What is Sea Shanty TikTok? 1400s music is back in style

TikTok never fails to surprise. Lately, users have been engaging in a fairly unexpected trend: sea shanties. 

“Sea Shanty TikTok” is a real place and if you haven’t gotten a shanty on your “For You” page, it’s only a matter of time. 

What is Sea Shanty TikTok?

The trend started on the platform near the end of 2020. A sea shanty is basically a pirate folk song. The SpongeBob SquarePants theme song is a popular example of a sea shanty. 

Shanties were traditionally sung on ships to pass the time while doing labor. 

How did the Sea Shanty TikTok trend start?

TikTok user Nathan Evans is credited with sparking the trend when he posted a shanty called “The Scotsman.” 

After it received over 2.4 million views, Evans posted another called “The Wellerman,” a 19th century New Zeland shanty. 

According to the Guardian, it’s “about waiting for supplies of tea, sugar and rum sent by the Australian whaling company, Weller Brothers.”

“The Wellerman” nabbed over 3.5 million views but it was still no comparison to the fan-favorite tale of “The Drunken Sailor.” 

The TikTok received almost 2 million views within five days. 

“2021 will be the year of the sea shanty,” one user commented.

“2021 will be the Great Pirate Era,” another joked

“I thought it was the SpongeBob soundtrack at first,” someone added

Now TikTok is basically obsessed with “shanty culture.” 


When I hand my brother the aux

♬ Wellerman – Promise

People are fully singing “The Wellerman” in their cars now, like these brothers who were really feeling the shanty fantasy (the shantasy). 

The TikTok user Ravi proudly shared a screenshot of his 2020 Spotify Wrapped which stated, “Disappointing. You’ve allowed yourself to be defined by a single genre: 18th Century Sea Shanties.” 

It may seem like a trend, but considering the #seashanty tag has over 71.9 million views at press time, it’s likely here to stay. 

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