Folk songs typically sung by sailors in the 19th century, otherwise known as sea shanties, have been rebirthed in recent months thanks to apps like TikTok, attracting the attention of famous musicians including Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle.
Nathan Evans, a former Scottish postal worker was the first musician to go viral in the social media trend on TikTok in December. He has since become so popular that he now has a record contract with Polydor records and a spot at the top of the U.K. charts.
“Bringing everybody together, getting everybody on board and keeping everybody at the time – at the same beat and they’re just fun to sing,” Evans told CTV News.
Evans isn’t the only one to give the songs new life. Celebrity musicians such as Queen’s lead guitarist Brian May and recently Alan Doyle, known for the Canadian band Great Big Sea, have also caught onto the trend.
Great Big Sea, a folk rock band from Newfoundland and Labrador, is best known for performing rock interpretations of traditional Newfoundland folk songs, including sea shanties.
“Coming from a place where shanties kind of live in the rocks here, it’s always great to see more people doing it, it’s so fun, especially in a new and technological way,” said Doyle.
Doyle, who has been performing in the style of sea shanties for the better part of his career, has now teamed up with Evans to perform as a duet.
“Most of the original shanties have like “row” or “haul”. You know Nathan, in Canada here, one of the most popular is “Donkey Riding”, like “Way-hey” and “Away-We-Go,” said Doyle.
The two hope that their music will help do away with the boredom of the pandemic.
Original posted at www.ctvnews.ca