The Battle of Hampton Roads

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The Monitor is the second studio album by New Jersey Indie rock band Titus Andronicus. The LP is based loosely on the American Civil War, singer Patrick Stickles explained to the NME: "It doesn't take place in olden times, nor does it necessarily feature any characters that participated in that conflict. Really, it is a record about how the conflicts that led our nation into that great calamity remain unresolved, and the effect that this ongoing division has on our personal relationships and our behaviour and how they're all out to get us (or maybe not?) and yadda yadda yadda."
  • The album title is a reference to the USS Monitor, the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy, and this epic 14-minute track refers to the battle between the Monitor and the CSS Virginia, which took place on March 8–9, 1862. The release date of the record is according to Stickles, the band's "way of celebrating the 148th anniversary of this historic event."
  • The Battle of Hampton Roads was arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies, its major significance being that it was the first meeting in combat of ironclad warships. Both sides claimed victory but present-day historians agree that the result was victory for neither.
  • The lettering of the album title on the CD cover is taken from an actual letter written by Abraham Lincoln.
  • The album features guest appearances by various friends of Patrick Stickles portraying various historical figures in spoken word parts. They include Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn and Vivian Girls guitarist Cassie Ramone who play Walt Whitman and Jefferson Davis, respectively. Stickles explained the casting of the Hold Steady singer to Spinner UK: "Craig Finn was an easy one, because Walt Whitman was one of my favorites for the time period, representing a unique and important thing in that time. Craig is a really great guy, really very open and magnanimous. I think Walt Whitman would have appreciated what he called the adhesiveness of his character. Furthermore, he's definitely in the top tier of lyricists today, and Walt Whitman was obviously the premier poet of that time, in my mind. And [Finn] lives in Brooklyn, and that's where Walt Whitman was from, so it's pretty much a slam dunk, as far as I'm concerned."
  • There's a lot going on in this 14-minute track. Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong performed the guitar solo, and there are also a horn section and even bagpipes, which were played by Brett Bondar, a resident of New Paltz, New York, where the album was recorded.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.

Motley CrueFact or Fiction

Was Dr. Feelgood a dentist? Did the "Crüecifixion" really happen?