South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly sea-music event Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music – the original NYC chantey sing, now made popular on TikTok – continues virtually on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 2pm ET broadcast live from the deck of Wavertree. From our living rooms and kitchens, join a round-robin of shared songs featuring members of The New York Packet and friends. Listen in, lead a song, and belt out the choruses for your neighbors—and in-person visitors aboard the Wavertree quarterdeck—to hear on the first Sunday of every month.
After years of meeting in person on the historic tall ship Wavertree, the event moved online in April 2020. Now in its second year of virtual incarnation, South Street Seaport Museum’s Virtual Chantey Sing has evolved into the preeminent virtual chantey sing in the world, featuring professionals and amateurs, old salts and new initiates, from across the street, across the country, and across the pond. South Street Seaport Museum actively recruits and supports new and diverse singers for each sing.
Old-time sailors on long voyages spent months living together in close quarters with no outside entertainment, no new people to interact with, a monotonous diet, and each day pretty much just like the day before. How did they keep their spirits up? Singing together! Work songs and fun songs, story songs and nonsense songs, songs of nostalgia and songs of up-to-the-moment news — all were part of the repertoire onboard. At South Street Seaport Museum, the Chantey tradition lives on.
The November event will be hosted by Deirdre Murtha with The New York Packet, a collection of traditional chantey singers in the New York area.“Sea chanteys fit in beautifully with the New York tradition,” said Laura Norwitz, SSSM’s Senior Director of Program and Education. “Sailing ships were a melting pot of languages and cultures, and chanteys and forecastle songs, along with hard work and shared challenges, helped sailors merge into one community. When we sing these songs today — some old, and some updated with up-to-the-moment lyrics — we celebrate our connection with our maritime heritage and also with the community we create enjoying home-made music together.”
Each online singalong includes a virtual look at some objects from the Museum collection related to the songs being sung. Many singalongs also include a virtual visit to one of the Museum’s ships and a chat with a member of the crew.
The event is FREE. Sign up here to receive the Zoom link 24 hours prior: seaportmuseum.org/chanteysing.