Sea Songs and Shanties Collection - Titles index page

A collection 300+ Sea songs and Shanties - lyrics with PDF for printing.

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Political, Solidarity, Workers and Union Songs - 550+ lyrics

A SEA SHANTY, SHANTIE, CHANTEY, OR CHANTY is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labor on board large merchant sailing vessels. The term shanty most accurately refers to a specific style of work song belonging to this historical repertoire. However, in recent, popular usage, the scope of its definition is sometimes expanded to admit a wider range of repertoire and characteristics, or to refer to a “maritime work song” in general. Of uncertain etymological origin, the word shanty emerged in the mid-19th century in reference to an appreciably distinct genre of work song, developed especially in American-style merchant vessels that had come to prominence in decades prior to the American Civil War. Shanty songs functioned to economize labor in what had then become larger vessels having smaller crews and operating on stricter schedules. The practice of singing shanties eventually became ubiquitous internationally and throughout the era of wind-driven packet and clipper ships. Shanties had antecedents in the working chants of British and other national maritime traditions. They were notably influenced by songs of African Americans, such as those sung whilst manually loading vessels with cotton in ports of the southern United States. Shanty repertoire borrowed from the contemporary popular music enjoyed by sailors, including minstrel music, popular marches, and land-based folk songs, which were adapted to suit musical forms matching the various labor tasks required to operate a sailing ship. Such tasks, which usually required a coordinated group effort in either a pulling or pushing action, included weighing anchor and setting sail. The shanty genre was typified by flexible lyrical forms, which in practice provided for much improvisation and the ability to lengthen or shorten a song to match the circumstances. Its hallmark was call and response, performed between a soloist and the rest of the workers in chorus. The leader, called the shantyman, was appreciated for his piquant language, lyrical wit, and strong voice. Shanties were sung without instrumental accompaniment and, historically speaking, they were only sung in work-based rather than entertainment-oriented contexts. Although most prominent in English, shanties have been created in or translated into other European languages. The switch to steam-powered ships and the use of machines for shipboard tasks, by the end of the 19th century, meant that shanties gradually ceased to serve a practical function. Their use as work songs became negligible in the first half of the 20th century. Information about shanties was preserved by veteran sailors and by folklorist song-collectors, and their written and audio-recorded work provided resources that would later support a revival in singing shanties as a land-based leisure activity. Commercial musical recordings, popular literature, and other media, especially since the 1920s, have inspired interest in shanties among land-folk. The modern performance contexts of these songs have affected their forms, their content, and the way they are understood as cultural and historical artifacts. Recent performances range from the “traditional” style of practitioners within a revival-oriented, maritime music scene, to the adoption of shanty repertoire by musicians in a variety of popular styles. (ref Wikipedia)

Other Sites With Sea songs:
Shanties and Sea Songs Library of Congress
Sea Songs and Shanties Pack efdss
Traditional Sea Shanties and Sea Songs (also on this site)


Many of the songs on this site are in the public domain or traditional categories, however this cannot be guaranteed, and should you wish to use them as a basis of a performance or for any non-personal study purpose you are advised to contact the copyright holders (where available, copyright info has been included with the song). These transcriptions are made by many different individuals from all over the world for their own research and instruction, and as such are liable to great variation in interpretation and opinion. They are being shared on this site for educational purposes only, please see our copyright page for more info.

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For Political song books and Sheet Music to buy check the
Sea Songs Collection at Sheet Music Plus

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A Captain Bold From Halifax
A Hundred Years Ago
A Hundred Years Is A Very Long Time
A Is The Anchor That Holds A Bold Ship
A Landlady Of France Loved An Officer Tis Said
A Life On The Ocean Wave A Home On The Rolling Deep
A Long Long Time And A Long Time Ago
A Sailor From Dover From Dover He Came
A Schooner Was Built On The Baltic
A Wet Sheet And A Flowing Sea
A Whalers Tale
A Yankee Ship Comes Down The River
Adieu My Fair Young Maidens
Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy Ten Thousand Times Adieu
Al Twintig Jaar Vaar Ik Op De Zoute Plas
All Things Are Quite Silent Each Mortal At Rest
All Things We Have Ready And Nothing We Want
And He Kissed Her On The Face
And Its Three Score And Ten
Andrew Rose The British Sailor
Around Cape Horn Weve Got To Go
As I Rovd Out One Evning Fair
As I Strolled Out One Evening
As I Walked Down The Broadway
As I Was A Walkin Upon A Fine Day
As I Was A Walking Down Wapping
As I Was Walkin Down London Street
As I Went A Walking One Evening So Rare
As I Went Out One Evening
As Ick Jung An Johren W�r
As It Fell On A Holy Day
At The Dawn Of The Morning
Away And To The Westward
Away Haul Away
Barretts Privateers
Behold Upon The Swelling Seas
Ben Backstay Was Our Boatswain
Blood Red Roses
Blow The Man Down
Blow The Wind Westerly
Bold Riley
Boney Was A Warrior
Brother Noah
Bully In The Alley
Cape Cod Girls They Have No Combs
Cape Cod Girls
Captain Kidd
Come All My Jolly Seamen Likewise You Landsmen Too
Come All Ye Jolly Sailors Brave
Come All Ye Seamen Bold And Draw Near
Come All Ye Young Fellows That Follow The Sea
Come All Ye Young Men Of Learning
Come All You Bold Fishermen
Come All You Bold Heroes That Plough The Rough Main
Come All You Dry Land Sailors And Listen To Me Song
Come All You True Born Shanty Boys
Come All You Warlike Seamen
Come All You Young Americans
Come Cheer Up My Lads
Come Messmates Pass The Bottle Round
Common Sailors
Cura�ao K Heb Jou Zo Menigmaal Bekeken
Daar Was Laatst Een Meisje Loos
Daeth Diwrnod I Ffarwelio
De Beste En Maar Braafste Matroos Aan Boord
Den Stolte Skute Seiler
Diesel And Shale
Dis Is De Day We Make Our Pay Day
Dont Forget Your Old Shipmate
Dont Mind The Rain Or The Rolling Sea
Drunken Sailor
En Toen Was Er Dat Kind
Essiquibo River Is The King Of Rivers All
Essiquibo River
Eternal Father Strong To Save
Farewell And Adieu To You Spanish Ladies
Farewell My Dearest Nancy
Farewell To Tarwathie Adieu Mormond Hill
Farewell To You My Own True Love
Fifteen Men On A Dead Mans Chest Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum
For Once I Joined A Liverpool Ship
From Boston Harbor We Set Sail
From Liverpool To Frisco A Rovin I Went
From The Halls Of Montezuma
Full Many A Sailor Points With Pride
General Taylor Gained The Day
General Taylor
Good Bye Fare Thee Well
Good Night Ladies
Goodbye My Feleni O Le A Ou Lea
Grey Funnel Line
Gwynt Or De Ar Glaw Yn Fan
Haul Away Joe
Haul On The Bolin The Fore And The Maintop
Have You Heard Of A Ship Called The Good Reuben James
Have You Heard The News My Johnny
He Kapitein We Nemen Nog Een Borrel
Heave Away Me Bully Boys
Heave Away
Hem Till Justina Hem Till De Mina
Here A Sheer Hulk Lies Poor Tom Bowline
Heres Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy
Heurt Mol To All Kinnersl�d
Hieland Laddie
High Barbary
Homeward Bound
How Can My Poor Heart Be Glad
How Pleasant A Sailors Life Passes
I Used To Be A Sailor I Sailed Upon The Sea
I Am A Brisk And Sprightly Lad
I Am A Young Sailor My Story Is Sad
I Am As Poor A Distressed Maid
I Came Down To Bowery One Evening In July
I Come From Salem City
I Dreamed My Love Came In My Sleep
I Heard I Heard The Old Man Say
I Neber See De Like Since I Been Born
I Shipped On Board Of Th Ebenezer
I Sing Of A Frigate A Frigate Of Fame
I Was Broke And Out Of A Job In The City Of London
If You Want To Join A Merchant Ship
Ik Kwam Lest Over Een Berg Gegaan
Ik Moest Van Vader Naar De Zee
Im The Man Before The Mast
In Amsterdam There Dwells A Maid
In Callao There Lives A Gal Whose Name Is Serafina
In May Of Nineteen Forty One The War Had Just Begun
In South Australia I Was Born
It Oftttimes Has Been Told
It Was Down In Yonder Meadow
It Was Early Early All In The Spring
It Was Friday Morn When We Set Sail
It Was In The Year Of Forty Four
Its A Damned Tough Life Full Of Toil And Strife
Its Of A Pretty Fair Maid
Its Our Time To Go Now
John Cherokee 2
John Cherokee Was An Indian Man
John Cherokee
John Kanaka
Leave Her Johnny
Lift Him Up And Carry Him Along
Liverpool Judies
Me Father Was The Keeper Of The Eddystone Light
Melbourne Girls They Have No Combs
My Boats By The Tower
My Bonny Is Over The Ocean
My Johnny Is A Shoemaker
My Name Is Arthur Hollandin As You May Understand
My Name Was William Kidd
Now Jack Was A Sailor Who Roamed On The Town
Now The Cheasapeake So Bold
O Come List Awhile And You Soon Shall Hear
O Do My Johnny Boker
O Fare You Well I Wish You Well
O Fare You Well My Own True Love
O Im Going To Leave Her
O In Eighteen Hundred And Forty One
O Me Rosie Coal Black Rose
O Nancy Dawson Hio
O Poor Old Reuben Ranzo
O Sally Brown Of New York City
O Santa Anna Fought For Fame
O Shenandoah I Long To Hear You
O Stormys Gone That Good Old Man
O The Times Are Hard And The Wages Low
O The Work Was Hard And The Wages Low
O The Year Was Seventenn Seventy Eight
O There Was A Lofty Ship And A Lofty Ship Was She
O Tommys Gone What Shall I Do
O Were Going On Board The Roseabella
O Whiskey Is The Life Of Man
Of All The Wives Eer You Know
Oh A Drop Of Nelsons Blood Wouldnt Do Us Any Harm
Oh Across The Westard I Served My Time
Oh Blow My Boys I Long To Hear You
Oh Go Fetch Me Down My Riding Cane
Oh Mit Mein Niggerum Beggerum Stinkum
Oh My Boat Can Swiftly Float
Oh The Smartest Packet Ye Can Find
Oh Was You Ever On The Congo River
Oh Where Am I Goin To Sleep Tonight
On The 23rd Of February
On The Fourteenth Of February We Sailed From The Land
On The Noble Fleet Of Whalers Out Sailing From Dundee
On The Sunday Morning Just At The Hour Of Ten
One More Day
One Morning Very Early
Op Wieringen Daar Woonde
Our Anchors Aweigh And Our Sails Are All Set
Our Topsails Reefd And Filled Away
Pipe All Hands To Man The Windlass
Poor Joe The Marine Was At Portsmouth Well Known
Rejs Opp En Man Av Den Babordska Vakten
Roll Alabama Roll
Roll The Old Chariot Along
Roll The Woodpile Down
Rollin Down To Old Maui
Rolling Home
Sail Home As Straight As An Arrow
Sailing Over The Dogger Bank
Sally Shem The Gal That I Love Dearly
Schipper Ik Wil Varen Schipper Ik Wil Mee
Shallow Brown
Shoals O Herrin 2
Shoals Of Herring
Sing And Heave And Heave And Sing
Sing Ho For A Brave An A Gallant Ship
Singing Bell Bottom Trousers
Snaefell Tynwald Ben My Chree
Snap The Line Tight
South Australia
Spanish Ladies
Stand Navy Down The Field
Stand To Your Guns My Hearts Of Oak
Strike The Bell
Sugar In The Hold
Tarry Trousers
The Anchor Is Weighed And The Sails They Are Set
The Banks Of Newfoundland
The Black Ball Line
The Boats Are Sailing Around The Bend
The Breeze Was Fresh The Ship Was In Stays
The Dames Of France Are Fond And Free
The Day That I Left My Home For The Rolling Sea
The Dead Horse Shanty
The Diamond Is A Ship Me Lads
The Hog Eye Man
The Im Alone
The Island Lass
The Last Shanty
The Legend Lives On From The Chippewa On Down
The Mate Was Drunk And He Went Below
The Mermaid 2
The Mermaid Song
The Mingalay Boat Song
The Most Chivalrous Fish In The Ocean
The Ocean Ranger
The Pilot He Looked Out Ahead
The Pilot He Looks Out Ahead
The Rio Grande
The Sailors Alphabet
The Sea Is Englands Glory
The Seagulls Still Follow On Freedom
The Sons Of The Prophet Are Brave Men And Bold
The Topman And The Afterguard Were Walking One Day
The Wild Goose Shanty
The Yankee Sails Tonight
The Yankee Ship
There Is Fire In The Lower Hold
There Were Three Brothers In Merry Scotland
There Were Two Lofty Ships
Theres A Flash Packet A Flash Packet Of Fame
They Call Me Hanging Johnny
They Say Old Man Your Horse Will Die
This Dirty Town Has Been My Home
Tis Advertised In Boston
Tis Of A Noblemans Daughter
Tis Of A Stately Southerner Who Flew The Stripes And Stars
To My Aye And Well Furl
To Pensacola Town Well Bid Adieu
Toms Gone To Hilo
Trim Rigged Doxy
True Sailor Boy
Twas In Eighteen Hundred And Fifty Three
Twas On A Dark And Stormy Night
Twas On A Monday Morning All In The Month Of May
Twas Pleasant And Delightful One Midsummers Morn
Up Aloft Amid The Rigging
Up Jumps A Crab With His Crooked Legs
Up On The Poop Deck And Walking About
Vinden Drar Skeppet Far
Was You Ever In Quebec
Was You Ever In Rio Grande
Wave Over Wave
Way Down South Where The Cocks Do Crow
We Be Three Poor Mariners
We Were Forty Miles From Albany
Well Its All For Me Grog Me Jolly Jolly Grog
Were Laying In Surrey Dock One Day
West Zuid West Van Ameland
What Pen Can Well Report The Plight
What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor
When First I Landed In Frisco Bay
When Hms Hood Went Down In The Deep
When I First Landed In Liverpool
When I Was A Lad I Served A Term
When The Alabamas Keel Was Laid
When The Anchors Weighd And The Ships Unmoored
Where The Coho Flash Silver
Whiskey Johnny 2
Whiskey O
Who Seeks The Way To Win Renown
Wholl Make His Mark The Captain Cried
Whos That Knocking At My Door
Whup Jamboree
Wie Wil Er Mee Naar Wieringen Varen
Willy Taylor
With Swelling Sail Away Away
Ye Gentlemen Of England Who Live Home
Ye Mariners All As Ye Pass By
Ye Mariners All
Ye Parliament Of England
Ye Seamen And Ye Landsmen All
Yheave Ho My Lads The Wind Blows Free
Yo No Digo Que Mi Barca Se A
You Bully Boys Of Liverpool
Zondagmorgen Kregen We De Loods Aan Boord

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