Sung by Jerry O’Reilly


image of Jerry O’Reilly

sung by
Jerry O’Reilly
(Cullerlie 2007)

image of CD cover of Jerry O’Reilly

CDs available

You feeling hearted Christians, come listen to my tale
How the gallant ship Titanic, for New York bound did sail
She was lovely and the largest boat that ever sailed the sea,
Alas, she struck an iceberg, and it plunged her to the deep.
She was the pride of Belfast built, the glory of her crew.
She had every fixture, every comfort, the art of man e’er knew,
A regular floating palace, from stem to stern was she,
But she lies with fifteen hundred souls, deep in the Atlantic sea.
’Twas a beautiful April morning, she sailed from Southampton quay,
There was millionaires as well as poor, bound for Amerikay
There was joy and hope in every heart, as she sailed the ocean blue,
A veteran skipper on her bridge, nine hundred men her crew.
She called at Queenstown on that trip, for Irish girls and boys,
They 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.
All went well till the fourteenth day of April it drew nigh,
It was the middle of the night, an iceberg floated by,
The Titanic proudly sailed along, unmindful of her foe,
Then a sudden smash, an awful crash, and cries from down below.
Brave Captain Smith was on the bridge, and gave the order clear,
The wireless operator sent the message far and near,
“Save us, oh save us” there came the dreadful cry,
Sad to relate, help came too late, fifteen hundred souls did die.
There was so much confusion, for none thought the ship could fail,
The band was playing sweet and low, there was no storm or gale,
When all at once the boats were launched, in rushed the water wild, The husband parted from the wife, the mother from her child.
Oh Lord it was a dreadful sight, and the terror still remains,
To see the doomed ones rush on deck, and hear them breathe a prayer,
“Women and children first” was cried, seven hundred all were saved,
But the rest went down in the watery deep, to meet a martyr’s grave.
The grand old ship Carpathia, she heard our mournful cry,
And putting full steam ahead, to the Titanic she did fly,
She saved those in the lifeboats, landed them in New York Bay,
But the ones she left behind her now await the judgement day.
Let us raise our voice to the heavens on high, and join in prayer of love,
That the Irish boys and girls aboard, will meet with God above,
May those poor souls who perished in the Titanic have no dread,
Of their reward in heaven, when, the sea gave up its dead.


I recorded this song from Michael ‘Straighty‘ Flanagan from Inagh Co. Clare around 1985 or ’86.

After one of the singing concerts at the Willie Clancy Summer School the performers and most of the audience retired to Jim Marrinans pub. The singing continued for several hours after.

When I asked ‘Straighty’ where he got the song he told me that he went to the fair in Ennis around May or June 1912 and bought the ballad sheet from a street singer there.

He walked home from the fair (a distance of about 10 miles), and by the time he got home he ‘had the song’.

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Folk Leads Publications 2008