The sudden surge of interest in seafaring songs is a wonderful, unexpected, and soothing during a year that’s already challenging its predecessor in awfulness.
But listen, friends: The correct way to spell the name of these tunes is sea chanteys, not sea shanties.
This isn’t contrarianism. The word derives from the imperative of the French verb chanter, which means to sing. Webster’s New World and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary agree on this point.
I know from experience that this is the type of editing fact that makes people want to hurl their chunky sweaters into the wine-dark sea. Sea chantey just looks wrong, you say. Yes, I agree, it feels kind of weird. And yet. (There’s also a case to be made that “Wellerman” is a whaling song, not a chantey, but let’s practice some 2021 self care and confront our disappointments slowly.)
Anyway, here’s a great example of sea chantey TikTok.
2021 is the year of the sea shanty pic.twitter.com/ohOAGvkbtC
— Tim – Poster of Hugo Pics (@Beertheist) January 11, 2021