Songs The Very Best Sea Shanties, Ranked  

Ranker Music
2.6k votes 1k voters 43.7k 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
313 96
Ranker Video
Drunken Sailor Irish Rovers
2
233 73
Ranker Video
Roll the Old Chariot Along David Coffin
3
156 60
Ranker Video
Leave Her Johnny Rachel Kay
4
100 32
Ranker Video
Rolling Down to Old Maui The Revels
5
37 4
Ranker Video
K. Hs added Randy Dandy​-​Oh The Dreadnoughts
6
130 56
Ranker Video
Spanish Ladies Sea Shanties
7
81 29
Ranker Video
Haul Away Joe The Eskies
8
108 51
Ranker Video
Blow the Man Down Sheringham Shantymen
9
36 20
Ranker Video
Fiddler’s Green The Dubliners
10
37 21
Ranker Video
Lowlands Away The Corries
11
47 30
Ranker Video
Haul Boys Haul The Felix Stowaways
12
39 24
Ranker Video
Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate The Felix Stowaways
13
27 14
Ranker Video
The Bonny Ship the Diamond The Corries
14
31 18
Ranker Video
Mingulay Boat Song Richard Thompson
15
28 17
Ranker Video
Santianna Penn Pipers
16
29 18
Ranker Video
Cockles and Mussels (Molly Malone) The Dubliners
17
17 7
Ranker Video
Eliza Lee Johnny Collins
18
32 21
Ranker Video
Bully in the Alley Three Pruned Men
19
28 18
Ranker Video
Old Billy Riley Johnny Collins
20
28 20
Ranker Video
Cape Cod Girls (feat. William Hut) Storm Weather Shanty Choir
21
18 11
Ranker Video
Good Ship Venus Loudon Wainwright III
22
18 13
Ranker Video
Greenland Whale Fisheries The Pogues
23
20 15
Ranker Video
Lowlands Low Bryan Ferry and Antony
24
18 13
Ranker Video
Roll the Wood Pile Down Bellowhead
25
17 13
Ranker Video
Blood Red Roses Sting