//Tales from the Net – #seashantytok Sea shanties and TikTok – The Wellerman Come

Tales from the Net – #seashantytok Sea shanties and TikTok – The Wellerman Come

Not to throw hate to the platform, but this is the first time anything related to TikTok has ever peaked my interest. It’s beyond mentioning that the pandemic has forced a lot of people to look for human connection online to compensate the lack of actual human contact, which, even today appears to be a luxury. And what better way to do it than to sing along to a XIX century sea shanty to get people into the same vibe?

BY: Rick

Image by: Serinus from Pexels

The first video that gave me a taste of what was brewing on the Net back then was from @strong_promises, which, by this point was already bouncing around in Facebook y Youtube:

And then started to appear on other websites: #seashantytok like Twitter, Reddit, Youtube and Facebook groups.


But then, a particular version started taking life on its own. And it was from Nathan Evanss (nthnevnss)



..and it started growing…


This is the version that really picked up, and got commented through all the Net.

If by now the song hasn’t drilled it’s way into your brain, here are a couple other songs that took off from the same trend:




But what are sea shanties?

To figure out why this trend works, we have to understand what these songs are all about. Sea Shanties were used by seamen to keep rythm during a task that required a lot of coordination, like raising sails or weight the anchor. These songs were designed to be learned quickly, be sung in a choir and following a cadence without having to know much abvout the lyrics or melody. They’re accessible, anyone can join at any time and contribute something to the song. It’s like a joke, once you get it, you become part of the group, part of those that know about it and helped make it grow.

Would you like to try this with your friends? Here’s a list of more classic sea shanties: