Best sea shanty TikToks: the unexpected viral music trend

Georgina Smith
Two TikTokers sing as part of the Sea Shanty trend

The last thing people expected to go viral at the start of the year was sea shanties, a form of traditional work songs, but the viral trend has spread to For You Pages across the world. Here are some of the best.

‘Sea Shanty TikTok’ became a trend after 26-year-old postman Nathan Evans uploaded a video to TikTok that saw him singing a sea shanty called ‘Soon May the Wellerman Come,’ which unexpectedly took off in popularity.

Captivated by the song, thousands of people went on to duet it, building it with various vocal lines and instruments to make a full-blown chorus fit for a real ship. It became so popular that even Elon Musk started tweeting about it.

A sea shanty refers to a type of traditional song sung by sailors aboard merchant’s vessels, accompanying rhythmic labor to help keep the focus of the crew.

While it doesn’t seem like a hit that would normally take off on TikTok, this song has flipped expectations on its head and proven that there’s a place for just about everything on the app. Nathan’s original video has now been made into duets, remixes, and memes – here are some of the best.

Musicians add their touch

While Nathan’s original cover was popular enough on its own, many musically inclined TikTokers decided to add their spin on it and introduce different vocal lines, and this introduction seemed to be a huge hit among fans.

Soon May the Wellerman Come: the remix

This user remixed the shanty onto a bass-heavy track, with people loving the modern take on the traditional song.

One for the driving playlist

One video that went viral saw user strong_promises in the car with his brother, who was singing along to a shanty. While at first, he looked a little confused, he soon joined in enthusiastically with his brother, showing just how catchy the tune is.

Every song can be a sea shanty

Several users figured out that with the right adjustments any song can be made into a sea shanty-style track, which Hunter Evenson proved by turning Smash Mouth’s All Star into a traditional-sounding hit.

Viral memes combined

An image of four men posing for a picture has been made into countless memes recently, and they found themselves becoming part of the sea shanty trend as well when they were animated to look like they were singing the iconic song (even getting praised by one of the guys from the picture.)

This viral trend has spread further than could have been predicted, and countless videos have been made that are inspired by the catchy sea shanties. And TikTok users are by no means done joining in with the sailor-themed fun.

About The Author

Georgina was formerly an entertainment writer for Dexerto. She covered all aspects of influencer culture on TikTok and more, including creators such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. She also wrote about hit reality shows such as Love Island and Below Deck.