Argh, the latest trend in pandemic distraction may be – shiver me timbers – sea shanties.
(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: (Singing) There once was a ship that put to sea, and the name of that ship was the Billy of Tea.
SIMON: Landlubbers on TikTok and other social media are now appreciating the 200-year-old art form.
MARY MALLOY: Sea shanties are a particular kind of song that accompanies work.
SIMON: That’s Mary Molloy. For 25 years, she taught a program out of Woods Hole, Mass., called the Sea Education Association Semester. She says sea shanties are influenced by the rhythms of African work songs with lyrics that are Anglo Irish. Mary Malloy is also a folk singer. How could she not be with so fine a name? And yes, she sings sea songs. Here be Mary.
Read it all and do not miss this example of the fun: