TikTok Is Now Obsessed With Sea Shanties, And It's So Wholesome


    There have been a lot of TikTok trends over the past couple years, but I admit I never expected sea shanties to be one of them.

    Had to add my violin to this! #tiktok #seashanty artists are tagged in the video!

    Twitter: @miaasanomusic

    For those unfamiliar with sea shanties because you aren't a 19th century privateer, they were songs sung aboard merchant vessels (and likely pirate ships as well) to coordinate the workers as they did tasks that required synchronized effort, like raising the anchor. This video has several examples:

    View this video on YouTube


    As you can hear, they were generally very rhythmic and catchy by nature, because they needed to be easy to learn and sung by people without much musical experience.

    Yep, TikTokers are currently obsessed with sea shanties, and it seems to trace back to Scottish singer Nathan Evans. His version of "The Wellerman" has blown up on the app, with all kinds of duets and remixes happening by the day.

    While other musicians have also been posting shanties, it's Evans' video that seems to have gone truly viral.

    Other singers have added onto Evans' original video, filling out the sound with more voices and instruments.

    Twitter: @Peter_Fries

    Some truly amazing and wholesome videos have come along as people discover just how much of a banger "The Wellerman" is.

    Sea Shanties the wave 🏄🏿‍♂️ and I’m hopping on

    Twitter: @Beertheist

    Although "The Wellerman" has become a bit of a phenomenon, Evans says he's been doing shanties for a while now. "I started back on July 13 last year," he told BuzzFeed. "Someone had left a comment under one of my TikTok videos asking to do a cover of a sea shanty called 'Leave Her Johnny.'"

    "This was probably one of the first times I had went and listened to sea shanties and I loved it, so I uploaded it and it went a bit crazy," Evans explained. "'Leave Her Johnny' is now sitting on 1.1m likes, back at the time when I only had 10k followers, so that was crazy for me!"

    Commenters on Evans' TikTok hoping that they stay on the sea shanty TikTok algorithm

    After that, Evans started getting requests for "Drunken Sailor" and "The Wellerman," and the rest is history. Heck, there's even an EDM remix of "The Wellerman" going around:


    Thanks for the support🙏 Full song in Bio. #seashanty #banger #fyp #foryou #foru #stitch #bass #duet #xyzbca #xyzcba #sound @_luke.the.voice_ @nthnevn

    ♬ original sound - ARGULES

    Naturally, this all leaked to Twitter, and the jokes started:

    Me, yesterday: tf is this sea shanty shit everyone’s obsessed with suddenly? This is awful Me today, full-throated: SOON MAY THE WELLERMAN COME/TO BRING US SUGAR AND TEA AND RUM #seashanty #seashantytok

    Twitter: @brkfstbrrito

    We've got some very specific requests going:

    need frank ocean to make some sea shanties to listen to at 2 a.m

    Twitter: @milkinhisbag


    can you be a little more sensitive about posting sea shanties on here... some of our husbands chose the sea over us...

    Twitter: @jpbrammer

    There are some fears that we'll ruin shanties with all this attention:

    y'all really going to run sea shanties straight into the ground, its mortal enemy

    Twitter: @mordkhetzvi

    But others are pointing out that of COURSE today's young people love sea shanties — they're designed to be bops:

    sea shanties are incredibly catchy by nature because what else are you gonna do but sing a bop while looking for a single whale for three years

    Twitter: @rachsyme

    And plus, what better time to sing songs that are naturally communal, unifying, and spirit-lifting during long periods of isolation than now? As this piece from Vulture points out, sea shanties were practically made for a pandemic lockdown:

    “Wellerman” is a great, boisterous bop of a song in any century. On TikTok's latest sea shanty trend, @kvanaren writes https://t.co/kywRT0nqUP

    Twitter: @vulture

    As for Evans, he's still singing shanties — along with other music, including his own originals — on his TikTok. Oh, and you can follow him on Spotify as well.

    I, for one, look forward to the resurgence of Gregorian chants on TikTok next month.

    Check this one out. Layer upon layer upon layer of harmony added by other TikTokkers. #SeaShantyTok

    Twitter: @7StellarJays