PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Song of the Day for May 6: "Hindenburg Lover" by Anson Seabra

HINDENBURG EXPLOSION
MURRAY BECKER/AP
/
AP
The German zeppelin Hindenburg bursts into flames as it noses toward the mooring post at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, N.J. on May 6, 1937. Thirty-five people on board and one ground crew member were killed. (AP Photo/Murray Becker)

The Hindenburg was the Titanic of zeppelins. It was an elegant airship with fine dining, entertainment lounges, and comfortable sleeping quarters. It was the fastest way to cross the Atlantic Ocean. That is, until it burst into flames as it tried to land on May 6, 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

By watching the movie footage, it was hard to believe that 62 passengers and crew survived the burning wreckage. Thirty-six passengers and crew did die.

The disaster ended the zeppelin as a means of passenger transportation. The accident became legendary, probably because it was captured on film and became a movie theater newsreel.

Herbert Morrison, a reporter for WLS radio in Chicago, was giving a play-by-play of the landing, but he was not recording live. His famous account, including the quote “Oh, the humanity,” was heard later that night on WLS. Then, it was synched to the film footage and made into a newsreel.

The catastrophe wasn’t the first or worst for a zeppelin. The USS Akron crashed off the coast of New Jersey in 1933, killing seventy-eight men. A British zeppelin accident killed thirty-eight people in 1930.

Anson Seabra wrote song of the day “Hindenburg Lover.” He must be a history buff to know about the Hindenburg disaster since he is only 27. He quit his job as a computer engineer to pursue music. Seabra is one of the young singer-songwriters who built his audience through social media.

The Hindenburg disaster is his metaphor for a relationship that was flying high, only to crash and burn.