Sea shanties and maritime music

The songs of the sea have a long legacy of scholarship, musicianship, and public performance. From the work songs of deep-water sailors and fishermen, to the ballads taken into pubs and forecastles, these songs have been used to coordinate effort, remember shore life, and sometimes just pass the time.

The songs themselves have been passed from ship to ship, printed in newspapers and books, shared at festivals, learned from video games, and remixed on social media. Hundreds of sea music-specific albums have been recorded, and maritime music comprises a distinct genre.

This Day in History (February 29, 1908)

This Day in History (January 8, 1806)

The death of Lord Nelson was a national tragedy like no other for England. "From Greenwich to Whitehall Stairs, on the 8th of January, 1806, in one of the greatest Aquatic Processions that ever was beheld on the River Thames" drifted the royal shallop (barge). The event is referenced in the modern lament, Carrying Nelson Home. Nelson is mentioned in nearly a dozen other songs.

Try a random shanty sampling