Out of all the weird and wonderful musical trends that have emerged from 2020, by far one of the most unexpected, unforgettable and quite frankly ridiculous has been the sea shanty. Once again, bestowed upon us by the ever growing idols of TikTok, the sea shanty trend, sometimes spelt chantey, has escalated to the point where we are it has infiltrated British breakfast TV, (BBC Breakfast to be precise) and to some has now become possibly the most absurd and insufferable craze of 2021 thus far, and possibly the only thing we have seen to emerge out of last year that rivals the UK governments coronavirus policies on a basis of pure insanity. Anyway, to last remaining few of you, people who have just woken from comas, those with no access to forms of communication with the outside world, who have managed to somehow escape this ludicrous TikTok created musical monstrosity, you must be very confused about what on earth I am writing about. How has this happened ? Where did it begin ? Well, luckily I, a connoisseur of the chantey myself, am here to educate you on the freshest pop culture fad that is gripping the UK.
As Alexandra Haddow wrote in an article for NME entitled, Please, for the love of God, no more sea shanties: “It all started with Scotsman Nathan Evans posting the now famous video on TikTok of himself and pals singing ‘The Wellerman’”, and while it was a “banger” of a track, sea shanties have now “gone wild”. Unsurprisingly, it would seem that TikTok is the main culprit responsible for this sudden explosion of nautical nonsense, and while no one has a problem with a good TikTok meme every so often, when internet trends start to appear on BBC News it usually means two things: firstly, that its dead, and secondly that that death is now about to be dragged out in a month long tirade of unoriginal and repetitive variations of the meme that will make pirates and TikTok stars alike wish that the shanty had never been created. And as Haddow notes, when people are starting to make sea shanty covers of All Star, and even Nickleback making shanties, its probably gone too far.
The sad thing is, while I write this article, shanties playing in the background, I feel the trend, at least among the original shanty crazed crowd, has already passed, and shanties are now doomed to either become your mum’s new favourite meme, or return to the depths of reddit where old and discarded internet trends are sentenced, in a similar fashion Davy Jones’ Locker. While we had our fun with them, and actually it did result in Nathan Evans getting a record deal, the time for the shanty has come to a close. While I doubt we will ever forget this strangely sailor themed moment of our lives, I feel it must now be put to rest for the benefit of us all.