What do the New Bedford Whaling Museum and TikTok have in common? On the surface, you wouldn't think the world-famous museum dedicated to the whaling industry and the video-sharing social network comprised of short-form videos would have much in common, but they have bonded over a love of sea shanties.

You read that correctly. Sea shanties are a bop on TikTok – specifically "Wellerman," a 200-year-old jam.

Since the end of December, the hashtags #ShantyTok and #seashanty have pulled up a variety of creations that have changed the game on the work songs that were once commonly sung to accompany labor on board large merchant sailing vessels. Beautiful arrangements, acapella, remixes, and even hilarious reaction videos can be found. The list is so long it could reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

It’s amazing how the age of technology has provided everyone the ability to produce music with as little as an iPad if they choose, and with that ability creators had the resources to reclaim the historic music from the depths.

With the popularity growing big enough on TikTok it only makes sense that the computerized shanties would bleed over onto other social media, making their way to the New Bedford Whaling Museums’ Facebook page. Combing through the comments, there isn’t one negative word to be shared about the viral voyage shanties are taking. Many people are sharing that they’d recorded their own in the past, and others are talking about concerts they’d been to.

How long will this last, only Neptune himself knows. But if you should have the interest to learn more I can guarantee the museum will have answers.

Old Superstitions That Sailors Believed at Sea

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