Sea shanties had been work songs developed on nineteenth century crusing vessels. Gerry Smyth, an English professor at Liverpool John Moores College and creator of “Sailor Track: The Shanties & Ballads of the Excessive Seas,” factors out that chart-topping single “Wellerman” isn’t technically one: Shanties have a call-and-response construction that was used so sailors might sing and work in unison whereas performing bodily demanding duties.
“When (Evans) is singing the primary 4 strains on his personal earlier than all people joins in on the refrain, the sailors are sitting round, biting their nails and having a fag and so forth. That’s not going to work,” Smyth defined.
Nevertheless, the professor mentioned the music may very well be tailored for a shanty since it’s about “maritime issues” corresponding to whaling.
Whether or not or not “Wellerman” counts as a shanty, there is no such thing as a denying it has precipitated a stir on-line. Evans’ rendition, posted late December on TikTok, has gotten 10.9 million views so far. Claire Maddocks, a neurologic music therapist, mentioned she thinks sea shanties attraction to folks due to the “simplicity of a human voice,” and the repetitive, predictable nature of the music.
“We hear precisely the place it will go subsequent” so we’re drawn in, Maddocks says. “I suppose a bit like once you begin watching one thing on Netflix and also you sort of begin to preserve watching since you care in regards to the character. There’s virtually that sort of emotional draw to that.”