Saturday, April 14, 2012

Titanic


A century ago on April 15, 1912, at approximately 02:15-02:20 AM (ship´s time) the sinking of the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She carried 2,224 passengers and crew.



"The Final Song of the Second Class Passenger", or to most Swedes lovingly known as simply "Titanic"

Music and lyrics by Mikael Wiehe (Translation to English by Bock McMillan)

It began as a shaking on the lower deck.
It filled us more with wonder than with fear.
We didn't quite understand the reason why the ship had sprung a leak.
We had been told that this was the worlds most modern, unsinkable, ship.

You took our picture of the kids, your jewelry and your hat.
I took a sweater, I thought the ocean is surely cold.
When we stepped out of our cabin and saw how water had started pouring in,
I saw a tear, or was it possibly a drop of water on your cheek

We followed arrows leading to the location of the rescue boat.
It was on the top deck, which really was First Class.
We were quite a few there, but all were rather calm.
There was just a gentleman from Third Class who behaved a little silly.

We met a man, whom we had greeted before.
He introduced us to his daughter and his wife.
When we got up on deck the captain said that the lifeboat could not be lowered to the water.
It seemed it was the chains to a hoist that someone had forgotten.

We went to the bar and got a glass of complimentary champagne.
And we drank a toast to the empire and each other.
Now the ship started sinking faster and the inclination was rather steep.
Many jumped into the water, but we decided to stay on board.

Then the rats began leaving the ship in search of land.
But we remained on the deck and held each others hands.
We thought, the ocean is far too large, and cold, and wild.
And in the boats that had been lowered into the water there was no room for any more.

Then the ships orchestra played '"Nearer, My God, to Thee"
It felt a bit silly, but still rather typical of our time.
We have lost the very last pinch of hope.
We sink to the bottom, where we stand, but the flag flies to the top!

2 comments :

  1. I used to have an album called Sweden's Greatest Hits with Titanic on it along with Oppna Landskap and several other great songs. Seems to me the lyrics were different than yours but maybe I am wrong. Any idea what I am talking about?? Thanks for publishing these anyway..your translation is good. --Peter Thompson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry, Peter, but I have never heard an English version of Mikael Wiehe´s song "Titanic" so I do not know which recording you may be thinking of.

      Actually I have a translation of "Öppna landskap" by Ulf Lundell on this blog (lyrics translated by myself in that case also). You can find it here Open Landscapes.

      I am so happy you like those two songs in particular, they both mean a lot to me and most of us Swedes.

      Delete

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