She Shanties Blog

Shanties are a broad collection of songs which speak of human experience much of it at sea or in relation to journeys. In the centuries and decades since they were written the songs, and the language that is in them has been reviewed. We no longer sing the racist language which was once used but songs like Johnny Come Down to Hilo reference life as a plantation worker which in many cases will reference the experiences of enslaved people.

There is an increasing understanding of the black origins of shanties which has been investigated recently by Jim Mageean and Angeline Morrison. We highly recommend these two links which bring together this research.

Jim Mageean – The Black Origins of Sea Shanties

Angeline Morrison on ‘Shallow Brown’ – The Old Songs Podcast in conversation with Tradfolk editor Jon Wilks