In the last week of 2020, Nathan Evans, a 26-year-old Scottish postman and aspiring musician, shared a video of himself on TikTok singing a shanty song titled “Wellerman Come Soon” didn’t expect anything to happen, but the app has the ability to turn dusty esotericism into viral gold

In fact, his old video has been shared and duetted thousands of times in the past two weeks: by professional singers and instrumentalists, marine enthusiasts, electronic beatmakers, memers, a Kermit the Frog doll, and much more

“Without TikTok I would be so bored and claustrophobic,” said Mr Said Evans of Zoom, “But it can make you feel like you have a group. You can work with other people and make friends so easily,”

The Wellerman ## seashanty ## sea ## shanty ## viral ## singen ## acoustic ## pirat ## new ## original ## fyp ## foryou ## foryoupage ## sänger ## scottishsinger ## scottish

One of the original purposes of the Sea Shanty was to create a sense of community and common purpose. On merchant ships in the 1700s and 1800s, a shantyman led seafarers in songs while they were working, distracting them from their work, enlivening them their tasks and set a rhythm

“There would be different shanties associated with the different types of work and duties on board,” said Gerry Smyth, professor of Irish cultural history at John Moores University in Liverpool and author of “Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the” Hohe See ”

According to Mr. Smyth’s research, shanties were designed to perform specific tasks and speed them up, “For example, if you’re hauling sails, the cabin was designed for the physical exertion required to accomplish it,” he said, “Everyone would pull at the same time, “he added, stimulated by the rhythm of the song

#duet with @thebobbybass SHANTY TIME again! Adding a lower middle harmony 🙂 @nathanevanss @_lukedasvoice_ @ apsloan01 #shantytok #wellerman

The earliest seaman’s songs could be as old as seafaring They take advantage of the impulse to share stories in oral literature that is even older

Singing is fun and has improved the sailors’ mood, Mr. Smyth said the songs also provided a common language for multinational crews

“This collaborative aesthetic really goes back to a very old time,” said Mr Said Smyth, “When we sit around the campfire, we talk about the hunt, we achieve identity through community, through the underlying beat of the drum. In those ancient storytelling traditions, everyone knew the story and played a role in the storytelling

Other work songs share the same common storytelling impulse, particularly evident in the call-and-response tradition of African American folk songs and spirituals, which drew on democratic participatory practices in sub-Saharan public life

The passage of time has led to some revisions at seaman’s shops. During the Victorian and Edwardian periods, scholars who collected seaman’s songs tidied up the lyrics, many of which were quite “bawdy,” Mr. Smyth said these collectors bowdlerized the songs, replaced “whores” with “beautiful girls”, removed rough language, and softened drunken nights in the pub

In the versions that most closely approximated the life and language of seafarers, these ballads centered on what Mr. Smyth calls “the basic coordinates of the shanty imagination”: arrival in port and return to the sea Outside in the vast blue they found a romanticized life full of toil and violence. Back on land, pimps, prostitutes and drunken sailors could be seen in their yarns the bar and dice games in the alleys lost their wages

The recently popular “Soon May the Wellerman Come,” reported on by the band The Longest Johns in 2018, ditch such naughty tales in favor of a “Moby-Dick” -like whaling adventure The subject was real: The Weller Brothers’ whaling company owned an outpost in Otago, New Zealand The lyrics show sailors harpooning a whale and lifting it onto the ship for slaughter

“This fountain could have been a cut,” or a song men sang while slaughtering a whale, said Michael P Dyer, the maritime curator at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts

This particular task was chaotic; Harvesting parts of whales – oil to light lamps and use in cosmetics, beards for whalebone corsets, tongue for food – was hard work. The “tongue” mentioned in the texts refers to removing the tongue, the most edible part of the body Wals, so Mr. Dyer

As for the line “bring us sugar, tea, and rum”, some believe it could refer to whaling’s share of the Atlantic triangular slave trade (accordingly, various commentators suggested that the meme has lost its charm) others believe the term refers to another ship that comes to resupply the whalers on their long hunt

“Wellerman isn’t really a shanty,” said David Coffin, a folk musician and music educator at Cambridge, Mass. It’s a whaling song to the beat of a shanty, he said, but its purpose is that of a ballad – to tell a story, not to help seafarers keep time

Either way, the form is, Mr. Smyth said is malleable, which could explain the thousands of riffs, duets, and adaptations that have multiplied online.Some people have even started playing popular songs – like “All Star” by Smash Mouth – at a sea-shanty cadence cover

“It’s not the beauty of the song that attracts people,” said Mr. Coffin said “It’s the energy”

“That’s one of the things I love about sea shanties,” he added, “The Accessibility You don’t have to be a trained singer to sing on it. You shouldn’t sing pretty”

Sea Shanties

World News – USA – Everyone is singing Sea Shanties (or are they whaling songs?)

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/style/sea-shanty-tiktok-wellerman.html