Sea Shanties TikTok Breaks The Internet: Here's Why?

  • POSTED ON: 14/Jan/2021

One quick question: Do you know what shanties are and how did they get four million views on TikTok?

We bet, you don't! But for answers, we turned to the favorite app of Gen Z, where teenagers are fiddling, banging drums and singing songs about rum and sugar….

You guessed it right; it's TikTok!

You might be scratching your head and wondering what has happened to this generation? Well, in the world where anything we see is chaos and instability, a social platform where people find refuge and comfort by making memes, a social community that considers any absurdity as a meme material, it shouldn't be a surprise that sea shanties return!

Guess it makes much more sense now!

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Wait…What? Are we seriously doing shanties now! How is that even begun?

There are no definitive theories that suggest what inspired this generation, but we do know that it's happening…

Hello, its 21st century… what sea shanties exactly are?

Sea shanties are a kind of "maritime work song" that was once commonly sung aboard large and tall merchant sailing vessels – old-fashioned vessels whose function involves combined efforts and simultaneous motions of several sailor bods. You might have even seen this phenomenon in the 90's cartoon such as Popeye the sailorman etc.

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According to, sailors have been singing shanties since mid-1400s to make sure that all the crew members "pushed or pulled, precisely at the same time." A shantyman set the rhythm and the other follows. It has been said that a good shantyman was equal to four additional hands on the rope because of his ability to pace the labor.

Shanties usually consist of catchy and simple verses that go on repetitively in a particular theme and rhythm.

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Shanties are no longer a thing because of the advent of steamships until now when few teenagers on the TikTok decided to revive this old work song most surprisingly!

Who originate shanties?

Historically, sailors! But the credit for their revival goes to TikTok, where teenagers have been participating in harmonised rounds of shanties remotely for the last few weeks.

A TikTok user, Nathan Evans, was the one who started it with a song called "the Scotsman" and it became viral! "It went wild. I don't really know what happened," says Evans, a Scottish singer.

He uploaded another TikTok video of himself singing "Wallerman," a 19th century shanty inspired by the Weller Brothers' ships that sailed in the 1800s between Australia and New Zealand's waters.

And that was when things started getting really really interesting!

With the app's duet feature's help, multiple users joined Evans in the song, a few more!

Eventually, the song became a multi-voices harmony, and it's pretty magical!

And here’s how viral TikTok #shantyTok was born!

Wait a minute… we're talking about Gen Z here! Isn't it hard for them to settle with very old music? Well, yes! That's why they have started turning popular songs into sea shanties; obviously, Cardi B's "W.A.P" is also included!

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Wellerman to Drunken Sailor to W.A.P!

"Macroni in a poty, yo-ho! That's a Wet-A-P" who would have thought that…. We're now waiting for CardiB's reaction!

Even the Washington Post's official TikTok guy also jumped on the bandwagon and joined the TikTok shanty ship!

Sea Shanties are viral now and for all the right reasons! Whether you're an actual sailor or the last pirate, TikTok sea-shanty ship is open for all… so, what are you waiting for? Grab a rope and join the party!

Share your Shanty TikTok with us on our Facebook page and win exciting prizes!

Updated 2021-01-15 at 02:50:31


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