What is Making Me Happy: Sea Shanty TikTok

Following the model of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour and, to a lesser extent, the Make Me Smart daily podcast, I want to remind myself that there are things that bring me joy. These posts are meant to be quick hits that identify and/or recommend things—usually artistic or cultural, sometimes culinary—that are making me happy in a given week. I am making this quick format a semi-regular Friday/Saturday feature.

This week: sea shanty TikTok

I might need to get TikTok. I am not kidding. Although I test-drive a lot of social media apps, I’ve long thought of TikTok as a platforms for teenagers dancing, which always struck me as a) creepy and b) not really my thing. Then this morning I saw videos of people singing “Soon May the Wellerman Come.”

It started with the artist Nathan Evanss throwing the song up:

Soon, there were entire chains of people accompanying him:

But as great as the male chorus is, my favorite version (so far) was when the musician Mia Asano added her violin to mixed group of singers:

I am not exaggerating when I say I have listened to this version more than a dozen times already today. In the purest expression of what is making me happy, sea shanty TikTok is the best thing I have seen to this point in 2021.

Update: there are more!

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