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Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF JOHN WILLIAMS
DOWN WITH THE OLD CANOE
GOD MOVES OVER THE WATER
HAVE YOU GOT ANY NEWS OF THE ICEBERG?
SINKING OF THE TITANIC
THE TITANIC (COLD AND ICY SEA)
THE TITANIC (GONE TO REST)
THE TITANIC (HUSBANDS AND WIVES)
THE TITANIC 6
TITANIC (7)
TITANIC (RISE NO MORE)


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PSturm6897@aol.com 29 Jun 99 - 10:06 PM
Pete Peterson 29 Jun 99 - 10:48 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 99 - 10:57 PM
Barry Finn 29 Jun 99 - 11:00 PM
Rick Fielding 29 Jun 99 - 11:05 PM
Woody 29 Jun 99 - 11:13 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 99 - 11:33 PM
Roger in Baltimore 29 Jun 99 - 11:36 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 99 - 11:47 PM
Roger in Baltimore 29 Jun 99 - 11:56 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 99 - 12:05 AM
Mark Cohen 30 Jun 99 - 12:14 AM
katlaughing 30 Jun 99 - 12:27 AM
Doctor John 30 Jun 99 - 04:48 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 30 Jun 99 - 09:44 PM
Ewan McVicar 01 Jul 99 - 04:55 AM
Steve Parkes 01 Jul 99 - 07:00 AM
Joe Offer 02 Jul 99 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,dex 01 Nov 02 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Giok w/o biscuit 01 Nov 02 - 01:01 PM
belfast 02 Nov 02 - 09:57 AM
Bobert 02 Nov 02 - 10:35 AM
reggie miles 02 Nov 02 - 10:55 AM
GUEST 06 Mar 15 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,# 06 Mar 15 - 10:03 AM
PHJim 06 Mar 15 - 10:30 AM
PHJim 06 Mar 15 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,# 06 Mar 15 - 10:41 AM
PHJim 06 Mar 15 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,Gerry 05 Nov 17 - 05:31 AM
BrooklynJay 05 Nov 17 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,pauperback 07 Nov 17 - 12:20 AM
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Subject: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: PSturm6897@aol.com
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 10:06 PM

I hope that someone can help me! I have been looking for a song that was played over 20 years ago on a late-night radio show out of Little Rock, Arkansas. The song is (as I recall, filtered through memory) a fairly humorous one about one Jack Johnson, who was refused a ticket on the maiden voyage of the Titanic because he was black ("this ship don't carry no coal"). Jack manages to stow away on board with a length of the "best hempen rope" as his only provision, and, thorough judicious use of said rope, rescued himself (although I cannot for the life of me remember how). I don't remember much of the lyrics, and I don't think I ever knew who performed the song. All I do remember is that it perked my night up to a considerable extent, and I have been searching for this song's lyrics off and on ever since, to no avail. Had I not independent verification of the song, I might almost be presuaded that I had imagined it. This is a long-shot for me--I'm sure that I'll never be able to find my way back to this lyrics forum again--but sometimes longshots do work out. Thanks for your help!


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 10:48 PM

My belief is that the song is one of Leadbelly's songs; the recording I have is "Music from Mud Acres" recorded around 1971 by some veterans of Jim Kweskin's jug band. I don't remmeber the part about the hempen rope (are you sure you aren't thinking of Roddy McCorley here?) but the melody is quite reminiscent of Leadelly's Cotton Fields of Home.

It was midnight on the sea, band was playing Nearer My God To Thee, Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well. . . (repeat)

and so on. Does anybody have the full recording? I am working from unreliable memory here.


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 10:57 PM

I've got it in a Leadbelly songbook, and I'm typing it right now. Wait a few minutes.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 11:00 PM

This version 20 years ago has the smell & stamp of Jamie Brockett on it. He got quite a bit of airplay with it. Barry


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 11:05 PM

I urge you to hunt down the Leadbelly record (now on CD). It has one of his most astonishingly original guitar accompaniments in "F".


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Woody
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 11:13 PM

I think Barry has it Jaime Brockett's 1968 LP "Remember The Wind And The Rain", He called the tune, "Legend Of The U.S.S. Titanic".....13 minutes and 28 seconds long.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TITANIC (Huddie Ledbetter)^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 11:33 PM

TITANIC
words and music by Huddie Ledbetter
publisher: Folkways Music Publishers, Inc.


It was midnight on the sea
Band playing, "nearer My God to Thee"
Cryin' fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

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

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

Titanic was comin' 'round the curve
When it ran into that great big iceberg
Cryin' fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

Titanic was sinking down,
Had them lifeboats all around.
Cryin' fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

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

Jack Johnson heard the mighty shock,
Might 'a' seen him doin' the Eagle Rock.
Cryin' fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

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

JRO
^^


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Subject: Lyr Add: TITANIC (Huddie Ledbetter / Lead Belly)
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 11:36 PM

It was midnight on the sea,
Band playing, "Nearer my God to Thee"
Cryin' Fare thee Titantic, Fare thee well. (Repeat the verse)

Titanic, when it got its load,
captain hollered, "All aboard"
Cryin' fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.

Jack Johnson want to get on board,
Captain said, "I ain't haulin' no coal.

Titanic was comin' 'round the curve,
When it ran into that great big iceberg.

Titanic was sinkin' down,
Had them lifeboats all around.

Had them lifeboats around,
Savin' the women and the children, lettin' the men go down.

Jack Johnson heard the mighty shock,
Might 'a' seen him doin' the Eagle Rock.

When the women and children got on the land,
Cryin' "Lord, have mercy on my man."

Maybe Joe fell asleep on his keyboard.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 11:47 PM

Well, Roger, I got distracted, listening to the Jamie Brockett version. I promise I'll pay more attention next time.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 29 Jun 99 - 11:56 PM

That's allright Joe. You have such a high profile here on the 'Cat that you are a fun target for me to tease (a little jealousy maybe). I checked the time on the posts and figured you could of finished typing (even with your fancier HTML). I do love Lead Belly, so I just had to join in!

Big RiB


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Subject: Tune Add: TITANIC (Huddie Ledbetter)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 12:05 AM

MIDI file: TITANI~1.MID

Timebase: 192

Name: Titanic
Text: By Huddie Ledbetter
Copyright: Copyright © Folkways Music Publishers, Inc.
Key: G
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Start
0000 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 65 110 0432 0 66 000 0048 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 65 110 0094 0 65 000 0002 1 65 110 0094 0 65 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 62 110 0432 0 62 000 0048 1 71 110 0142 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0046 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0624 0 71 000 0048 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0256 0 74 000 0032 1 76 110 0160 0 76 000 0032 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 1200 0 74 000 0144 1 74 110 0094 0 74 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 76 110 0094 0 76 000 0002 1 74 110 0160 0 74 000 0032 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 65 110 0432 0 66 000 0048 1 65 110 0160 0 65 000 0032 1 65 110 0094 0 65 000 0002 1 65 110 0094 0 65 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 64 110 0094 0 64 000 0002 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 0160 0 67 000 0032 1 62 110 0432 0 62 000 0048 1 71 110 0142 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0046 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0094 0 71 000 0002 1 71 110 0624 0 71 000 0048 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 62 110 0256 0 62 000 0032 1 71 110 0160 0 71 000 0032 1 69 110 0094 0 69 000 0002 1 67 110 1024 0 67 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Titanic
M:4/4
Q:1/4=120
K:G
dd2ed2B2|G2=F5=F|-=F=F=FEEG2A|G2D5B|-B/2B/2BB6|
-Bd2dd3e|-edd6|-d8|d8|-dd2ed2B2|G2=F5=F|-=F=F=FEEG2A|
G2D5B|-B/2B/2BB6|-BB2AD3B|-BAG6|-G19/4||


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 12:14 AM

I heard Jamie Brockett perform this at the Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pa. in 1970something. I do remember the line "Shee-it, I ain't smokin' no more rope!", but I don't know if that made it onto the album. Thanks for reminding me. Anybody else remember the Point?


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 12:27 AM

Our own Art Thieme did this on one of his first LP's and did a really smooth, catchy rendition that I could listen to over and over. Gives Leadbelly credit, esp. about writing in the Jack Johnson part.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Doctor John
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 04:48 PM

The Lead Belly version is on S-F CD set "Lead Belly's Last Sessions". Well worth buying. There's also a Library of Congress version available on a Rounder CD called "The Titanic". This song became at some point a children's street song rather than a historical ballad and Pete Seeger sings a jolly version on "American Ballads", his best LP I think, from Folkways. Dr John


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 30 Jun 99 - 09:44 PM

Stefan Grossman has a very good fingerpicking guitar accompanyment in C for Leadbelly's version of the song. It is a good alternative to Leadbelly's own.

If you want to see what Jack Johnson looked like. He had a jazz band for a while and it managed to be filmed. You can see it on a video called "Times Aint What They Were" by Yazoo. Actually it is not a bad band and you can watch the guitarist bravely strumming away on a six-string banjo.

In "Leadbelly's Last Sessions" he claims that he and Blind Lemon Jefferson used to sing the song on the streets in Texas, so I suppose Jefferson should get some credit for the song too.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 04:55 AM

I learned with astonishment last July that Leadbelly rewrote the Titanic song about 1940 to be about the Queen Mary sailing through German submarines - 'Sail on Queen Mary, sail on'.
I heard the song on an acetate in the Mary Barnicle Collection in East Tennessee State University's Appalachian Archives. God knows what other unique stuff is in there. She and Lomax recorded together in the Bahamas etc in about 1938/9, and she has for example some very exciting African song (a west African language from Senegal way in the opinion of a Gahaian friend of mine) stuff that Lomax does not.
Somebody should do something.


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 07:00 AM

I can't believe that Captain Smith said "ain't" or dropped an H, even if he did come from Stoke-on-Trent!Steve


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 02:45 AM

Well, you've got that, Steve - but the line I get a kick out of is:
Titanic was comin' 'round the curve,
When it ran into that great big iceberg.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: GUEST,dex
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 12:29 PM

I saw Michelle Shocked and her dad perform the song on Austin City Limits about ten years ago and have been looking for it since. This is a happy day. I love this site!


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Subject: RE: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: GUEST,Giok w/o biscuit
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 01:01 PM

I got Spider John Koerner doing a great version of this on an old vinyl.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: belfast
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 09:57 AM

Am I right in thinking that the Jack Johnson bit of the story is apocryphal (although morally accurate)?

And I recall a verse which goes,

"All the black people dance with joy
Never lost them a girl nor a boy"

Surely I didn't dream that one up!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 10:35 AM

Mark Cohen: Yep, the "Sheeeit, I ain't gonna make no rope no more" made it onto Jamie Brockett's recorded version.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: reggie miles
Date: 02 Nov 02 - 10:55 AM

The little jug band I was with, Strangers with Candy, sang this one and recorded it on one of our two recordings. I also have a recording of Del Rey with her uke and Hugh Sutton on squeeze box joining me on this song. I'm presently trying to get that one, along with nine or so others from that performance, on a disc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 04:32 AM

I too remember hearing this song played (quite a few times) by Clyde Clifford on his "Bleeker Street" radio show on KAAY's late night radio show from Little Rock, Ark. e said there performers were the Broadside Brassbed Band. Maybe they never officially release it because I've never been able to find any mention of them. It was a great sounding and catchy song. I remember the lyrics about Jack Johnson and coal and the rope, too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: GUEST,#
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:03 AM

Hey, Guest: have a listen to this. I didn't hear the whole album, but maybe the song you want is on there. (I'm short on time.) Note the complete name of the group and also that the album is from 1972.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6jPPoDQ8JA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:30 AM

Joe Offer - I remember reading an article in a folk song magazine that said that Leadbelly had seen a map in a newspaper showing Titanic's "great circle route" thus:

"Titanic goin' round the curve
When she run into that big iceberg..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:34 AM

GUEST,Giok w/o biscuit, I thought it was Dave Ray who sang that on the Blues, Rags & Hollers album. I loaned that record to someone who never returned it, so I can't check.

I believe Roger McGuinn got the idea for a seven string guitar from the one that Spider John played on that record.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: GUEST,#
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:41 AM

I knew a guy named Les in NYC who had a seven-string guitar back in 1964. He doubled the treble E.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: PHJim
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 07:49 PM

Spider John added an octave string to the G.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 05 Nov 17 - 05:31 AM

If belfast who posted on 2 November 2002 is still around, no, you didn't dream up that verse. There are (at least) two different recordings of Leadbelly singing the song up on Youtube, and on one of them he sings that verse, and on the other I can't quite make out what he says before he starts singing, but I think he says he won't sing "that verse", and I assume that's the verse he's referring to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 05 Nov 17 - 07:33 PM

The lines about Jack Johnson and the other two missing verses can be found on this recording by Lead Belly.

Another version came from, I believe, his Last Sessions recordings. He does not do the Jack Johnson verse (and the other two) and explains in the spoken intro how he omits the verses so as not to offend white audiences.


Jay


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fare thee well Titanic, fare thee well
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 07 Nov 17 - 12:20 AM

White vainglorious Cocksurednesse
Flying in the face of Lovingkindness
Iceberg looms white as snow
Midnight s hour black as coal
Faint strains of Nearer my God to Thee
Answer fifteen hundred Christian pleas.


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