“Wreck of the Shenandoah”


"At four o'clock one evening On a warm September day A great and mighty airship From Lakehurst flew away." The dirigible encounters a storm and is wrecked. Fourteen people die. The mother of one of the crew watches in vain for the vessel

Supplemental text

Wreck of the Shenandoah
  Complete text(s)

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From the Frank C. Brown collection, Volume II, #219, pp. 522-523.
Collected from Mary Canada, Durham, March 1941.

1. At four o'clock one evening
   On a warm September day
   A great and mighty airship
   From Lakehurst flew away.

2. The mighty Shenandoah,
   The pride of all this land,
   Her crew was of the bravest,
   Captain Lansdowne in command.

3. At four o'clock next morning,
   The earth was far below
   When a storm with all its fury
   Gave her a fatal blow.

4. Her side was torn asunder,
   Her cabin was torn down.
   The captian and his brave men
   Went crashing to the ground.

5. And fourteen lives were taken.
   But they've not died in vain.
   Their names will live forever
   Within the hall of fame.

6. In the little town of Greenville
   A mother's watchful eye
   Was waiting for the airship,
   To see her son go by.

7. Alas! Her son lay sleeping;
   His last great flight was o'er.
   He's gone to meet his maker;
   His ship will fly no more.


This is item dG52 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW

I would've placed bets on "Maggie Andrews" being a pseudonym for Andrew Jenkins, but a website on the Shenandoah wreck (http://mike.whybark.com/archives/000093.html) states that it was actually a pseudonym for the team of Dalhart and Carson Robison. - PJS

According to Norm Cohen, "Maggie Andrews" was the maiden name of Robison's mother, and he copyrighted a lot of material under it. Of course, Robison also worked with Andrew Jenkins, so there could have been at least a little cross-influence. - RBW

Historical references

  • Sep 3, 1925 - Wreck of the naval dirigible Shenandoah, commanded by Lt. Commander Zachary Landsdowne


  • Vernon Dalhart, "Wreck of the Shenandoah" (Columbia 15041-D, 1925) (Edison 51620, 1925) (Cameo 809, 1925) (OKeh 40460 [as Tobe Little], 1925) (Vocalion 15125 [as Jep Fuller], 1925)
  • Guy Massey, "Wreck of the Shenandoah" (Perfect 12218, 1925)


  1. BrownII 219, "The Wreck of the Shenandoah" (1 text)
  2. ST BrII219 (Full)
  3. Roud #4150
  4. BI, BrII219


Author: Maggie Andrews (pseudonym of Carson J. Robison)
Earliest date: 1925 (recordings, Vernon Dalhart, Guy Massey)
Found in: US(SE)