Amidst the various calamities that are taking over the world right now (I'm looking at you Corona), this Tik Tok sensation is bringing us together in a time where physical closeness has been stripped away from us both legally and literally.
What are the origins of sea shanties?
It all started when Scottish singer Nathan Evans posted a TikTok video of himself singing the folkloric New Zealander song known as sea shanty Wellerman. The song originates form the mid 19th century and is about a Sydney-based whaling company called The Weller Bros, whose employees and ships were called 'Wellermen'.
The song talks about a supply ship that brings sugar, tea and rum to a whaling crew off the shore of New Zealand.
A sense of unity in a time of isolation
And people went wild with the sea shanties by using TikTok's duet feature which allows one to add content to an already-existing video from another account user. The catchy rendition from the Scottish singer went viral after user Luke Taylor gave it his own spin by creating a duet adding a baseline to it.
From there, a domino effect ensued and now thousands of users have made their own versions of the shanties.
In a time where we are constantly bombarded by all the bad news that is going on around the world, the beauty in this viral trend is that it is allowing us to stay connected, creative and light hearted.
Another Scottish singer, by the name of Jonny Stewart, perfectly describes the phenomenon by saying that:
There's an intrinsic feeling of solidarity and shared experience with sea shanties,Having the Wellerman come and bring sustenance, with the prospect of returning to life as normal ('take our leave and go') is an appealing prospect at the moment.anyone can join in — you don’t even need to be able to sing to join in on a sea shanty!