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Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)

GUEST,Pete Peterson 21 Dec 07 - 09:36 PM
Dave'sWife 20 Dec 07 - 10:29 PM
JJ 20 Dec 07 - 08:43 AM
GUEST 19 Dec 07 - 08:53 AM
Dave'sWife 19 Dec 07 - 05:11 AM
Ron Davies 12 Nov 06 - 01:45 PM
catspaw49 11 Nov 06 - 10:55 PM
Dave'sWife 11 Nov 06 - 10:11 PM
Dave'sWife 11 Nov 06 - 08:18 PM
Peace 11 Nov 06 - 08:06 PM
Dave'sWife 11 Nov 06 - 08:03 PM
catspaw49 11 Nov 06 - 06:26 PM
Peace 11 Nov 06 - 05:48 PM
Anglogeezer 11 Nov 06 - 05:46 PM
catspaw49 11 Nov 06 - 05:11 PM
Peace 11 Nov 06 - 04:45 PM
Peace 11 Nov 06 - 04:42 PM
catspaw49 11 Nov 06 - 04:31 PM
Anglogeezer 11 Nov 06 - 04:19 PM
Peace 11 Nov 06 - 04:09 PM
catspaw49 11 Nov 06 - 03:39 PM
Peace 11 Nov 06 - 02:50 PM
Peace 11 Nov 06 - 02:34 PM
catspaw49 11 Nov 06 - 02:13 PM
EBarnacle 11 Nov 06 - 01:47 PM
Anglogeezer 11 Nov 06 - 12:56 PM
Melani 10 Nov 06 - 08:31 PM
Peace 10 Nov 06 - 08:04 PM
catspaw49 10 Nov 06 - 07:59 PM
catspaw49 10 Nov 06 - 07:52 PM
Peace 10 Nov 06 - 07:36 PM
Barry Finn 10 Nov 06 - 07:19 PM
Dave'sWife 10 Nov 06 - 06:24 PM
Dave'sWife 08 Nov 06 - 05:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 21 Dec 07 - 09:36 PM

Thread drift--

1) if you are a James Joyce fan/scholar then you know about the General Slocum disaster. Ulysses was set in Dublin on June 16 1904, day after the fire, and the Dublin papers were full of the news.

2) if you are a Civil War buff you've heard of Slocum, he commanded the XII corps at Gettysburg and kept Ewell busy on Culp's Hill on July 2nd and 3rd while Longstreet and Pickett were making mischief elsewhere on the battlefield. He went on to command troops at Chattanooga, in the Atlanta campaign, and on the March to the Sea.

3) if you've ever read The Great Bridge (McCullough's history of the Brooklyn Bridge) you've heard of Slocum because he was in politics, arguing with the Roeblings throughout the construction, yet showed up to claim much of the credit.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 20 Dec 07 - 10:29 PM

Thanks JJ - growing up you here references to both Little Germany and Germantown. I just assumed they were the same thing but after reading the article I posted and another more lengthy article about the General Slocum disatser, you can see they were two different communties with one possibly evolving from the other.

There is also an area in Jackson Heights Queens that used to be called Germantown but by the time I was growing up it was limited to just a couple of blocks. if you go there now, there is virtually no trace of it - the area is now almost completely populated by Hong Kong chinese that came over before tha handover in 1997. nearby to them is a an enclaveof Chinese from Fukien.

Oddly enough, the Irish are still holding out in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst but it's mostly elderly folks who moved there from the Bronx in the 1930s. The one Irish business still doing a brisk business is the Irish owned funeral home. The last time I was there for a wake was in 199 but I hear they're still there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: JJ
Date: 20 Dec 07 - 08:43 AM

The area depopulated in the aftermath of the wreck of the Genral Slocum was indeed called Little Germany (Kleindeutschland) and was located on the Lower East Side, centered on Tompkins Square Park, site of the memorial.

The German community (in the main) then moved north to Yorkville, on the Upper East Side.

No doubt both these enclaves were also called "Germantown."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 07 - 08:53 AM

If anyone can get to either the Lincoln Center music library or the 42nd street branch of the New York Public Library, it should be possible to track down the Cohan material.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 19 Dec 07 - 05:11 AM

It's been a while, I know, but I cam across an interesting article abou the decline of Germantown on NYC's upper eastside. Thought I'd share it:


What happened to Yorkville's Germantown?
by Elizabeth Gariti


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Nov 06 - 01:45 PM

Fascinating information about the General Slocum. That book about it definitely sounds worth getting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 10:55 PM

The Sultana sorta' falls more into the wartime losses although for all purposes it was after the war and the cause was without doubt a boiler explosion although some would try to force the Rebel sinking idea for years. In any case, thanks for the posts Wife and I'll keep looking for the Cohan piece.

I ran across several of the Eastland songs without lyrics but I think that probably goes on a different thread.

Spaw


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SULTANA (Art Thieme)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 10:11 PM

I meant to mention also, one other horrible American riverboat wreck worse than Titanic - the Sultana (please no jokes about scones and cakes). 1,700 souls lost - most of them former Union prisoners of war trying to go home after surviving places like Andersonville. What a horror!

For the history of it:
Wreck of the Steamboat Sultana


digitrad has one song about it.

THE SULTANA
(Art Thieme)

Come all you young fellows where'er you be.
Come sit down awhile and listen to me.
It's of a great riverboat, Sultana her name.
She's sunk to the bottom and death brought her fame.

It was April 24th of 1865.
On the Father Of Waters, side-wheelers did glide.
From New Orleans to St. Louis town,
Right on her schedule, she glided on down.

Yes, the month it was April, the day 24.
Brave Union soldiers at Vicksburg did board,
All sick and pale but happy at last,
To be out of their prisons and goin' home fast.

They jammed into corners and slept side by side,
As they talked about home and the warm fireside,
All bound for Cairo in old Illinois,
2000 soldiers, some women, and boys.

Now, the old Mississippi had risen so high,
That o'er the big valley, flood waters did rise.
Trees and houses adrift in the stream.
Could be seen only faintly in the dull moonbeams.

She landed at Memphis on April 26th,
Gave care to the wounded and care to the sick.
Some stronger soldiers unloaded her hold,
Carried out canned goods and bodies so cold.

Then all hell broke loose as on they did sail.
The boilers gave way and their bindings did fail.
As great an explosion as ever was seen
Coursed through the night 'mid yells and 'mid screams.

Now, some said the boiler just failed to hold.
Some said that the rebels torpedoed the coal.
No true explanation could ever be found,
And the moans of the 1900 still sound.

This story is true, I swear to you all.
None can deny it, no one at all.
The mighty Mississippi was destined to be
The scene of the greatest disaster at sea.

Cairo: pronounced "Cay-ro." The steamboat Sultana left Vicksburg carrying 2000 Union troops recently released from Confederate prisons, plus 250 civilians and 60 horses and mules. The boat was built for 376 at most. Seven miles above Memphis, the patched boiler exploded and 1900 people perished. That's more people than died on the Titanic.
Tune, "The Rackets We Had On The Blue Mountain Lake,"
@disaster
filename[ SULTNA

*******************************************************************

Oddly enough - those lyrics almost work with "These times, they are a changin'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 08:18 PM

Oh pardon my ignorant mumblings - I referred to "Little Germany" Smack me please. Correct NYC-ese for that area is/was "Germantown" (that section on the east of Manhattan formerly populated by German-Americans.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 08:06 PM

It was Spaw's post that got me off in that direction, DW.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 08:03 PM

Great work Jake and Peace. If you grew up in certain areas of NYC or are of either Irish-American or German-American NYC ancestry, the General Slocum Disaster is MORE famous than the Titanic. One could call it the "Working Class Titanic" I suppose. The first link I lickified covers most of the history.

Why do we remember it so well? Well, most of the victims were German-Americans from a Lutheran Church on their way to their annual picnic on Long Island. Little Germany never fully recovered from the massive loss of life that wipes out whole families. If you are Irish, it's because at the time, the majority of policemen and fireman who jumped in the water and swam out to the wreck were Irish and likely to be your grandad or greatgrand-dads.

The boat caught fire shortly after leaving the dock and was seen burning all the way up the river until it finally beached in the Bronx - a horrific sight with stories of it being passed down. My Grandmother's older brothers tried to help save some of the victims but my Grandad's family was still in Ireland at the time. Grandma was just a small child -toddler maybe. Her oldest brother who eventually ecame a cop used to tell us children about the General Slocum and how the bodies washed up on shore in the Bronx 6 and 8 people thick.

Considering that up until 9/11, this was the worst tragedy NYC ever suffered, I'm susprised at how few folks remember it. The wreck is still there. There are a number of memorials to the victims but with ethnographic shifts in the City, they aren't in places likly to be venerated.

The name of the book I was referring to in my first post is My Father's Gun by Brian MacDonald - a terrific book that covers 3 generations of NYC Irish cops and the parallel lives they seemed to lead - Grandfather, father and son. I highly recommend it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 06:26 PM

I can't find diddly either Bruce. I'm not giving up but I'm beginning to wonder if it existed at all. The only web ref I can find is the one on the Slocum site and I've tried most of possible mixes of Cohan with that title or individual words on several sites including Jakes and ZIPPO..........

That's no drift Jake, that's a great movie!!! LOL.....Actually I really watch it just to see Cagney dance. He was so different as a tap dancer, a kind of mix between classic good tap and Irish.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 05:48 PM

I cannot find lyrics to "They were my friends" anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 05:46 PM

Thread drift!!
"James Cagney portrayed George M. Cohan in the 1942 movie Yankee Doodle Dandy."
His grave is here - www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=213

Jake

Fat Clone just keep makin' them links Jake. No problem. You are all working a good thread.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 05:11 PM

Excellent! That's a great resource. Tried a couple of combinations of "They Were My Friends" but no luck yet.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 04:45 PM

Spaw (from Jake's link):


   Title: Elegy.    Creator : by V. Spadea.
   Creator : unattrib. photo of Genl. Slocum Steamboat fire
   Publisher : New York: V. Spadea, Music & Musical Instruments, 2210 Second Avenue 1904
   Collection : Johns Hopkins University Levy Collection
   
[ access online ]   [ more info ]   [      or add with a note   - add to virtual collection ]   


Title: Slocum disaster    Creator : Jenkins [artist]
   Creator : Mann, Cecil [lyricist]
   Creator : Mann, Cecil [composer]
   Publisher : New York : Old Dominion Music Co. 1905
   Collection : Indiana University
   
[ access online ]   [ more info ]   [      or add with a note   - add to virtual collection ]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 04:42 PM

Great work, Jake. Please someone take note so the lyrics can be entered in the DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 04:31 PM

Outstanding Jake!!!!

I'm working on the Cohan connection but lyrics are hard to come by for many of his on the web. That may require a trip to a larger "city" library.

We do have a neat smaller library here that has some very hard to find things. The Wagnall's Memorial" is in a little town called Lithopolis and was built by the founders of Funk and Wagnalls who also funded "across the board" scholarships to any student graduating high school in the district. THey figured there was enough money to last forever but never figured on the growth of Columbus nor the unreal rate of inflation. Now the place has a tough time keeping the doors open. It gets community support and would be a real loss to the community.

Spaw


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Subject: Lyr Add: SLOCUM DISASTER (Cecil Mann)
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 04:19 PM

Fat Clone - thanks for repairing the link (I did use the link maker - but didn't test it!)

Further info at the Sheet Music Consortium at http://digital.library.ucla.edu/sheetmusic/
Search for "Slocum"
Gives publishers details of one song and one tune relating to the disaster.
You can access the images of the music.
Here are the words:

SLOCUM DISASTER
Word and music by Cecil Mann

The Slocum had left the sunny pier, with its crowd of laughter and song
Hundreds of children with mothers and friends joined in a merry throng
With baskets of dainties, with hearts light and gay they frolicked and danced with glee
Thinking of naught but pleasure, as the ship glides on to the sea.

Oh the awful ending - No words can ever tell,
Hundreds of beautiful children doomed, listen to their death knell.
Fire, fire, fire, It swept from deck to deck
Mothers clasping their loved ones went down on the Slocum wreck.

Now hushed and heavy is every heart, New York bows down in grief
Thousands mourning for loved ones gone, Oh what will give relief
Homes left vacant of mother, brothers and sisters lost
No words can paint the picture or count the fearful cost

Regards Jake
Sheet Music at Indiana University (click)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 04:09 PM

Trying to finds stuff like this is hard. If you (and I know you do) like history and legend, it's a real SOB not to go wander along trails just to see where they go. Many years back I started out doing a paper on Isaac Newton and ended up changing the topic with the prof's OK to some stuff on the Cathars and some other stuff on 'strange' happenings in the south of France. I don't doubt in this 'search' that we'll meet each other in the darndest places. It's fun.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 03:39 PM

LOL.....Thanks Peace. The reason for the laugh? I too had just found that stuff in your second post! The problem with doing this kind of thing is always the same.....it's no fun to focus!!! I get sidetracked on some other interesting facet and have to go back and catch up again with where I was.........And I always get the feeling that most of the rest of the 'Catters tend to do the same.

I thought (and was wrong) that the Spaeth peice was modern.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 02:50 PM

"Slocum Music
To date, research shows that there were four musical pieces composed specifically for the Slocum as a result of the tragedy:
1- "The General Slocum" by Charles Ives in 1904 finished about 1930 from notes he left.
2- "The Slocum Waltz" by Eric Blau about 1996
3- "The General Slocum" by Patricia Spaeth in 1903-04, premiered at 1904 Anniversary
4- "The Ballad of the General Slocum" by William Bates in 2005, premiered at 101 Anniversary.
In 1904 George M. Cohan was a prolific composer. One of this period was a song, "They Were My Friends." It has been wondered whether the song may have been inspired by the Slocum tragedy though no evidence has been seen to support that conjecture."

from

www.general-slocum.com/0newsletter.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 02:34 PM

"Nov 22

1925: Birth of conductor and Ives arranger Gunther Schuller at New York City. Schuller has edited or
arranged Sets No. 1–3, Chromâtimelôdtune, The General Slocum, and Yale-Princeton Football
Game, and conducted for the first recording of Chromâtimelôdtune, The General Slocum,
Yale-Princeton Football Game, and Scherzo: All the Way Around and Back. His performing
version of Symphony No. 4 is widely used."

" 1970: Premiere: The General Slocum and Yale-Princeton Football Game [Schuller realizations] (American
Symphony Orchestra, cond. by Gunther Schuller), at Carnegie Hall, New York City"

from here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 02:13 PM

I couldn't find anymore so far on the Spaeth piece, but another song mentioned on that site was recently written by a William Bates and I chased that one to THIS WEBSITE where you can hear the opening of the song. Personally, if that's any indication of the rest of the song, it must be about an hour long and melodramatic as all hell (a bit of the navel-gazing style of so many modern songwriters). Listen for yourself. Unfortunately, there are no written lyrics at the site so I have no real idea about how the rest goes. But take a listen to what there is.

Both of these are songs written very recently and not contemporary with the event. It seems there should be something contemporary to the disaster but again, maybe that's the destiny of boats hauling us commoners and not the rich and famous....LOL....(;<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: EBarnacle
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 01:47 PM

Just tried the link and was unable to get through.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 12:56 PM

The web page of the General Slocum Memorial Association refers to a song:-

"We anticipate that Pat Spaeth who composed "The General Slocum"
song might be able to attend."

e-mail them they may know of more??

regards
Jake
Link repaired---Incorrect html.....Use the link maker. Works every time! Fat Clone


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Melani
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:31 PM

Actually, I have heard of the Eastland, but then I'm from Chicago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:04 PM

No prob, Spaw.

This will be a fun thread to get into.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 07:59 PM

Cross posted there Peace....thanks for your input of that site/article.

For thosewho know little about the Eastland here's a pretty good site to educate ya' a bit!

Eastland Historical Society

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 07:52 PM

LOL.....Well Barry, that's the problem in a way. Nobody much remembers this 1904 disaster which almost rivaled Titanic with upwards of 1000 people losing their lives within a hundred foot of shore (going up the river in New York City). Then of course the other major non-wartime disaster was the 1915 Eastland catastrophe. Over 800 people died when the ship rolled over while tied to the dock in the river in the middle of the biggest city in the midwest, Chicago.

Go figure.

The Titanic was new and with many of the very rich/societry types aboard whereas the Slocum and the Eastland were both older vessels filled with working folks out for a rare holiday excursion. We remember Titanic while the Slocum and Eastland are footnotes.

And the songs seem to be the same way. I've read a lot about about both of these and although I recall some (maybe two) songs about the Eastland, I have no recall for anything on the General Slocum. Tell ya' what D-W.......I'll make this one a spare time project and start looking around on the web and in some libraries around here.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 07:36 PM

Remember The Slocum? Probably Not

By Clyde Haberman, New York Times, March 9, 2002

TO call it forgotten might be going too far. Let's just say that it is little noticed, the Slocum Memorial Fountain in Tompkins Square Park.

Odds are good -- no, more than that, they're very high -- that you have never heard of the General Slocum. It was an excursion steamer, named for a Civil War general, Henry Warner Slocum. On June 15, 1904, it sailed up the East River with 1,331 people on board, all headed for a Sunday school picnic on Long Island.

More here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 07:19 PM

When was this supposed to take place?

Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 06:24 PM

wow. Anyody EVER even heard a rumour of a song about this wreck?


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Subject: Lyr Req: General Slocum (wreck of/Disaster)
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 05:54 PM

In the BS thread on Ramapo school board politcis I wound up mentiong a book by an Irish-American guy whose grandfather, father and brother were all NYC cops. Anyhoo, his Grandfather dove into the water to try and save victims of the Wreck of The General Slocum, a side-wheel river bat that caught fire shortly after leaving it's pier, eventually running aground on North Brother Island in the Bronx. Over a thousand people drowned or died in the fire - mostly women and children. It's one of those big events that you just grow up knowing about if your family is from the Bronx.

I was certain I had heard a song aout it as a child called The Wreck of General Slocum but I'll be damned if I can find it online. The closest I can find in title is a modern song called "The Slocum Goes Slow" by Jim Connelly on CD called The Circus Doesn't Stop at Gove by my 'puter is acting up and I can't seem to download it.

Anyone know of any songs about this disaster? prior to 9/11 it was the worst loss of life in the history of NYC so you'd think there'd be something, yes?

Links:

The burning of the General Slocum


Jim Connelly at MP3.com


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