TikTok’s going overboard with sea shanties —
here’s how it all started

TikTok’s going overboard with sea shanties — here’s how it all started

You’re
welcome

for
the
tune
you
won’t
stop
humming
for
the
rest
of
the
day.

The
Internet
has
spoken:
Sea
shanties,
historically
associated
with
Scottish
merchant-sailors,
are
the
hottest
viral
music
trend
on
social
media

and
not
because
of
those
cozy,

timelessly
chic


fisherman
sweaters
.

The
trend
apparently
began
with
Scottish
musician
and
mail
carrier
Nathan
Evans,
26,
who
shares
solo
performances
of
today’s
hits
and
folk
music
on
TikTok.
A
recent
clip
of

Evans’
rendition

of
“Soon
May
the
Wellerman
Come,”
originally
shared
in
December,
has
since
been
scooped
by
a
number
of
other
songmen
of
social
media,
each
of
whom
added
their
own
harmonies
to
the
buoyant
ditty.

Harmonious
arrangements
once
sung
by
shipmates
to
pass
the
time,
shanties
are
part
of
folk
music
tradition
hailing
from
the
Scottish
isles,
some
of
which
have
echoed
for
hundreds
of
years.
One
of
the
most
well
known
among
them,
“Drunken
Sailor”
(You
know
it:
“What
will
we
do
with
a
drunken
sailor?
Early
in
the
morning!”),
has
managed
to
earworm
its
way
into
our
collective
knowledge
of
old-timey
tunes
without
most
of
us
knowing
why
or
how.

Evans,
now
regarded
as
one
of
the
progenitors
of
the
trend,

told
CNET

that
his
original
“Wellerman”
TikTok
“went
wild”

with
over

4.6
million
viral
video
views

of
the
shared
clip
on
Twitter
as
of
Thursday
afternoon.
“I
don’t
really
know
what
happened.”

A
search
on
TikTok
using
the
hashtags
#seashanty
and
#shantytok
has
reached
nearly
100
million
views.
Aye,
these
songs
of
seafaring
have
so
enraptured
the
global
digital
landscape
that
even
tech
guru
Elon
Musk
was
compelled
to
tie-in
the
#seashantytok
trend
with
SpaceX’s
most
recent
launch:
A
trio
of
satellites
set
out
on
tracking
pirate
radio
signals
from
potential
poachers,
smugglers
and
other
organized
criminal
operations.

During
yesterday’s
launch,

NASASpaceflight.com

managing
editor
Chris
Bergin
shared
footage,
which
happened
to
catch
what
appeared
to
be
a
fully
operational
pirate
ship:
“What
century
are
we
in?”
a
voiceover
asks.

“Sea
shanty
tiktok
takes
it
to
a
new
level
with
actual
pirate
ships,”

Musk
quipped

in
the
replies.

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