MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Titanic
Performed by Mrs. John Powers Accession # 78-054 NFLD 1 Tape 2 Track 4
Community: Tors Cove Audio:
Genre: Ballad / shipwreck Musical notation available


On the 10th of April 1912 her whistles they did sound
Her power of motion was released her twin screws turned around
Designed by skilful builders at Belfast, Ireland
The honour fell to Captain Smith the liner to command

Nine hundred seamen to form the crew some wore the golden braid
With … and millionaires strolled on her promenade
Southampton's piers were crowded down on that eventful day
To see the largest ship afloat sail for Amerikay

As the engines thrust great clouds of smoke rose from her funnels high
For she was bound down on the main her record for her to try
With engines new her turbine flew around with lightning speed
Onto the dangers of the sea they gave but little heed

Three days were spent in merriment they still kept steering on
'Til the 14th day of April one hour before the dawn
When an iceberg white it loomed in sight it lay right in our course
From trunk to keel our ship of steel … in force

Upon the main confusion reigned we knew our end was nigh
When our lifeless bodies in the deep a-mouldering would lie
O sorrow mingled with despair their fatal hour had come
When the White Star Queen lay on the main her engines ceased to hum

O come to us we're sinking flashed a message o'er the blue
The Titan's powers are broken and her bows are open through
… The message flashed again
While the watchful eyes of hundreds failed to see her on the main
Too late the ship has vanished and nothing more is seen
And fourteen passengers went down all with that White Star queen

As the great and mighty sepulchre pushed onward to her doom
Four hundred miles from Boston and four from old Cape Race

Sources: West 2:46 published a variant of this song text but the tune is different. Laws D24.

History: This ballad of the Titanic's demise in 1912 has many features of older shipwreck ballads.

Tune notes: The triple metre tune with persistent syncopations and some dramatic leaps has the form, abab'.


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