TikTok demand accelerates British Library sea shanty guide

TikTok demand accelerates British Library sea shanty guide

British Library Publishing is to bring forward the publication of a sea shanty guide, due to overwhelming interest on Twitter and TikTok. 

The move is in response to a flurry of posts and interest on the social media platforms, where singers and musicians have interpreted and joined in on renditions of classics shanties and working songs under the #seashantytok hashtag. 

Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas is an illustrated book on the musical, lyrical and social history of melodic sea songs from the "great days of sail". Written by Gerry Smyth, a singer, shanty band leader and English language professor at Liverpool John Moores University, the book features more than 40 shanties and 10 ballads.

Each song is presented with lyrics, musical notation and a history of the song and its inspirations. It is illustrated with specially commissioned artwork by Jonny Hannah, as well as imagery from the holdings of the British Library. 

The book will now be published on 21st January.