It was sad when that great ship went down: Peace Song for 1/5/2012

“Ship Titanic”, sometimes know as “The Titanic”, “It Was Sad When That Great Ship Went Down”, or “Husbands and Wive”, is the Peace Song of the Day for January 5th. (We are doing catch-up!) It is a traditional song, tracing back to around 1915 or 1916. You can find the lyrics and chords to this song in the Rise Up Singing  songbook on page 206.

This song is related to peace and justice, because it resonates with the stories of how the rich people died on the Titanic, while black people were not allowed on, and poor people were trapped down below.

I also can’t help but relate the story of how the great ship went down with the story of how the big banks in America failed us. How about new lyrics of, “It was sad when those big banks went down…”? This song is ripe for an occupy version.

Some Lyrics:

The Titanic

Oh, they built the ship Titanic, to sail the ocean blue
And they thought they had a ship that the water wouldn’t go through
But the good Lord raised His hand, said the ship would never land
It was sad when the great ship went down.
*
[Chorus]
It was sad, It was sad,
It was sad, when the great ship went down
Husbands and wives, little children lost their lives,
It was sad when the great ship went down.
*
O they were not far from shore when they heard that mighty roar
And the rich refused to associate with the poor.
So they put them down below where they’d be the first to go
It was sad when the great ship went down…

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Bonus silliness:

There is a long, shaggy dog version of this song at a scout camp website. It has various funny and inappropriate verses, including a dig at Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the movie Titanic.

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