titanic" in 1927. It is in no way related to the Stoneman/Smith song. This is a medicine show type of number, but backwards-looking in terms of 'feel' and with a few changes could have been written in 1875:

You know they all stood out on that sinking deck
and they was all in great despair.
Accidents may happen most any old time
and we know not when or where.

George L. Lorton

I always liked God Moves On The Water. We sung that in Church when I was a little kid. Didn't know it was a bout the Titanic or never made the connection. It was not really a Hymnal which is what we Lutherans like to sing but Pastor Pete who was our Pastor was always one for fun singing for the kids and open minded on religious hymns and spirituals.


Hey Jim,
Would you mind checking out this original Titanic song? I have a slideshow with it on Youtube. No one who has heard knows enough about the Titanic to really get the lyrics, which I labored a great deal on. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks. Rob H.

Titanic Song Unplugged - YouTube


Hey Shelley,
Would mind checking out this original that I wrote? Most people don't know enough about the Titanic to get the lyrics, I would really appreciate any feedback.

Death of MGY

In a Belfast shipyard
where the Irishmen worked hard
From the number 3 slip
on an emigrant ship

There was no champaign
for her christening
Into the bounding main
"They just shoves her in"


J.P. Morgan's clout
bought up the transatlantic route
And the flag and the sigh
of the White Star Line

Captain Smith starred down
from the bridge at Queenstown
With a crowd on the rail
as the ship set sail

On a moonless night
with the cold winds bite
The steam engines groaned
under bright stars that shown

There was a white jagged crest
that they saw from the crows nest
With the helm spinning wide
it hit the starboard side

Jacob Astor's drink spilled
as the forward compartments filled
Nine decks below
On Billy Carter's Renault

When the lifeboats were gone
still the band played on
So nobody panic
in the cold Atlantic

When the wreck got found
a few miles down
From the bathysphere
"What vaingloriousness down here?"

Like a fortune teller
with a crystal ball
I'm seeing your future
and hearing it call