Sea Shanty Playlists – The Worst Mate

The playlists below are mine and lean towards a traditional shanty sound. That is to say that the tracks are mostly acapella, male vocals with percussion and limited instrumentation.

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.

Other Great Shanty Playlists

This list strays from traditional into pirate rock occasionally. But that’s okay because the extra 3 hours of run time all slap!
If you like shanties and want to expand into other folk music with a similar vibe, this playlist is packed to the brim with sea shanties, traditional Irish music, American folk music, and everything in between.
A shanty playlist curated by the excellent and hilarious El Pony Pisador!