God Moves on the Water

Titanic Historic Recordings

Blind Willie Johnson was born in Marlin, Texas c.1902. A Gospel singer and guitarist, he recorded just 30 pieces at a variety of locations between 1927 and 1930. He was accompanied on some songs by his wife Angeline. During the depression reverted to busking for a living and —- despite the quality of his earlier output — never made another record.

Johnson died of pneumonia following a house fire in Beaumont Texas, c. 1950.

Recorded by Columbia, 11 December 1929 (Real Audio | MP3)

Year of nineteen hundred and twelve,
April the 14th day
Great Titanic struck an iceberg
People had [to] run and pray
God moves, moves ah know ah
An' the people had to run and pray

The guards who had been a-watchin'
sleep by day while they tired
When they heard the great excitement
many gunshots were fired
God moves, moves ah know ah
An' the people had to run and pray

Captain Smith gave orders,
women and children first
Mannin' the life boats piled right up,
many alive were crushed
God moves, ah know, ah know ah,
An' the people had to run and pray

Oh many had to leave their happy home,
all that they possess
Lord Jesus Will you hear us now,
help us in our distress
Go moves, ah know, ah know ah,
the people had to run and pray

Women had to leave their lovin' ones,
see for their safety
When they heard their loved ones doomed
hearts did almost break
God moves, ah know, ah know ah'
An' the people had to run and pray

E.J. Smith mighty man
built a boat that he couldn't understand
?named it a name ????
Never to see Lord the boat again
God moves, ah know, ah know ah

Samples, Source Material and Transfers
God Moves on the Water, Columbia, 11 December 1929 (14520-D)
This rare 1929 recording is included courtesy of Joe Showler, from the CD Titanic Songs, TSCD 22798, Unsinkable Music, Toronto 1998.

Acknowledgements

Joe Showler, Canada

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