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In a blog essay posted on the Web site of The American Scholar before Mr. Mitchell's death, Mr. Zinsser said Mr. Mitchell's approach to broken-down pianos (which musicians sometimes encounter on tour) illustrated his approach to life. "I learned long ago that it does no good to complain," Mr. Zinsser recalled Mr. Mitchell telling him. Instead, listen to the keys and put their flatness or sharpness to use. "You say, 'What does it do?' " said Mr. Mitchell, sounding an imaginary clinker on a piano. " 'Will it do anything? Let's check it out' - NY Times obit, reference to http://theamericanscholar.org/what-does-it-do/#.Uj3ivWR4ZEu

Author Topic: The Titanic  (Read 11701 times)

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Online Johnm

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2012, 11:00:32 AM »
Don't confuse him with the third mate, Flask, either.  He was really a hip guy.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Gumbo

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2012, 02:40:23 PM »
Just be grateful the Titanic didn't have a poop deck ! :o

Online Johnm

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #62 on: August 29, 2012, 09:06:24 AM »
Hi all,
Ernest Stoneman accompanied himself on autoharp and harmonica on a rack for his version of "The Titanic", from 1924.  His version can be found here:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2101.msg69352#msg69352 .  His time was very straight up-and-down, and his phrasing has some unusual emphases.  Lyrically, this might be the most influential of the early Hillbilly/Blues versions of "the Titanic" that were recorded.  Stoneman began and ended his rendition with full solos on the verse and chorus on his harmonica.

SOLO

It was on Monday morning, just about one o-clock
That the great Titanic began to reel and rock
Then the people began to cry, saying, "Lord, I'm a-going to die."
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

When they were building the Titanic, they said what they could do
They were going to build a ship that the water couldn't not go through
But God with his mighty hand showed to the world it could not stand
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

When they left England, they were making for the shore
The rich, they declared they wouldn't not ride with the poor
So they sent the poor below, they was the first that had to go
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

Then the people on the ship were a long ways from home
With friends all around them, didn't know their time had come
Lord, Death came riding by, sixteen hundred had to die
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

SOLO

All best,
Johnm

Offline Vermonter

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #63 on: September 14, 2012, 02:27:04 PM »
Should we add Bob Dylan's brand new 14 minute "Titanic" track?


Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #64 on: September 14, 2012, 07:17:30 PM »
I was wondering if new Titanic songs would emerge during the centenary.

Welcome to WC, Vermonter.

Offline unezrider

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #65 on: September 14, 2012, 09:45:28 PM »
hello friend,
according to bob,
"If you're a folk singer, blues singer, rock & roll singer, whatever, in that realm, you oughta write a song about the Titanic, because that's the bar you have to pass.
It's not unusual for me to write a song about the Titanic tragedy any more than it was for Leadbelly. It might be unusual to write such a long ballad about it, but not necessarily about the disaster itself."
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline frailer24

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #66 on: September 23, 2012, 01:21:58 AM »
In regards to the Carter Family version, it is on "The Acme Sessions, 1952-1956."
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Pan

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2012, 01:08:07 PM »
I don't think we have this YouTube video of Bill Jackson's version linked as yet. Prof. Scratchy just unearthed it on facebook. For a transcription of the lyrics, see JohnM's post earlier on this thread.



Cheers

Pan

Offline frailer24

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #68 on: October 02, 2012, 04:00:10 PM »
The Stoneman record IIRC was the first recording of a Titanic song, as well as the first autoharp on record.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Online Johnm

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #69 on: October 29, 2013, 02:56:20 PM »
Hi all,
Here are the lyrics for the Carter Family's recording of "The Titanic", taken from their Acme recordings of the early 1950s, which featured, in addition to A.P. and Sara, their children, Joe and Janette.  The guitar on this one is played out of C position in standard tuning, sounding just a little flat of Bflat.  With Maybelle not included on the session, there are no guitar leads.  This version has an exceptionally beautiful melody and odd lyrics; in some places they sound almost as though they were literally translated from some other language.

The pale moon rose in its glory
She's drifting from golden West
She told a sad, sad story
Six hundred had gone to rest

The watchman was a-dreaming
Yes, dreaming a sad, sad dream
He dreamed the Titanic was sinking
Out on the deep blue sea

He rose and called the rich man
And told him to come to life
And try to save his baby
Also his darling wife

Captain Smith must have been drinking
Not knowing that he done wrong
By trying to win the record
He let the Titanic go on

The band was out a-playing
Yes, playing far out on the sea
They spied the Titanic was sinking
Played "Nearer My God To Thee"

The sad news reached the city
The Titanic had gone down
There's many poor widows and orphans
A-waltzing all over the town

The little children were crying
For mama, she's gone to stay
Oh, surely they'll invent something
To raise the Titanic some day

All best,
Johnm

Offline LucyStag

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #70 on: November 06, 2013, 12:10:51 AM »
Same lyrics, but modern -- The Two Man Gentlemen Band off of their "Great Calamities" album:




Hi all,
Ernest Stoneman accompanied himself on autoharp and harmonica on a rack for his version of "The Titanic", from 1924.  His version can be found here:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2101.msg69352#msg69352 .  His time was very straight up-and-down, and his phrasing has some unusual emphases.  Lyrically, this might be the most influential of the early Hillbilly/Blues versions of "the Titanic" that were recorded.  Stoneman began and ended his rendition with full solos on the verse and chorus on his harmonica.

SOLO

It was on Monday morning, just about one o-clock
That the great Titanic began to reel and rock
Then the people began to cry, saying, "Lord, I'm a-going to die."
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

When they were building the Titanic, they said what they could do
They were going to build a ship that the water couldn't not go through
But God with his mighty hand showed to the world it could not stand
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

When they left England, they were making for the shore
The rich, they declared they wouldn't not ride with the poor
So they sent the poor below, they was the first that had to go
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

Then the people on the ship were a long ways from home
With friends all around them, didn't know their time had come
Lord, Death came riding by, sixteen hundred had to die
It was sad when that great ship went down

REFRAIN: It was sad when that great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives
It was sad when that great ship went down

SOLO

All best,
Johnm


Online Johnm

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #71 on: November 06, 2013, 02:04:46 PM »
Hi all,
Hobart Smith did a really nice version he called "The Great Titanic" on his Folk Legacy album from the early '60s, "Hobart Smith of Saltville, Virginia-"America's Greatest Folk Instrumentalist"", FSA-17.  Hobart backed himself out of C position in standard tuning for his rendition, and took a nice thumb lead solo towards the end of his performance, a la Maybelle Carter.  Like Henry Thomas, Hobart Smith left the first fret of his first string open when playing an F chord in the key of C.

Spoken:  This is "The Great Titanic".

One one Sunday morning, just about one o'clock
This great Titanic boat begin to reel and rock
People on board begin to cry, saying, "My Lord, I'm bound to die."
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

REFRAIN:  Awful sad when the great boat went down
Husbands and wives, little chidern lost their lives
Wasn't that sad when the great ship went down?

Ship was a-leaving England, a-pulling for the shore
Rich, they declared they would not ride with the poor
Put the poor below, they's the first ones had to go
Wasn't that sad when the great ship went down?

REFRAIN:  Awful sad when the great boat went down
Husbands and wives, little chidern lost their lives
Wasn't that sad when the great ship went down?

Builders kept building, declared what they would do
Gonna build a boat the waters couldn't break through
God had the power at His hand, showed to the world it would not stand
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

Ship was a-leaving England, a-pulling for the shore
Rich, they declared they would not ride with the poor
Put the poor below, they's the first ones had to go
Wasn't that sad when the great ship went down?

REFRAIN:  Awful sad when the great boat went down
Husbands and wives, little chidern lost their lives
Wasn't that sad when the great ship went down?

SOLO (partial)
Put the poor below, they's the first ones had to go
Wasn't that sad when the great ship went down?

REFRAIN:  Awful sad when the great boat went down
Husbands and wives, little chidern lost their lives
Wasn't that sad when the great ship went down?

All best,
Johnm
 

Online Johnm

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #72 on: December 04, 2013, 03:49:48 PM »
Hi all,
For Pink Anderson's version of "Titanic", he backed himself out of G position in standard tuning.  He plays it with his characteristic snappy touch and draws out his words in a droll way, saying "vessel" with such relish.  It's always interesting to hear Pink do songs that a lot of people do because he always seemed to have some verses no one else did.  His version of the song utilizes a refrain.  It can be heard at:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2498.msg70218#msg70218 .

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Husbands and their wives, children lost their life
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

When that ship first left England, New York it tried to come
Iceberg struck the vessel, it could not make the run
Jacobud Asker [sic] he went down, sixteen hundred of them was drowned
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Husbands and their wives, children lost their life
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

When Captain Workfield was a-building, he said what he would do
He would build a ship, water couldn't break through
God with power in his hand showed the world it could not stand
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Husbands and their wives, children lost their life
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

When old Paul was out a-sailin', had mens all around
God spoke and told him, not a one should be drowned
"If you trust me and obey, I will save yo all the way
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Husbands and their wives, children lost their life
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

When that ship was leaving England, making for the shore
The rich had declared they wouldn't ride with the poor
So they put the poor below, they was first had to go
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

REFRAIN: Children, wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?
Husbands and their wives, children lost their life
Wasn't it sad when the great ship went down?

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 03:59:34 PM by Johnm »

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #73 on: December 24, 2013, 03:45:38 PM »
Hi all,
Leadbellys version of "The Titanic", for which he accompanied himself out of C position in standard tuning, is unusual among versions of the song we've heard in that it has an irresistibly happy melody.  The melody coincides nicely with the verses pertaining to Jack Johnson.  Leadbelly had a fairly long spoken intro to this version which I chose not to transcribe.  Leadbelly's version can be heard at:  http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2498.msg70218#msg70218 .

It was a midnight on the sea, the band is playin'
"Nearer My God To Thee"
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
It was a midnight on the sea, the band was playin'
"Nearer My God to Thee"
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

Titanic, when it got its load
Captain, he hollered, "All aboard."
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
Titanic, when it got its load
Captain, he hollered, "All aboard."
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

Titanic was comin' around the curve
When they run into that great iceberg [Spoken: couldn't turn]
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well [Spoken: He didn't see it]
Titanic was comin' around the curve
When they run into that great iceberg
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

Titanic was sinkin' down
They had them life boats around
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
When the Titanic was sinkin' down
They had them life boats around
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

They had them life boats around
Savin' the women and children and lettin' the men go down
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
They had them life boats around
Savin' the women and children and lettin' the men go down
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

SOLO:  Spoken: Yeah. Uh-huh

Jack Johnson wanted to get on board
Captain, he says, "I ain't haulin' no coal."
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
Jack Johnson wanted to get on board
The captain, he says, "I ain't haulin' no coal."
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

SOLO:  Spoken: Talk about it now.  Jack Johnson so glad he didn't get on there.

When he heard about that mighty shock
Mighta seen the man doin' the Eagle Rock
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
When he heard about that mighty shock
Mighta seen the man doin' the Eagle Rock
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

SOLO:  Spoken: One more time.  Yeah, that's "Fare thee, Titanic"

All best,
Johnm



« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 04:01:18 PM by Johnm »

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Re: The Titanic
« Reply #74 on: December 31, 2013, 12:01:27 PM »
Hi all,
Lesley Riddle's version of "Titanic" can be found on his Rounder album.  He accompanied himself with a slide, playing in Vestapol, and his version is otherwise notable for not being influenced, melodically or instrumentally, by Blind Willie Johnsons's "God Moves On The Water".  Lesley Riddle doesn't tread any new territory, lyrically, apart from the opening line of his third verse.  His tone and time have a nice relaxed flow to them.
Lesley Riddle is an interesting figure.  Born in Burnsville, North Carolina, according to Wikipedia, he was raised in Kingsport, Tennessee by his grandparents.  He met A. P. Carter around 1928 and began to accompany Carter on song-collecting jaunts, with Carter recording lyrics to songs they found and Riddle remembering the melodies.  His way of playing the guitar influenced Maybelle Carter's picking, too, by all accounts.  One interesting item on his Rounder album is his version of "Red River Blues", which is very, very close, instrumentally, to Frank Hutchison's "Miner's Blues".  It would be interesting to know which of them came up with it first (or whether someone altogether different came up with it).

SOLO

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Well, husbands and wives and little children lost their lives
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?

When they was buildin' a ship, they said what they could do
They would build a ship that water couldn't break through
God, with the power in his hand, showed the world it could not stand
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Well, husbands and wives and little children lost their lives
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?

Well, the ship had just left England, it was making for the shore
Rich had declared they wouldn't ride with the poor
They put the poor below, they was the first ones had to go
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Well, husbands and wives and little children lost their lives
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?

You know it must've been awful with those people in the sea
Said they were singin', "Nearer My God, To Thee"
They were homeward bound, fifteen hundred had to drown
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?

REFRAIN: Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?
Well, husbands and wives and little children lost their lives
Wasn't it sad when that great ship went down?

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 07:22:12 AM by Johnm »

 


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