The Sinking Of The Reuben James

Album: The Asch Recordings (1944)


  • The USS Reuben James was a battleship that was torpedoed by a German submarine on Halloween of 1941, becoming the first US ship sunk in World War II.
  • Woody Guthrie was staying at the Almanac House in Greenwich Village when he wrote this song. He recorded it with Pete Seeger, who was also staying there along with a few other folk musicians who often played to small crowds in the basement of the house.
  • The melody was derived from the song "Wildwood Flower," which was made famous by The Carter Family in 1928 but dates back to 1860 from "I'll Twine 'Mid The Ringlets" composed by Joseph Philbrick Webster. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jack - Trasheing, MO, for all above

Comments: 2

  • Alan Dixler from New JerseyFYI, the USS Reuben James was a destroyer, not a battleship.
  • Joe from Preston, CtThe Reuben James was a destroyer not a battleship.
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