The capstan (pronounced caps'n) is an upright, barrel-shaped winch used for heavy lifting. Between 4 and 300 men would push the capstan bars
to wind a cable, lifting anchor, cargo, or a vessel. Capstan shanties,
with their steady rhythms, were suited for these long, repetitive tasks.
Many capstan shanties use waltz or march time. Their main goal is to alleviate boredom and maintain