The Titanic

Lyrics

1. Oh they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue;
And they thought they had a ship that the sea would not leak through;
But the Lord’s almighty hand knew that ship would never stand.
It was sad when that great ship went down.

Refrain
Oh it was sad, so sad,
Oh it was sad, so sad,
It was sad when that great ship went down
To the bottom of the…
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives.
It was sad when that great ship went down.

2. Well, the ship set sail from England, and not very far from shore.
When the rich folks refused to associate with the poor.
So they sent them down below where they’d be the first to go.
It was sad when that great ship went down. Refrain

3. Oh, the boat was ’bout to sink, and the sides about to burst,
When the captain shouted out, “All women and children first!”
Oh, the captain tried to wire, But the wires were on fire,
It was sad when the great ship went down. Refrain

4. Oh, they swung the lifeboats out o’er the deep and raging sea,
When the ship’s band struck up with “Nearer My God to Thee.”
Little children wept and cried, as the waves swept o’er the side,
It was sad when the great ship went down. Refrain

See also

  • Subject: ballads
  • Source: Songs for Pickin’ and Singin’,James F. Leisy, Fawcett Publications, Inc, 1962

YouTube

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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4 thoughts on “The Titanic”

  1. The verse I remember singing as a child in St. Louis, MO, in the 1960s/1970s was:

    Oh, they built the ship Titanic, and when that ship was through,
    They said that ship the water would never go through,
    But the Lord’s Almighty Hand said, “That ship will never land!”
    It was sad when that great ship when down (hit the bottom, Lordy)
    Husbands and wives, little bitty children lost their lives.
    It was sad when that great ship went down.
    It was sad, so sad, it was sad, so sad,
    It was sad when that great ship went down.

  2. And my camp counselors taught it this way:
    Oh, they built the ship Titanic to sail the ocean blue
    And they thought they’d built a ship that the water wouldn’t go through,
    But the good Lord raised his hand, said that ship would never land;
    It was sad when the great ship went down.

    Notes: This version I learned about 1964, and I don’t know where my teen counselors learned it, but it was likely a 1950s version. The third line reflects an older belief in predestination that isn’t widely held any more, and most versions have altered or removed it. I only heard that line in a Girl Scout version on Youtube from 2012, so it may have come from a Baby Boomer leader as well.
    Also, the verse about the California ship not hearing the SOS because the crew was asleep seems to have disappeared. Apparently, that assumption was factually inaccurate but the verse still existed in 1964.

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