“The Titanic (VIII) ("Fare Thee Well, Titanic, Fare Thee Well") (Titanic #8)”


"It was midnight on the sea, The band was playing 'Nearer, My God, to Thee"; Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well." The Titanic hits an iceberg; women and children survive; men die. Jack Johnson survives because he is refused passage


Despite this song (and other folklore), the band on the _Titanic_ did NOT play "Nearer My God to Thee" as the ship sank. Instead, they played light music to prevent panic.

This particular version, known and sung by Lead Belly, is based on the story of Black boxer Jack Johnson, who was refused passage on the _Titanic_ due to his color.

For an extensive history of the _Titanic_, with detailed examination of the truth (or lack thereof) of quotes in the _Titanic_ songs, see the notes to "The Titanic (XV)" ("On the tenth day of April 1912") (Titanic #15) - RBW

Historical references

  • April 14/15, 1912 - Shortly before midnight, ship's time, the Titanic strikes an iceberg and begins to sink. Only 711 survivors are found of 2224 people believed to have been aboard.

Cross references

  • cf. all the other Titanic songs (plot)


  • Art Thieme, "Faretheewell Titanic" (on Thieme01)


  1. Courlander-NFM, pp. 77-78, (no title) (1 text)
  2. Roud #11693
  3. BI, CNFM077


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1949
Found in: US