Loss of the Princess Alice


How many thousands have found a grave
Beneath (sic) the ever rolling wave
And day by day the list we swell
Another loss we have to tell
Above five hundred precious lives
Women and children men and wives
In the midst of joy and pleasures games
They all were drowned in the river Thames

Chorus: Beneath the Thames their bodies lie
                Both old and young were doomed to die
                The steamer sank beneath the wave
                And hundreds found a watery grave

To Sheerness¹ they had been that day
Eight hundred souls how sad to say
Returning home with hearts so light
Through the darkness of the night
They met a vessel on the way
At the close of that eventful day
The Princess Alice she was run down
Opposite to Woolwich¹ town

Eight hundred souls were in the wave
Struggling against a watery grave
The old and young both were there
Feeble age and youth so fair.
Women with children on their breast
In death's embrace they sank to rest
Many a man how sad to say
Lost all he loved that fatal day.

The screams were heard on Woolwich shore
Of those who sank to rise no more
Down in the Thames cold watery bed
Above five hundred were lying dead
Just before they were full of life
The husband sitting beside his wife
Their little children by their side
Now all were drowned beneath the tide

They had no time for humble prayer
Destruction soon was reigning there
The waters caught each fleeting breath
One minute in life the next in death
Their pleasure came to a fearful end
No-one on earth relief could send
Their time was come for them to die
God bless them all now dead they lie

What must the feeling of relations be
Waiting and expecting friends to see
Little thinking they were drowned
Or that such a fearful death they'd found
We all shall think of them I'm sure
And pray for them be they rich or poor
History will record the names
Of those who drowned in the river Thames.