an exercise in miscellany

Sea Chantey

In words & phrases on July 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Sea shanties (singular “shanty“, also spelled “chantey“; derived from the French word “chanter”, ‘to sing’) were shipboard working songs Some speculate that shanties may have been sung as early as the 15th century though there is little evidence to support this claim. The shanties that survived to be collected and preserved date from the 19th century through the days of steam ships in the first half of the 20th century. Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest is the first line of the chorus of a fictional sea shanty from Robert Louis Stevenson‘s novel Treasure Island (1883).

via Sea Chantey

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