... and the band played on
Eight brave souls continued playing music even as the Titantic began to keel to its impending doom.
Without thought to their own safety, they continued playing calming, soothing melodies in some form of hope to keep the passengers as calm as possible.
Five were from England comprising of a pianist, two cellists and a bassist, and the Bandmaster, a violinist. The remaining three were from France, Scotland, and Belguim, were cellists. The oldest was forty, the youngest, twenty.
But neither age, or impending doom stopped them from what their intent was. To play music to soothe the soul, to quiet the screams, the raving madness that had enveloped everyone in panic.
These eight men, eight musicians continued playing as the ship listed slowly at first, then quickly to the bottom of the murky depths of the North Atlantic Ocean.
History may not recall these men very often, but as with most emsemble groups, they were required to know 352 songs when playing on seafaring cruises, and they would play at various times during each day at tea time, after dinner concerts, as well as other occasions such as a birthday, or wedding anniversary, and also weddings on board cruise ships. They had a song for practically every occasion you could imagine.
The bravery to sit and play and never once think of their own lives is something a medal should be awarded. A film made, a book read, in order to understand true heroism in the face of certain death. To the outside world they were simply musicians tryig to earn a buck. But that fateful night, they became so much more than simply a musician. They became a beacon of hope and salvation for those who survived.
In the end, as all the remaining lights disappeared, as the ship finally was covered by the ocean swallowing them whole, survivor's recall hearing "Nearer My God To Thee" before, in the end, it became faded and then forever gone.
We will never know what they said to one another, or if they even spoke at all. We will never know the amount of sweat that probably ran in rivlets down their face, or the tears that flowed from their eyes. But they remained in their chairs and the band played on.
Theodore Ronald Brailey – Pianist (aged 24)
Roger Marie Bricoux – Cellist (aged 20)
John Frederick Preston Clarke – Bassist (aged 30)
Wallace Hartley – Bandmaster, Violinist (aged 33)
John Law Hume – Violinist (aged 21)
Georges Alexandre Krins – Violinist (aged 23)
Percy Cornelius Taylor – Cellist (aged 32)
John Wesley Woodward – Cellist (aged 32)
They were perhaps the bravest of all.