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Sea-Inspired Music

Seafarers and their epic adventures have inspired musicians and poets for centuries to compose and propose two basic kinds
of sea music:

  • Sea songs for the general public
  • Sea shanties (chanteys, chanties), the seamen's work tunes (see Sea shanty on Wikipedia).
Sailors turning a sailing ship's capstan to raise anchor and heaving sail braces

Below is a list with some of their YouTube video versions, along with other well-known ones - with and without lyrics shown.

Single Tunes
(in chronological order)
With LyricsWithout Lyrics
Spanish Ladies 1624-1796 2'50"-2'37"Roger McGuinn (not indicated)
What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor? ca. 1839 2'39"-2'30"Irish RoversIrish Rovers & Riverdance
Blow the Man Down 1860s1'33"-2'20"(not indicated) Robert Shaw Chorale
Haul Away Joe 4'12"-1'28" G. Palmer Elementary ChoirJolly Rogers
Fifteen Men and a Bottle of Rum 1880s 3'54" (not indicated)
Don't Forget Your Old Shipmate 3'12"-0'55" J. Bryant & Starboard MessScene from Master and Commander.
You Can't Hold a Good Man Down 4'37"-4'38"(not indicated) Cornwalls' Own Pirateers