The Ocean Ranger sank in a storm, killing all eighty-four people onboard. But the subsequent inquiry found that the disaster was exacerbated by “inadequate emergency training, a flawed rig design, and poorly enforced safety regulations.” Disaster songs are the intangible equivalent of vernacular memorials. Vernacular memorials – memorials that typically emerge spontaneously in the hours and days after a high-profile tragedy and which consist of mementos left by a grieving community, including flowers, notes, and candles – have proliferated since the 1980s. Death culture can vary depending on the type of death involved. Deaths resulting from war are often commemorated with formal memorials, whether for an individual or, more often, for groups of people. Contemporary disaster songs have clear roots in the ballad tradition, especially broadside balladry. This chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.