The ShantyTok Phenomenon

Wellerman Goes Viral

In an unlikely partnership TikTok and a Scottish postie have unwittingly popularised the Sea Shanty. Old is made new again as the “ShantyTok” trend emerges.

Wellerman is the shanty at the centre of everyone’s attention. Of New Zealand origin the Wellerman shanty refers to the heyday of whaling in the South Island. Garnering many new fans around the world the song just confirms what we’ve always known… Folk is cool!

Here’s a link to the TikTok “mashup” version but beware… it’s a real ear worm.

Want to sing Shanties? Check out these link: Redfern Shanty Club

Pam Merrigan
About Pam Merrigan 13 Articles
Currently President, FFNSW. Previously Artistic and Managing Director National Folk Festival (8yrs). Experienced Artistic Director with a demonstrated history of working in the festival and music events industry. Skilled in Event & Festival Management, Social Media, and Music Industry. Worked successfully with a broad range of individuals, groups and organisations as curator, creative facilitator, performer and arts administrator. Strong arts and professional music background with a life long and passionate engagement with the folk arts in all their diverse forms. Performed in folk and trad. music bands including Coolfinn Mac, Coast Ceili Band, Bush Bandicoots (twice winners of National Battle of the Bush Bands, Tamworth Country Music Festival) and, Rum Culls. 20 years in music education both at secondary level and free-lance. Holds a MMus degree (UNSW).

1 Comment

  1. People might like to check out the YouTube where John Roberts and Chris Koldewey discuss shanties in general and touch on the Wellerman… https://youtu.be/dSOXbqRooNU
    Sea Shanties: Adding Historical Context to the Hottest New TikTok Trend (+ singing along!)

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