Whereas 2021 has already served up loads of wretched bombshells, one of the best shock of the previous two weeks may be TikTok’s largest new development: sea shanties. Because the world hurtles head-first into 2021, sea shanties are turning right into a secure harbor for social media customers seeking to take their thoughts off the occasions of the day with some (very) old-timey leisure.
It began when Scottish musician Nathan Evans recorded a video performing a remarkably catchy rendition of “Wellerman,” a 19th century shanty of New Zealand origin. It blew up on-line, garnering over 4 million views on TikTok alone. From there, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than different customers had been piggybacking on the development by duetting the whaling tune alongside Evans or debuting sea shanty performances of their very own. Thus, #ShantyTok was born.
Even supposing the current resurgence of sea shanties is owed solely to the web, their trendy attraction definitely harkens again to their authentic goal: synchronizing particular person efforts to attain a typical aim.
In centuries previous, the aim of those call-and-response work songs was, in fact, to take care of a ship crew’s deal with safely navigating typically harmful waters. Whether or not the duty was rowing, hoisting sails or hauling nets, the hand-over-hand beat of sea shanties was supposed to assist sailors maintain time with one another.
However amid a worldwide pandemic that has stored many individuals at house and remoted for practically a 12 months, sea shanties may help foster a way of neighborhood throughout a time when many are feeling lonely. As expertly famous by Vulture‘s Kathryn VanArendonk, at their coronary heart, sea shanties are “unifying, survivalist songs, designed to rework an enormous group of individuals into one collective physique, all working collectively to maintain the ship afloat.”
They’re additionally simple earworms.
Due to TikTok’s duet function, which permits customers to construct on fellow TikTokers’ movies with their very own additions, Evans’ solo rendition of “Wellerman” has been remodeled into a posh split-screen concord, full with a number of vocal elements and instrumental accompaniment. It’s a bunch venture that everybody within the video labored on individually, which makes its success all of the extra spectacular.
Affirming that the standard shanty format possesses a timeless high quality, some folks have even begun turning fashionable songs of in the present day, like Smash Mouth’s “All Star” and Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” into sea shanties in their very own proper.
A video of 1 reluctant sea shanty fan discovering the attract of those nautical ditties has additionally gone viral. All it took was a automobile journey and an inspirational brother.
The 45-second clip completely showcases how shanty sing-alongs have a method of drawing others in to the fold, or, as one commenter places it, “I suppose it is sensible once you assume [about how] the artform originated as a method to supply pleasure, connection and leisure in periods of sustained social isolation.”
So when you’re in want of a distraction amid every part happening proper now, #ShantyTok is right here for you. Preserve calm and shanty on.