Titanic Movie Scene – Nearer My God To Thee

Titanic Movie Scene - Nearer My God To Thee

One of the most touching scenes from The Titanic Movie (1997) is the scene of the violinists playing the popular Christian Hymn “Nearer My God To Thee.” Wallace Henry Hartley (2 June 1878 – 15 April 1912) was an English violinist and bandleader on the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage. He became famous for leading the eight-member band as the ship sank on 15 April 1912. He died in the sinking. His body was recovered almost 2 weeks after the sinking. “Nearer My God To Thee” was played at his funeral.

Video: Titanic Movie Scene – Nearer My God To Thee

As the final descent begins, the orchestra performs a poignant rendition of “Nearer, My God, to Thee” in the melody of Bethany, even as the water rises around their feet and the imminent washing away from the deck. Meanwhile, Captain Smith enters his cabin, gripping the wheel, as water floods the windows. Mr Andrews remains in the smoking room, checking his pocket watch and adjusting the time on the clock above the fireplace. He then closes the clock, rests his hands on the mantlepiece, and closes his eyes.

In a stateroom filled with water, Isa and Isidor Straus lie on the bed, their hands intertwined. Isidor affectionately kisses his wife’s cheek, and they remain quietly together. The Irish mother is seen in her cabin, tucking her children into bed and recounting the tale of the land of Tir na Nog. Paintings in Caledon and Rose’s stateroom float in the water. On the deck, William Wallace Hartley and the band continue playing, while the crew, assisted by Fabrizio tending to the lifeless Tommy, cut the ropes with knives to release the lifeboats. Caledon passes the little girl he holds to a woman and attempts to avoid getting wet.

In the ship’s grand staircase main hall, Benjamin Guggenheim and Victor Giglio sit on chairs, sipping brandies, observing as passengers swim towards the hall and ascend the staircase. The camera zooms in on Benjamin, whose face reflects sheer terror. After the band concludes their performance, Hartley addresses them, saying, “Gentlemen, it has been an honour to play alongside you tonight.”

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Nearer My God to Thee Hymn Lyrics

Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to thee;
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to thee;
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

There let the way appear, steps unto heaven;
All that thou sendest me, in mercy given;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to thee;
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

Then, with my waking thoughts, bright with thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be nearer, my God, to thee;
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

Or if, on joyful wing cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly,
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to thee;
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!

RELATED: Acapeldridge – Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross (Hymn)


Background of the Hymn – Nearer My God to Thee

“Nearer, My God, to Thee” is a 19th-century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, which retells the story of Jacob’s dream. Genesis 28:11–12 can be translated as follows: “So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it…”

This hymn is about the joy and comfort found in being close to God. The first stanza introduces the theme of the hymn, with the repeated phrase “Nearer, my God, to thee.” The second through fourth stanzas are based on the story of Jacob and the ladder to heaven, found in Genesis 28:10-22. God’s close connection to Jacob in this story is seen as a way of relief from the darkness (st. 2) and “stony griefs” (st. 4) of his human journey. The last stanza looks forward to the time when we will come to stand before God in eternal song.

Text: Sarah F. Adams, 1805–1848

Music: Lowell Mason, 1792–1872

Sources: Wikipedia, Hymnary.org, ChurchofJesusChrist.org

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