Titanic is one of those monumental romantic blockbusters that many will claim to only ever have seen only once. Many more will openly admit to have cried during multiple viewings. As polarizing as the corniness of this lovelorn drenched drama may be, there’s no denying it’s one of the most watched historical romances of all time; Titanic was to the nineties what Casablanca and Doctor Zhivago were decades before. For those of us who were going through puberty when the movie hit theaters in 1997, Jack Dawson was our long-lost love, Kate Winslet’s naked lounging was scandalous enough to seem pornographic and, most importantly, alongside NSync and the Backstreet Boys, the Titanic taught us that True Love might actually exist. But just last week, Kate Winslet told MTV News that Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” the epic tune from the film, makes her want to throw up. She’s 100% right and thus, we’ve taken the liberty to play music supervisor for a moment with these more digestable songs about sinking ships.
1.Mastodon, “Hearts Alive”
Picture a Titanic directed in the style of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, a movie wherein Leo played yet another lovelorn teenager that was doomed to die in a most romantic way. In our new drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll rendition of Titanic, we’ll replace the ship’s somber-faced chamber quartet with a cameo by Mastodon as they give a raucous end-of-the-world performance of “Hearts Alive.” (The song comes from the band’s Moby Dick-themed Leviathan and is wrought with dark sea imagery.) As we see it, screams of “Taken down with hearts alive / Our hearts alive” and “Swim below eternally / Into the deep blue sea” couldn’t be more perfect for Jack and Rose’s last frantic run through the self-destructing bowels of their sinking cruiser.
2. Neutral Milk Hotel, “Sinking Ship”
“Sinking ship, how long can you hold still?” asks Jeff Magnum at the onset of a song that has absolutely nothing to do with the Titanic (or any other physical ship for that matter). While he wallows in self-deprecation, let’s use Magnum’s laments as an opportunity to reflect on our audience’s frustrations with the captain John Edward Smith’s arrogance and his pandering to first-class passengers like that ding-dong Colonel. Your ship is gonna go down, Captain. Listen to the builder and get those lifeboats out there.
3. Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, “Sink Ship”
Here we have a ship captained by the sappy and permanently broken-hearted, Ryan Adams. He sings of irreplaceable love, romantic nostalgia, and other sickeningly sweet goo like springtime, flowers, birds and so on. But, hey, all of us can relate to a love lost. Especially if excerpts of his lyrics are read as bits of Rose’s post-Titanic therapy journals: “I would have rather gone down with the ship / Than to be without you,” “If only for the chance to hold your hand.” That last line is real a stab to the heart, huh? (“I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.”)
4. Magnetic Fields, “From a Sinking Boat”
“Know that I love you, know that I wrote / My last words to you from a sinking boat,” moans meloncholic indie-pop god Stephen Merritt. Picture this: a disrobing Rose suggestively asks Jack to “Draw me like one of your French girls.” The boat shudders (as do the adolescents watching in the theater), as Jack unknowingly sketches his last breast.
5. Ludacris, “Undisputed”
Forget Jack and Rose for a moment. Can we just revel in Ludacris for this gem?
“Diamonds on my chain make my neck look like glaciers/Titanic flow, Titanic dough
Women on my nuts like “Where the Titanic go?” Roll credits.