The playlists below lean towards a traditional shanty sound. That is to say that the tracks are mostly acapella, male vocals with percussion and limited instrumentation. I like nautical, pirate-rock as much as the next guy, but these are mostly in a traditional style. I also like lots of other traditional folk music, but this is limited mostly to songs of the sea.

Some groups like The Longest Johns and The Dreadnoughts have original songs that fit the theme and are more than welcome alongside the classics!

If you don’t know what a shanty is… how did you get here? You can learn more about shanties, or just listen to the first playlist below; it’s all my favorites. The other four are subdivisions of the main list for when you’re in a certain mood.

Start here! The best of traditional shanties and modern nautical alt-folk. This is a comprehensive set of my favorites from the rest of the playlists. 4+ hours should be enough to get you through your voyage.

These shanties are all upbeat, just in case a slow dirge doesn’t do anything for you. Perfect for coming back into port, drinking, or preparing for a boarding!

Conversely, these are all slow tempo. Sorrowful, thoughtful, somber, sweet. Put it on and think. Maybe have a cry.

Okay, purists. These are the best versions of only traditional shanties. By traditional, I mean that the source tunes go back to the age of sail and are only nautical related.

These are all modern, nautical songs done in a shanty style. They were written by various artists in the last 60 years. I was surprised to find that some of these were not “traditional”. People are awesome! Yes, I’m aware that some are covers. I picked (or recorded) my favorite versions.