Parallel Anthology Track 22

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Icon Unknown Status.jpg Track 22: William and Versey Smith - When That Great Ship Went Down   Paramount 12505-B; Recorded in Chicago, August 1927


No image of record label available. Neither Anthology book assigns authorship, nor does

The Roud Folksong Index classifies this song as a version of Roud 774. A Roud number search returns a handful of results which predate the Smiths' recording.

According to the 1928 book American Negro Folk Songs, a song with almost identical lyrics was "Sung by a Negro on streets of Hackleburg in Northwest Ala." in 1915 or 1916. [1]

As this song refers to a definite historical event which took place in 1912, it is quite possible that the person who wrote it lived as late as 1943, meaning that the copyright status of this composition is unknown.

Parallel anthology main index page

Alternative Versions

The Titanic Disaster by Pete Seeger album released in 1957 (according to Spotify
Liner notes treat this song as traditional.
Ship Titanic from Songs of Camp recorded in 1958 (according to liner notes): Spotify
Liner notes make no claim for authorship or arrangement.