The Besses o' th' Barn Band play 'Nearer My God to Thee'

Famous brass band recorded a record raising money for the Titanic relief fund

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The Besses o' th' Barn Band play 'Nearer My God to Thee'

Besses o' th' Barn, founded in 1818, are one of the oldest brass bands in the world.

When the Besses set off in 1906 on their first world tour, they travelled from Liverpool to New York aboard the Majestic. The captain of the Majestic was Edward John Smith, later commander of the Titanic.

On 13 June 1912 they recorded Nearer My God to Thee and Fierce Raged The Tempest, the recordings were issued in September 1912 on the Zonophone label (#889).  The record may have been used to raise money for the Titanic relief fund.

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It is not known definitively which tune was used by the band on the Titanic. This recording uses the tune Horbury (John Bacchus Dykes).  This tune is more common in Britain while an alternative, Bethany (Lowell Mason) is more common in the United States and elsewhere.

Besses World Tour
The Besses o' th' Band, setting off on their world tour in 1906

Zonophone Label
Zonophone Record Label

Besses o' th' Barn Band
Vintage Brass Band Recordings - IBEW
1912 Record Releases

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Pictures and recordings courtesy of Besses o' th' Barn Band


Stephen Hughes

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) The Besses o' th' Barn Band play 'Nearer My God to Thee' ( ref: #191, published 12 November 2020, generated 19th June 2021 02:04:12 AM); URL :