Not just for drunken sailors: how sea shanties took over TikTok


Name: Sea shanties.

Age: At least 600 years outdated.

Appearance: Just in regards to the hippest factor on TikTok proper now.

TikTok? The app the place folks dance? More or much less, sure, though it’s value stating that not too long ago TikTok users collaboratively designed, built and patented a cutting-edge pill bottle particularly to enhance the standard of life of individuals with Parkinson’s illness. But, sure, additionally dancing. And now sea shanties.

I additionally have no idea what a sea shanty is. It’s a kind of collective folks music usually carried out by service provider sailors, fishermen or whalers as they engaged in shipboard labour. Shanty is considered derived from the French verb “chanter”, which suggests to sing.

But that each one sounds very outdated. Why is it massive on TikTok? Well, there are two competing theories. The first is that the collaborative nature of TikTok lends itself to issues like massed singing, so if somebody uploads a video of themselves performing a sea shanty, it’s solely pure that different customers will need to hop aboard and harmonise.

What’s the opposite concept? That lockdown has damaged us to such an extent that we’re pressured to sing sea shanties on the web for enjoyable. They each maintain up.

How did this even begin? It appears Nathan Evans, a Scottish singer, is responsible. At the tip of December, he uploaded a video of himself singing a tune known as The Scotsman. When that took off, he uploaded one other of The Wellerman, a Nineteenth-century New Zealand sea shanty about ready for provides of tea, sugar and rum despatched by the Australian whaling firm, Weller Brothers.

And then? Next day, a person named Luke the Voice added a bass harmony to the video, after which all bets have been off, frankly.

More harmonies? That’s placing it mildly. By final week, a succession of nicely bearded boys in lovely jumpers had added their voices to the song, and the virality started. Now the ranks have swollen to such an extent that The Wellerman now has several singers and two different violin tracks and the musical ranks are extra gender balanced.

Where is that this going to finish? It’s already beginning to sound just like the Game of Thrones theme tune, so who is aware of? A sax solo?

I should say, that is all reasonably healthful and charming. Right. Meanwhile, Twitter stays a flaming hellpit of Nazis. Do you suppose we’d all be on the incorrect social media platform?

Do say: “What shall we do with the drunken sailor?”

Don’t say: “Force him to record a meticulously harmonised ancient song on an app to highlight the emptiness of his life.”





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