Dammit! Sorry.... [HMS Titanic Song]

… to be asking this question again, but due to my own stupidity and not backing up files I lost a tune that is very dear to me and I need y’all to point me to it again, please?

This song is about the HMS Titanic, and I believe that is also its title. It’s about 12 minutes long (conservative estimate) and it’s played very very fast on the guitar, and it’s hilarious.

Anyone know this one and can you link me to somewhere I can download it?

Napster doesn’t have it, or I looked for it wrong.



Legend of the U.S.S. Titanic
by Jaime Brockett

No idea where you can download it, though.

Thank you very much!

I know. This was back in the days when Napster was free that y’all gave me the answer the first time.

Thanks again.


Quasi, check your e-mail.

I remember the song reminded me a lot of Lord Buckley’s work, and I absolutely love Buckley!

I’m just so sorry that none of his work is on film!

There I go, hijacking my own thread again! :smack:


And, as an absolutely useless piece of trivia, that song was the first thing played on WBCN in Boston when it changed from a classical to a rock format sometime around 1967-1968.

I don’t think the song held up too well myself.

Oh! The “Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well.” song. Not surprising you can’t find where to download it, since the performance is still copyrighted.

Brokett’s version is the most fun, if a song about the deaths of 1300 people can be called “fun.” (Answer: Yes.) You can also BUY it performed by Leadbelly and Blind Lemon Jefferson, though they, or their families, are unlikely to collect any royalties.

Leadbelly died in 1949 and Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1929, so “unlikely” is understating it mildly. :slight_smile: Dunno about their estates, if any.

Estates, hell! I’m guessing they sold their rights for five bucks and a bottle of whiskey and the only people making money off them are their publishers and record companies.

The song is discussed in Steven Biel’s Down with the Old Canoe (W.W. Norton & Co. 2003), a very interesting look at the remarkably widespread cultural impact of the Titanic disaster. I recommend it.

Incidentally, the Titanic’s prefix was RMS (for “Royal Mail Steamer”), and neither HMS (“His Majesty’s Ship,” for British warships) nor USS (“United States Ship,” for American warships).

I suggest that we find a copy so that the SDMB Folk Ensemble can record it and distribute it.

I’m a bit cornfuzed by the Wikipedia entries:

Blind Lemon Jefferson died in 1929.
Leadbelly died in 1949.
In Brockett’s entry, it says that it’s Leadbelly’s song “via Blind Lemon Jefferson”. I’d normally take that to mean that BLJ made it famous, or at least well known, but BLJ was never a popular artist in any case. Maybe it means he helped write it?
Jaime Brockett recorded it, we must assume, around around 1968, since his first release was in 1969 and Voyager remembers it from around that time.
That version is stated as being “co-written with Chris Smither” which I’d guess means that some changes were made to the Leadbelly original, and Mr. Smither helped.

Obviously Brockett (or Smither) heard a recording of it (possibly the one referenced by dropzone) rather than getting it from the source, since neither of them was of an age to remember anything at the time Leadbelly died.

So, who wrote the song? Looking at the lyrics provided by Exapno Mapcase, I can well believe that the original was somewhat altered. :slight_smile: And how did it get to Brockett? There are questions we want answered here!

The most important being: where can I get a copy of the Brockett version?

There are a million Titanic songs. I sang one in the Boy Scouts. But HMS for RMS is hardly the only historical inaccuracy in this one.

Does anyone have a cite about what the original song contained? The midnight on the sea line, sure. The lines about the ship being constructed in New Jersey from good Italian wood, maybe not. Putting Jack Johnson on the pier as the Titanic sailed the wrong way, I doubt.

Incidentally, for an anniversary, WBCN played the song again, and the dj noted that it was incredibly racist, and said “maybe we won’t play this one again.”

I bought the Brockett album soon after it came out (yes, I’m that old), so I looked at the credits for the song. They’re listed as C. Smither - J. Brockett.

C. Smither is probably Chris Smither, a folksinger who like Brockett was living in Boston at the time.

It’s easy to find Leadbelly’s version. Here it is on YouTube, with lyrics attached.

The only parts taken were the chorus:

and the reference to Jack Johnson doing the Eagle Rock.

The change to “USS” Titanic is what is known in the trade as a “joke”.

Leadbelly played a 12-string? Wow! Didn’t know that!

Thanks for all the info.

Shame that I can’t get Brockett’s version.


Easily done.

And how can you turn down a CD that includes:

Talkin’ Green Beret New Super Yellow Hydraulic Banana Teeny Bopper Blues