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Lyr Req: Titanic (Leadbelly)

DigiTrad:
ALABAMA BOUND
BILL MARTIN AND ELLA SPEED
BRING ME LITTLE WATER, SYLVIE
COTTON FIELDS BACK HOME
DUNCAN AND BRADY
DUNCAN AND BRADY (2)
GOOD NIGHT IRENE
JUMPIN' JUDY
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF HER
KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE
LININ' TRACK
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL
ROCK ME ON THE WATER
SKEWBALL
SO LONG IT'S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YUH
SONG TO WOODY
TAKE THIS HAMMER
THE GRAY GOOSE
THE ROCK ISLAND LINE (is a mighty fine line)
WE SHALL WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY
WHOA BACK BUCK
YOU DON'T KNOW ME


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dwditty 27 Aug 97 - 10:36 PM
Joe Offer 28 Aug 97 - 02:29 AM
dwditty 29 Aug 97 - 10:00 PM
Joe Offer 30 Aug 97 - 01:13 AM
Sax King 31 Oct 99 - 03:46 AM
Ewan McVicar 31 Oct 99 - 04:55 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 31 Oct 99 - 05:04 AM
katlaughing 31 Oct 99 - 06:24 AM
Stewie 31 Oct 99 - 06:06 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 31 Oct 99 - 07:08 PM
GUEST 22 Jan 04 - 10:12 PM
Roberto 23 Jan 04 - 03:55 AM
Lin in Kansas 24 Jan 04 - 02:37 AM
GUEST,danil 15 Nov 04 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,dwditty 16 Nov 04 - 05:36 AM
PoppaGator 16 Nov 04 - 06:38 PM
PoppaGator 16 Nov 04 - 06:46 PM
Dani 17 Nov 04 - 07:57 AM
PoppaGator 17 Nov 04 - 09:35 AM
PoppaGator 17 Nov 04 - 12:55 PM
Dani 17 Nov 04 - 03:17 PM
PoppaGator 17 Nov 04 - 04:10 PM
fat B****rd 17 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM
PoppaGator 17 Nov 04 - 05:20 PM
Tannywheeler 18 Nov 04 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,TJ 18 Nov 04 - 08:44 PM
PoppaGator 19 Nov 04 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Crip 30 Aug 07 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Gerry 30 Aug 07 - 09:52 PM
GUEST 05 Oct 08 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,s. addessi 12 Oct 08 - 08:48 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Oct 08 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,dr green lung 17 Apr 10 - 09:02 PM
Genie 14 Apr 12 - 07:32 PM
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Subject: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: dwditty
Date: 27 Aug 97 - 10:36 PM

Looking for help with lyrics to Leadbelly's ballad about the sinking of the Titanic. All I have heard is "It was midnight on the sea, The band played Nearer my God to Thee, Fare the well, fare the well."

Thanks in advance.

dw


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Aug 97 - 02:29 AM

I brought the thread to the front for you, dw. If you miss it, do a forum search under "titanic."
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: dwditty
Date: 29 Aug 97 - 10:00 PM

Still Looking.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Aug 97 - 01:13 AM

Sigh.... Well, OK, I guess some people can't figure out how to do a forum search...

Subject: RE: Jaime Brockett: Titanic
From: pioneer@kans.com
Date: 25-May-97 - 05:11 PM

A friend of mine, John Bachmann of Chapel Hill, performs this song better than anyone I've heard. He performs it as a narrative, with his 12-string going and singing occasional verses. He calls it "Midnight on the Sea" and attributes it to Huddie Ledbetter, AKA Leadbelly. I'm not going to enter everything here, because the power has gone off once after entering most of it, then after re-entering but before I sent, I froze up and had to restart. So here are the essentials. (I looked up John's address and requested info on the song - if he sends it I will forward to you. Otherwise, I have a low-fi cassette tape of him performing it a few years ago.)

"It was midnight on the sea,
The band played 'Nearer my God to Thee'
Farewell, Titanic, fare thee well: (repeat)

Then some narrative about Jack Johnson being heavyweight champion of the world in 1912, going to Europe, being afraid of water and choosing the unsinkable ship, going to the dock, and being told:

"When Jack Johnson tried to get on board,
Cap'n said 'We don't haul no coal,'
Farewell, Titanic, fare thee well: (repeat)

Then the boat leaves port, Captain Lord gets drunk and goes to his cabin, and

"Well, Titanic came 'round a curve,
And she run into a great big iceberg,
Farewell, Titanic, fare thee well: (repeat)

More narrative with the lifeboats etc., and

"It was midnight on the sea,
The band played 'nearer my God to thee,
Farewell, Titanic, fare thee well, (repeat)

Then "There was lifeboats all around,
Men sayin' 'Don't let women and chillun go down,"
Farewell, Titanic, fare thee well;

There was lifeboats all around,
And even unsinkable Molly Brown,
Farewell, Titanic, fare thee well."

Then the narrative describes Jack Johnson going out for a newspaper, and reading about the sinking of the Titanic, and running back to his apartment, grabbing his wife, and saying

"When Jack Johnson heard that news,
He said Honey get me my dancing shoes,
Farewell, Titanic, fare thee well: (repeat)

Sometimes, if John is really rocking and hammering the Guild, he'll include a Leadbelly field holler, like "keep your hands off her" along about this part. Then he describes how Leadbelly took this song to his publisher, and the publisher asked him why he wrote a funny song about a great tragedy, and Leadbelly tells him that the great thing about the Titanic was that not a single black person lost his life.

For the music, I'd have to get my guitar and work out the parts - I don't have one here. I haven't played it for a while, but I can work on it for you. I might even locate the tape - it's not John's best performance, but it's a signature song of his and I've never heard him not stop the show with it. I've never heard about the 97 feet of rope - I'd like to know if we're referring to the same song. Bob Haight pioneer@kans.com


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Subject: Mr. Tom Hughes' Town by Leadbelly
From: Sax King
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 03:46 AM

If you would like me to email you a copy of the lyrics I've transcribed to "Mr. Tom Hughes' Town", or would like to compare notes on the song, email me at saxking@gateway.net

Sax King


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: Ewan McVicar
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 04:55 AM

The idea of Leadbelly having a publisher he would drop in and offer songs to is a great story.
Of course, examination of sheet music of his songs tends to suggest he only wrote a third of each song, the rest being created by two very talented folklorists.
Wolfe & Lornell's biography suggests he would have sung the song with Blind Lemon Jefferson in the streets of Dallas in 1912. He may well have made it, and certainly did the remake about the liner Queen Mary. (I in a thread a while ago suggested that the latter song only existed on an acetate in ETSU archives, but is mentioned in the biog - I've just noticed this and have just skimmed through the discography without seeing where else it may be recorded.)


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 05:04 AM

The lyrics that Joe gives seem to be the same as Leadbelly uses in his "Last Sessions". Stefan Grossman has made a fingerpicking version of the Leadbelly version which you can find in his "Fingerpicking Country Blues Guitar" lessons. If nothing else, it does give the chords and melody which is pretty faithfully to that used by Leadbelly. You contact him through his site: http://www.guitarvideos.com and ask if he can supply the transcripion separately. He used to do that; but I am not sure he still does. While you are there, you can look at the free tab he offers. It comes from his lessons and other transcriptions he and others have made, and you might be lucky and find it there.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 06:24 AM

Our own Art Thieme did a wonderful rendition of this song years ago. I have it on a tape he sent me. First tme I'd ever heard it. Thanks, Art.

dw, to do a forum search, just go up to the box in the upper righthand corner of this page (if you go out to the main thread page, it changes to the left). It says "DigiTrad Lyrics Search. Anyway, you can either type in "titanic" or choose the "T" from the alphabet listings there and hit GO. You will find them from there.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: Stewie
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 06:06 PM

Dave Ray recorded an excellent performance of it. It's now on CD - 'The Return of Koerner, Ray and Glover' Red House RHR CD 131. Dave noted: 'I learned this song from a Leadbelly record and it's as near to protest as I come'.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 31 Oct 99 - 07:08 PM

Well, some folks think "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else but Me" is a protest song.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's legendary leadbelly
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jan 04 - 10:12 PM


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Subject: Lyr Add: TITANIC (Leadbelly)
From: Roberto
Date: 23 Jan 04 - 03:55 AM

The Titanic, Leadbelly, Leadbelly's Last Sessions,1948 recordings, Smithsonian Folkways SF CD 40068/71 (disc 2)

It was midnight on the sea
The band was playing Nearer My God to Thee
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
It was midnight on the sea
The band was playing, 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' 'round the curve
When it ran in that great big iceberg
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
(He didn't see it)
Titanic was comin' 'round the curve
When it ran in that great big iceberg
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

Titanic was sinking down
They had them lifeboats around
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
When the Titanic was sinking down
They had them lifeboats around
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

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

Jack Johnson want to get on board
Captain he says - I ain't haulin' no coal
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
Jack Johnson want to get on board
Captain he said - I ain't haulin' no coal
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

(Jack Johnson so glad he didn't get on there)
When he heard about that mighty shock
Might 'a' seen the man done the Eagle Rock
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well
When he heard about that mighty shock
Might 'a' seen the man done the Eagle Rock
Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 24 Jan 04 - 02:37 AM

Take note, MMario and other searchers--I believe this is one of the DT songs that still needs a tune [Titanic (9)]. Maybe this further info will let us find the music?

Lin
Tune added.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: GUEST,danil
Date: 15 Nov 04 - 11:52 PM

I have a version by Jamie Brockett from an album called "Remember the Wind and the Rain". Great version of the Titanic on that. Don't know if it is available on CD or not, but I do have the LP.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: GUEST,dwditty
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 05:36 AM

Speaking of Jaime Brockett, you can hear the whole song here.

dw


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 06:38 PM

I was amazed and delighted to see Joe Offer's quote from pioneer@kans.com, way back in 1997, mentioning John Bachman's great performance of this song.

John and I went to college together (well, several years apart, but we were there at the same time), and this song was not only the keystone of *his* repertoire, but easily the single most memorable number ever heard on that local coffee-house circuit. I've never heard any rendition of this or any other Titanic-related song without feeling that John's rendition was superior. He set a standard, for me anyway, that has yet to be matched.

I seriously doubt that John ever made a commercial recording; too bad -- y'all would love it!


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Nov 04 - 06:46 PM

Dang!

I just went back to take a closer look, and saw that "pioneer@kans.com" is Bob Haight -- another long-lost acquaintance of mine! No wonder he knows John Bachman's work -- on more than one occasion, he and I sat in the same room listening to John.

I'll have to try emailing him; hope his e-address hasn't changed in seven years...


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: Dani
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 07:57 AM

Can you tell us more about John Bachman?

Dani


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: PoppaGator
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:35 AM

John and I went to the same college, a couple of years apart, so we were both in the same place at the same time for maybe two years (65-67, maybe). I ran into him once at a reunion in the early 80s, but never since.

I can't remember what he might have majored in or what he was doing for a living when he was out of school. I wouldn't have remembered that he came from Chapel Hill NC, but that information is supplied above.

When I knew him, he was a good solid amateur folk guitar player and singer with no burning ambition to be a full-time musician. He just did an amazing epic-length version of this one particular song; in fact, he could make it into an entire set by itself, complete with spoken commentary between verses, sometimes interjecting fragments of other Leadbelly songs, etc., slowly and very effectively building the story of Jack Johnson being turned away from the death ship -- all pretty much as described above by Bob Haight.

I haven't yet tried to email Bob about this. If he's still at the same e-address and we make contact with each other, I'll update this thread with any additional info.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: PoppaGator
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 12:55 PM

Just checked the Jaime Brockett link -- pretty good, but I still like my old buddy John's version better. Of course, my judgement is clouded by nostalgia, etc.

Both versions include a lot of spoken commentary between verses; there are common elements and a few radical differences, if I remember correctly. After all, it's been over twenty years since I last heard John do it, and just ten minutes or so since I listened to, and read along with, Jaime's version.

I'm almost positive that John had Jack Johnson in England, trying to catch a ride back to New York -- historically accurate, in other words. Jaime has him in the US headed for England; of course, the Titanic never *got* to America. The bits about Jewish passengers from Miami and about the Italian-American Mafioso shipbulding company are Jaime's own, or at least were never part of John's version.

The extended nonsense about smoking rope, however, was definitely part of John's "Titanic" just as it is part of Jaime's -- I had forgotten all about that, but was instantly reminded when I checked out Jaime's website. ("Oh yeah, I've heard this before!")

When John Bachman did his longest, most complete, version, he made it a story *about Leadbelly* telling a story about Jack Johnson and the Titanic. That's why and how he could work in a verse or two of "Keep Your Hands Off Her," and I think he *may* even have dropped in an editorial comment or two about the Lomaxes, or at least some reference to the white/urban/intellectual folkie scene in which Huddie found himself.

John really made his 12-string guitar ring, as I remember it, adding to the overall appeal. If Jaime is using a 12, it's not reproduced very well in the MP3 on his website; sounds pretty basically 6-stringish to me.

I realize now that I've never heard the original version, as recorded by Leadbelly himself. Did *he* go into a long storytelling bit, or not? If he didn't, I certainly have to wonder who began the tradition of embellishing this tune in this way...


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: Dani
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:17 PM

Hey! Now that I've read this thread a little better I realize that maybe Joe has more to add. I'm just wondering 'cause I'm down here near Chapel Hill.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: PoppaGator
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 04:10 PM

Dani (& all)

I just tried and failed to reach Bob Haight at [pioneer@kans.com.] -- "No such user." I'm not surprised, but still a little disappointed.

That was seven years ago when Bob reported that John was in Chapel Hill. Who knows what might have happened in the meanwhile? Of course, the fact that John was still performing as recently as seven years ago, even if only on an amateur level, creates some hope that he still might appear somewhere once in a while.

I've gotten really intrigued about who started using this song as a framework for an extended narrative. Did Leadbelly do it? Much as I'd like to believe my old pal originated the idea, I think it's much more likely he got it from someone else, even if some of his embellishments were original.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: fat B****rd
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM

Thread creep here. Jack Jonson was a fascinating character and the various books about him are well worth a read. They're not just about boxing. I'm afraid the best one (to me) is called Bad N****r.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: PoppaGator
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:20 PM

You two guys must be related, with all those stars in your last names.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 06:55 PM

For whoever is talking about Leadbelly "sheet music" and "publisher": TRO published some early stuff of his; he would record his stuff and a lot of his recordings were transcribed (words & music) by Hally Wood, my mother, not co-written by the Lomaxes. She was a stickler; if anything had been added by anybody else, she would annotate it as such. Someone else (Oak?) may have taken over from TRO -- I wouldn't know about that. (TRO = The Richmond Office)   Tw


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: GUEST,TJ
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 08:44 PM

Two asides about the 1968 Jamie Brockett version of "Titanic", which became something of a classic here in Boston. The album version was co-credited to Chris Smither; in later years Chris said with a smile that he had no memory whatsoever of his contribution to the arrangement... may have had something to do with the rope, I'd guess. And yes, Jamie was playing a wonderfully resonating 12-string on the album and on the concert version that he did in those days.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics to Leadbelly's TITANIC
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 12:49 PM

If Jaime Brockett recorded his "Titanic" in '68, it's likely that he had been already been performing for a while. John Bachman was doing his rendition as early as '66, I believe. While he couldn't have heard the recording two years before it was released, he might very well have heard Jaime performing it live (especially if he had spent a summer between school-years in Boston).

Since Jaime was performing in a major city while John was attending school in an off-the-beaten track midwestern college town, it's quite unlikely that Jaime would have seen/heard John and picked the idea up from him. So Jaime Brockett undoubtedly deserves that co- credit with Chris Smither, for originating the idea of making this number into a long story-song.

But my old pal John really made it his own, with significant additions and deletions, etc. Either version was/is a kick, a great combination of storytelling and music.


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Subject: Ballad of the sinking of the titanic
From: GUEST,Crip
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 07:48 PM

I'm looking for a tune I used to hear back in the early 70's on a AM radio show from Little Rock Arkansas, Beaker Street, KAAY. Looking for info on who and the name a tune , "They wouldn't let Jack Johnston onboard they say this ship don't haul no coal, farethewell Titanic farethewell" It was a ballad of a guy that used to work in a hemp factory that burned down and wound up as a mate on the Titanic.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Leadbelly's 'Titanic'
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 09:52 PM

Crip, I believe you're talking about the Jamie Brockett recording of Leadbelly's song about the Titanic. Brockett uses Leadbelly's song as a starting place for a long story about marijuana use on the ship. There's probably some discussion of it somewhere on this site - anyway, a search for Brockett may get you what you want.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Titanic (Leadbelly)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 08 - 06:17 PM

Gerry,
Thanks so much for the Jamie Brockett Info.
In 1972 we had a young, brilliant, but psychologically delicate and sensitive young private in the army. The whole situation was just too much for him and he held things together by escaping with his guitar.

One day I walked into a courtyard to find this fellow playing with about 30 people crowded around him. He finished the song and the guys urged him to start it again.

He played this amazing song, acting out the parts brilliantly, and by the time he had finished the crowd had grown to about 60 GI's, all begging to hear it from the beginning. He refused to do his 20 minute version a third time, but I have always remembered it.

This is the same one. I've wondered about it ever since. Thanks for the info.
Greydx


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Titanic (Leadbelly)
From: GUEST,s. addessi
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 08:48 PM

The song is: Legend of the USS Titanic by Jamie Brockett.
If you type that in, you will find the song.
I had it on a reel to reel tape back in 1969 or 70. My husband at the time decided to loan it to one of his brothers who was in the Navy and getting ready to ship off to Italy. Needless to say, it was never seen again. I've looked for it for many years and I was thrilled to finally find it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LEGEND OF THE U.S.S. TITANIC (J Brockett)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 12:28 AM

Following "Lyrics" copied from http://www.rkdn.org/dead/lyrics/Legend_of_the_%20U.S.S._Titanic.txt


LEGEND OF THE U.S.S. TITANIC
by Jaime Brockett (note spelling)

It was back around the turn of the centuries, back around nineteen hundred & thirteen. There was a Negro pugilist. his name was Jack Johnson. Now old Jack Johnson, he was the toughest man in the whole wide world. he used walk around whoppin' people upside the head 'n' makin' all sorts of money.

Like I say, ol' Jack Johnson he was a pugilist. He was a pugilist by preference and by profession, and one day ol' Jack came walkin' on down by the pier side. He's just walkin' on down. His manager come walkin' on down by the pier side.

He says, "Uh, hi, Jack."
He says, "Hi, manager."
He says, "Whatcha doin'?"
He says, "I'm just walkin' on down by the pier side."
He says, "What's up?"
He says, "I got a gig for ya."
He says, "Ya got a gig for me?"
He says, "That's right."
He says, "Whereabouts?"
He says, "Over in England."
He says, "Hmm... what'm I gonna do over there?"
He says, "Well, you goin' up 'n' whop this guy upside the head 'n' make all sorts of money."

Ol' Jack says, "That's groovy, baby. That's really groovy. you give me a ticket on the next flight out."

He said, "Ticket on the next flight out? This is nineteen hundred 'n' thirteen. Why, the Wright brothers haven't even started foolin' around with Kitty Hawk yet."

He said, "Uhh... who's she?"

It was midnight on the sea.
The band was playing "Nearer My God to Thee".
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.

Ol' Jack says, "Well, how'm I gonna get there, baby?"
'N' he says, "Oh, I'm gonna show ya," and he whips open a newspaper 'n' shows him a picture of the USS Titanic.

Folks, she's the world's biggest ship. She's made outta good wood and good iron. they said she'd never go down.

He says, "You mean I'm goin' over on the boat"
'N' he says, "That's right, baby, you're goin on the boat"
'N' he says, "Well, let's go get some tickets." so they head on down to the ticket taker's place.

He walks on up to the ticket taker. He walks on in 'n' he says, "Hey, man, I wanna buy me some tickets."
He said, "Got a red ticket, green ticket, yellow ticket, blue ticket. what kinda ticket you want?"
He says, "I wan' a red one."
He gave him some loot 'n' he laid it on him.

So here's ol' Jack he's got his ticket now. He takes everything he owns. he wraps it on up in a diaper 'n' he hangs it on a stick over his back 'n' goes headin' on down by the pier side.

He gettin' on down by the pier side. His manager's down there by the pier side 'n' here she is, folks, the USS Titanic! She's lined up beside two hundred 'n' fifty parkin' meters 'n' the Captain's gettin' done ready to split 'cause he run outta dimes.

Now around this time, there was an Italian senator 'n' the state house 'n' all Italian senators done got brothers own construction companies 'n' this one had a brother he owned a construction company 'n' the Titanic she was made outta good Italian wood, good Italian iron. they said she'd never go down.

So there's ol' Jack standin' on the bottom, got everything he owns wrapped on up in that diaper hangin' on a stick over his back. He shakes hands with his manager, goes walkin' on up the gangplank. The Captain standin' on the top. He get up onto the top 'n' the Captain he look at the ticket.
He look at the ticket.
He look at Jack.
He look at the ticket.
He look at Jack.
He look at the ticket.
He look at Jack.
He look at the ticket.
He look at Jack.
Lookita.
He says, "Sorry, baby, wrong color."
He says, "Me or the ticket?"
'N' he says, "You."

Now, he wouldn't let Jack Johnson on board.
They said, "This ship don't haul no coal."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.
It was midnight on the sea,
The band was playin' "Nearer My God to Thee."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.

So Jack says "It's all right, baby, it's all right. I'm gonna sit right here on the pier and watch you go right on down."

So the Titanic she sails on out into the North Sea. she's out there floatin' around in and out between the icebergs 'n' ol' Jack's standin' on the pier. I'm gonna tell ya 'bout the people on the Titanic now.

First of all, there's a whole bunch of Jewish people from Miami.
They're jumpin' up 'n' down.
They're laughin'.
They're drinkin' booze.
They're tradin' wives
'N' Cadillacs
'N' diamonds
'N' havin' all sorts of good clean party fun.

Then there was the people that run the boat. Now the people that run the boat, they know all about runnin' boats.
They know all about hoistin' up land lubbers,
'N' battenin' down hatches,
'N' doin' all sorts of other good things,
Like... all good sailors do in the far away sea.

Then there was the Captain.
Now the Captain he knows how to walk like a captain,
Write like a captain,
Walk like a captain,
Talk like a captain,
Smell like a captain,
Eat like a captain,
Do all sorts of captain things.

Then there was the first mate. Now I gotta tell ya 'bout the first mate. Now the first mate, he don't know nothin' about Jewish parties.
He don't know nothing about hoistin' up land lubbers.
He don't know nothin' about captains.
He, uh, he wants to go on over to England. he wants to play his guitar.
He wanna run around 'n' chase women 'n' have all sorts of good... times.

Anyways, this fella', his sideburns they're just a little too long. He giving way, see. He... he been down in Mexico. he been down in Mexico. He been workin' in this rope factory down in Mexico now. Down in Mexico they make rope outta this funny little hemp plant that grows wild in the ground. Some of you people... grow it in flower pots under your bed... ehh, anyways, he's down there and he's... he's makin' rope outta this funny marijuana plant. One day the rope factory she catch fire 'n' he runs back on in to save his lunch - he's got two sardine sandwiches - runnin' back on in to save his lunch, he gets inside 'n' there's all this funny smoke floatin' around up inside 'n'... he gets some of this funny smoke up inside his head 'n'.. He sit down in the middle o' de fire 'n' he say, "Shhhhhhhhhhhit, baby, I ain't gonna make rope no more!"

So he takes everything he owns he wraps it up on into a diaper and a knapsack too 'n' he... he headin' on to the Titanic. He gets to the Titanic. He standin' on the bottom walkin' on up the gangplank 'n' the Captain's standin' on the top 'n' the Captain says, "What you got boy?"
He says, "I'm comin' on."
He says, "WHAT YOU GOT?"
He says, "Well, I got me two changes of BVD's. I got me my guitar. I got me my address book, a... pair of socks, 4 Masked Marvel comic books, a tennis racquet and four hundred 'n' ninety-seven 'n' a half feet o' rope."

He says, "Four hundred 'n' ninety seven 'n' a half feet o' rope! Whadaya got that for?"

He says, "I just carry it."

So he says, "It's all right. Go on board, go on board." and he did.

It was midnight on the sea,
The band was playin' "Nearer My God to Thee."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.
Now he wouldn't let Jack Johnson on board.
They said, "This ship don't haul no coal."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.

That brings us up to what's happenin' now. The Titanic she's floatin' around in and out between the icebergs. The Jewish people, they partyin', they tradin' wives 'n' Cadillacs 'n' diamonds. They drinkin' booze 'n' havin' all sorts of party fun. Everybody else is hoistin' up land lubbers 'n' battenin' down hatches. The First Mate he's hangin' over the rail. He's havin' himself a little smoke. He's diggin' the icebergs, havin' himself a little smoke, 'n' it's the Captain's time to do his thing. The Captain comes on out. (Remember, I told you about the captain. he knows how to walk like captain, write like captain, talk like... all sorts of captain things.) He comes on out 'n' he's standin' now. His thing right now is that he's gotta go out 'n' test the wind. So he casts his nose up into the north wind 'n' he goes....

He walks on over to the First Mate.
He says, "Hey, first mate, what's that you smokin'?"
He says, "That ain't nothin' but a little ol' cigarette, captain."
'N' he says, "I don't believe it. Gimme a puff."
'N' he says, "Alright."

So the captain takes himself a little puff. Nothin' happened right away.
He says, "It's alright, it's alright. It's just a cigarette. I'm goin' for a walk." And that's what he did, folks. He went for a walk. He went... He went out walkin' around the boat. He went walkin' toward the wheelhouse. He... He walked around.

He walked around the wheelhouse once.... He walked around the wheelhouse twice.... On the third time around, the wheelhouse, the First Mate he looked on over at the Captain 'n'.... 'n' he say.... "You wan' another toke, Captain?" And the Captain, he say.... "RIGHT!!!!!!!!"

So this time, he's gonna tell the captain a little bit about this smoke that he's smokin'. He says, "Now the idea, Captain, the idea is to get this smoke way down deep inside your tummy 'n' hold it there just as long as you can. It'll make your head feel good all inside. So the Captain says, "Alright." he takes himself three big tokes off that funny little brown weed 'n' he says, "I am commencing to hold it in!"

He walked around the wheelhouse.
He went downstairs.
He laid down.
He get up he ran in the other room.
He sent a radiogram.
He came on back in.
He took a shower.
He come out.
He shaved.
He laid down.
He got up again.
He turned on the television.
He turned off the radio.
He played a game of cribbage.
He read his Masked Marvel comic book.
He walked through the kitchen,
Made a cup of tea,
Made a cup of coffee,
Sat down,
Ate a piece of pie,
Went upstairs,
Played another game of cribbage,
Went back in,
Finished his other Masked Marvel comic book,
Laid down,
He had the television, the radio, the egg beater, the air conditioner 'n' everything's all goin' at once. He walks up on deck, and this is fifty-two minutes later 'n' this cat ain't breathed yet!

So the First Mate see him standin' up there on the rail. he's all puffed up like a balloon!
He says, "Ya gotta let it out, Captain!"

So the Captain he let it all out at once.

Fallin' right down on the wheelhouse floor. He's out cold.

O-h-h-h, this just brings us up to what's happenin' again folks. The Titanic she's sailin' around in between the icebergs. Everybody else is havin' parties. The Jewish people they jumpin' up 'n' down they tradin' wives 'n' Cadillacs 'n' diamonds 'n' drinkin' booze. Everybody else is hoistin' up land lubbers, battenin' down hatches 'n' doin' sail things. The First Mate's hangin' over there on the rail havin' himself a little smoke 'n' diggin' icebergs. And the Captain's out cold on the wheelhouse floor.

It was midnight on the sea,
The band was playin' "Nearer My God to Thee."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.
Now he wouldn't let Jack Johnson on board
They said, "This ship don't haul no coal."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.

All of a sudden.... the Captain's eyes popped wide open. He stood right up straight.... Grabs a hold o' de wheel.... Looks on out at the bow o' dat boat 'n' he say "I'M GONNA MOVE YOU, baby!"

And he did right on into an iceberg 'n' she went right on down.

It was midnight on the sea,
The band was playin' "Nearer My God to Thee."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.
Now he wouldn't let Jack Johnson on board
They said, "This ship don't haul no coal."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.

That's the true story of the Titanic, folks. She went right to the bottom. She took with her all the Jewish people, all the first mates. She took with him the Captain. She took with him the land lubbers. She took with him the Masked Marvel comic books, the tennis racquet and four hundred 'n' ninety-seven 'n' a half feet o' rope.

Meanwhile back on the stateside, ol' Jack Johnson... why he's standin' up on the pier. He's fishin' away. he's got himself a little stick 'n' a line 'n' he gets a tug he pulls it on up 'n' it's a big wet blue soggy mess 'n' on the inside on the lining written in big gold letters it says, "USS Titanic" and stuck right above it was a wet roach.

That boy was so happy he started doin' the eagle rock up 'n' down that pier like it's goin' outta style. he go... He gonna do the eagle rock now. everybody in for the eagle rock. Oh, rock!

It was midnight on the sea,
The band was playin' "Nearer My God to Thee."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.
Now he wouldn't let Jack Johnson on board
They said, "This ship don't haul no coal."
Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.

Fare thee well, Titanic, goin down!"


[Jaime Brockett's recording of LEGEND OF THE U.S.S. TITANIC is on his album "Remember the Wind and the Rain," Capitol LP 678, 1969; re-released as Collectors' Choice Music CD 539, 2005.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Titanic (Leadbelly)
From: GUEST,dr green lung
Date: 17 Apr 10 - 09:02 PM

I heard that song in 1980, recorded it on a cassette, had it stuck in my head all this time, didnt know all the words (since I dont own a cassette player anymore but still have the tape somewhere). I heard it on the Dr Demento Show on the Westwood One network. Good times. Now with pot alomost legal, it would be a cool song to learn for some of the hemp expos out there


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Subject: Add: Titanic (Leadbelly)
From: Genie
Date: 14 Apr 12 - 07:32 PM

Titanic: Lead Belly


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