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The Titanic
(Roud 6662)
Michael ‘Straighty’ Flanagan
Inagh
Recorded in a bar in Inagh, July 1976

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Michael 'Straighty' Flanagan

You feeling-hearted Christians, come listen to my tale.
How the gallant ship Titanic, for New York bound in sail.
She was lovely, grand and the largest boat that ever ploughed the waves,
But alas, she struck an iceberg, and it dashed her to her grave.

She was the pride of Belfast built, oh, the glory of her crew.
She had every fixture, every comfort, that art of man e’er knew.
A regular floating palace, from stem to stern was she,
But she lies with sixteen hundred souls, deep down the Atlantic sea.

’Twas a beautiful April morning, she steamed from Southampton quay,
There was millionaires as well as the poor, bound for Amerikay.
There was joy and hope in every heart, as she raced the waters blue,
With a veteran captain on the bridge, nine hundred men her crew.

She stopped at Queenstown on that trip, for Irish girls and boys.
Were leaving dear old Ireland, in a strange land to employ.
For the last time those poor emigrants gazed on their native shore,
They nobly died, God rest their souls, we’ll never see them more.

Now all went well till the fourteenth day of April drew nigh.
'Twas in the middle of the night, an iceberg floating by,
The Titanic proudly buoyed along, unmindful of her foe,
When there came a crash, an awful splash, and the cries from all below.

Brave Captain Smith was on the bridge, and gave his orders clear,
And wireless operators, sent their message far and near.
“Save us, oh save us, we are sinking fast," it was the awful cry,
But sad to state, help came too late, sixteen hundred souls must die.

There was not much confusion, for none thought the ship would fail,
The band was playing sweet on board, there was no storm or gale,
But suddenly the boats were launched, in rushed the waters wild,
The husbands torn from their wives, the mother from her child.

Oh God, it was an awfull sight, what horror must be there,
To see the doomed ones rush on deck, and hear them breathe a prayer.
“Women and children first,” were cried, seven hundred told were saved,
But the rest went down in the watery deep, to fill a martyr’s grave.

The brave old ship Carpathia, she heard the wireless cry,
And putting all her steam ahead, to the Titanic fast did fly.
She saved those in the lifeboats, landed safe in New York Bay,
But the ones she left behind her now await their judgement day.

Let us raise our voice to heaven, my boys, and join in prayer of love,
That the Irish boys and girls on board will meet with God above.
May the faithful souls who perished on the Titanic have no dread,
Of their reward in heaven, when, the sea gives up its dead.

"The sinking of the Titanic on 14th April 1912, described at the time as 'the most appalling shipping disaster in the history of the world', gave rise to a great number of songs. According to D.K. Wilgus, 70 have been collected, 14 of which were found in Ireland."

Reference:
Irish Traditional Narrative Songs in English 1800-1916: Songs D.K. Wilgus.
Views of the Irish Peasantry1800-1916, Eds. D. Casey and Robert E. Rhodes.

Jim Carroll

See also
The Titanic sung by Jamesie McCarthy
The Titanic sung by Micho Russell


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