THE TITANIC (HUDDIE LEDBETTER) (1912)
(VERSION #1) | (VERSION #2)

Recorded by Huddie Ledbetter ("Leadbelly"), New York, NY, late Sep 1948.

Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).

My (old--is it still in print?) copy of "Folk Blues" by Jerry Silverman, has the song "Titanic", credited to Leadbelly, (on p. 149). He notes:

"Nineteen hundred and twelve -- Blind Lemon Jefferson and myself used to do this... Jack Johnson was a prizefighter at the time. he whipped Jim Jeffries... It's the first number I learned to play on the twelve-string guitar -- nineteen-twelve. I could play it on the six but you had to get your twelve and get your mind together..."
acjames@aol.com (ACJames)
Newsgroup: rec.music.folk, 24 Feb 1998.

Lyrics as provided by acjames@aol.com (ACJames)
Newsgroup: rec.music.folk, 24 Feb 1998.
It was midnight on the sea,
Band playin' "Nearer My God to Thee"
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

Titanic when it got its load,
Captail hollered, "All aboard,"
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

Jack Johnson want to get on board,
Captain said, "I ain't hauling no coal,"
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

Titanic was comin 'round the curve,
When she ran in to a big iceberg,
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

Titanic was sinkin' down,
Had lifeboats all around
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

Had them lifeboats all around,
Savin the women and children, lettin' men go down,
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

Jack Johnson heard the mighty shock
Mighta seen him doin' the Eagle Rock
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

When the women and children got to land,
Crying "Lord have mercy on my man,"
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well,"

Lyrics as provided by "SFT" (sft429@rocketmail.com)
Newsgroup: rec.music.folk, 18 Feb 1998
Words and music by Huddie Ledbetter.
Collected and adapted by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax
TRO-(c) Copyright 1936 (renewed)
Folkways Music Publishers, Inc., New York, NY.
Captain Smith, when he got his load,
Mighta heared him holl'in', "All aboa'd!"
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well."

Jack Johnson wanted to ge on boa'd;
Captain Smith hollered, "I ain' haulin' no coal."
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well."

It was midnight on the sea,
Band playin', "Nearer My God to Thee."
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well."

Had them lifeboats aroun',
Savin' the women, lettin' the men go down.
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well."

When the women got out on land,
Cryin', "Lawd, have mercy on my man."
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well."

Jack Johnson heard the mighty shock,
Mighta seen the black rascal doin' the Eagle Rock.
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well."

Black man oughta shout for joy,
Never lost a girl or either a boy.
Cryin', "Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well."

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You can email me at
manfredh@mainz.netsurf.de