Songs The Very Best Sea Shanties, Ranked  

Ranker Music
2.8k votes 1.1k voters 46k views 42 items

The rolling waves, the crisp salt air, the sense of adventure: there's just something about the ocean that inspires music. Sea shanty songs are traditionally belted out by sailors, hard at work on the open seas on ships and boats. Some of the top sea shanty songs of all time are listed here, so be sure to check out all the videos, learn the lyrics, and sing along.

Typically, a true sea shanty (or chanty, as it is sometimes called) is sung as a team. And yes, a vast majority of famous sea shanty songs were performed by men. Keep in mind, many of these top sea shanties are hundreds of years old, passed down through generations. Good sea shanties like “Blow the Man Down” and “Drunken Sailor” have been belted out with great gusto and harmony for as long as anyone can remember. Many of the best sea shanties included here are filled with rhythmic repetition. They are fun to sing, and that’s exactly the point. The best sea shanty songs are designed to motivate seafarers as they go about their often difficult, physical labor on the open waters.

Enjoy this sea shanty songs list, and be sure to vote for your favorites. Then, kick back with a bottle of rum and sing along!

list ordered by
1
333 104
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Drunken Sailor Irish Rovers
2
245 76
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Roll the Old Chariot Along David Coffin
3
166 63
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Leave Her Johnny Rachel Kay
4
107 34
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Rolling Down to Old Maui The Revels
5
144 57
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Spanish Ladies Sea Shanties
6
49 7
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K. Hs added Randy Dandy​-​Oh The Dreadnoughts
7
89 32
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Haul Away Joe The Eskies
8
116 51
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Blow the Man Down Sheringham Shantymen
9
39 19
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Mingulay Boat Song Richard Thompson
10
43 23
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Lowlands Away The Corries
11
43 26
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Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate The Felix Stowaways
12
37 21
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Bully in the Alley Three Pruned Men
13
39 23
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Fiddler’s Green The Dubliners
14
31 16
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The Bonny Ship the Diamond The Corries
15
48 33
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Haul Boys Haul The Felix Stowaways
16
31 19
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Santianna Penn Pipers
17
19 9
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Eliza Lee Johnny Collins
18
29 20
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Old Billy Riley Johnny Collins
19
30 21
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Cockles and Mussels (Molly Malone) The Dubliners
20
20 13
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Good Ship Venus Loudon Wainwright III
21
29 22
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Cape Cod Girls (feat. William Hut) Storm Weather Shanty Choir
22
20 14
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Roll the Wood Pile Down Bellowhead
23
23 17
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Lowlands Low Bryan Ferry and Antony
24
19 14
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Blood Red Roses Sting
25
19 16
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Greenland Whale Fisheries The Pogues