Bands

The band is one of the Titanic's most popular subjects. People hailed them as heroes, playing till the waves swallowed them up. I find it very unlikely they played to the very end. The ship assumed an almost perpendicular position as she sank and I tend to think it would be very hard to concentrate on a tune as the walls turned into floors and visa-versa. There is also much confusion on what their last song was. From the lifeboats, a number of different songs were heard. Among them is "Nearer, My God to Thee". Both the American and British survivors recall hearing it. This hymn is ordinarily played to entirely different music on both sides of the Atlantic. Three different tunes in all! I find it very unlikely they played all three versions. Also in the running is the hymn "Autumn" and "Songe d'Automne". It is important to note that there were two separate bands on the Titanic and they had two totally different playing styles. None of the band members survived.

The Band was supplied by the Black talent Agency of Liverpool. They signed on the ship for a shilling a month, but were listed as second class passengers. They were clearly under the Captain's authority, but worked for and were paid by the Black Agency. After the ship floundered, nobody wanted to take responsibility for the lives of the Bandsmen. It seems they weren't covered by anybody's insurance policy. The White Star Line said that the Band worked for the Blacks and therefore covered by them, and the Blacks argued that the Band was listed as passengers and therefore covered as such. One family was even hounded by the Black's for the dead bands man's unpaid uniform bill which amounted to only $3.50 in American money.