In the last week of 2020, the 26-year-old Scottish postman and aspiring musician Nathan Evans shared his video on TikTok and sang “Soon May the Wellerman Come” in the sea shed. “. He didn’t expect anything to happen, but the application can turn the dusty Esotrika into viral gold.
Indeed, in the past two weeks, his old-fashioned videos have been shared and read thousands of times: professional singers and instrument players, maritime lovers, electronic beaters, hypnotists, frog frog puppets, etc.
Mr. Evans said via Zoom: “If it weren̵
What is a shanty town?
One of the original purposes of shanty towns was to create a sense of community and common goals. On the merchant ships of the 1700s and 1800s, a shanty town would lead the sailors to work, sing their praises, disperse their hard work, make their work vibrant and set a rhythm.
Gerry Smith, professor of Irish cultural history at Liverpool John Moores University and author of “Songs of Sailors: Shanty Towns and Folk Songs on the High Seas” said: “Different kinds of ship work and trivia will have different shanty towns.”
According to Mr. Smyth’s research, shanty towns can adapt and accelerate specific tasks. He said: “For example, if you are towing a sail, the shantytowns are designed around the physical strength required to achieve this goal. He added: “Everyone will pull at the same time. “The rhythm of this song implies this.
The earliest sea shanty towns may be as old as the navigation itself. They took advantage of the urge to share stories in oral literature, and this urge was even longer.
Mr. Smith said that singing was fun and inspired the spirits of sailors. These songs also provide a common language for transnational personnel.
Smith said: “This kind of communitarian aesthetics can indeed be traced back to very ancient times.” “When we sit by the campfire, we are talking about hunting. We gain recognition through the community, through the underlying rhythm of agitation.” In the ancient storytelling tradition, everyone knew the story and played a role in telling it.
The other work songs all run based on the same shared narrative impulse. This is particularly evident in the African American folk song and spiritual calling tradition, which draws on the practice of democratic participation in public life in sub-Saharan Africa.
For shantytowns on the sea, the passage of time has led to some modifications. Mr. Smith said that in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, scholars who collected the sea shack cleaned up the lyrics, a large part of which was “clumsy.” These collectors added interest to the song, replacing “prostitutes” with “pretty girls”, eliminating vulgar language and reducing drunken nights in bars.
In the most authentic version of the life and language of sailors, these ballads focus on what Mr. Smith calls “the basic coordinates of the imagination of shantytowns”: reaching the port and returning to the sea. In the vast blue, they found the romantic life of toil and violence. Back on the dry land, their yarn staged pimps, prostitutes and addicted seamen who lost their wages in dice games in bars and back alleys.
About that shanty town
The recently popular “The Well May the Wellerman Come” band (the longest John band joined the band in 2018) omitted this naughty narrative and supported whaling adventures like “Moby-Dick”. Its theme is real: The Whaler Brothers’ whaling company has an outpost in Otago, New Zealand. The lyrics of this song feature sailors fishing and hoisting whales to ships for slaughter.
Michael P. Dyer, a maritime curator at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts, said: “This well may be a rudimentary shanty town,” or a song that people sing while slaughtering whales .
That particular task is messy. The parts (hard work) for catching whales are laborious. These parts include oil-lit lamps and cosmetics, baleen for whale corsets, and tongues for food. Mr. Dyer said that the “tongue” mentioned in the lyrics refers to the removal of the tongue, which is the most edible part of the whale.
As for the “bring us sugar, tea and rum” line, some people think that this may refer to the role of whaling in the slave trade in the Atlantic Triangle. (According to this, various commentators suggest that the meme has lost its charm.) Others believe that the phrase refers to another ship providing supplies to the whalers during long hunting.
David Coffin, a folk musician and music educator in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said: “Willerman is not a simple shanty town.” He was talking about a shanty town song. Whaling song, but its purpose is to tell stories lyrically, not to help sailors save time.
Smith said that in any case, this format is malleable, which can explain the thousands of improvisations, duets and adaptations spread online. Some have even started playing popular songs at the rhythm of a shanty town, such as Smash Mouth’s “All Star”.
Coffin said: “The beauty of this song is not the reason for its appeal.” “This is energy.”
He added: “This is one of the things I like about sea huts.” “Accessibility. You don’t have to be a trained singer to sing. You should not sing beautifully.”