Songs The Very Best Sea Shanties, Ranked  

Ranker Music
2.4k votes 1k voters 41.1k 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
295 91
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Drunken Sailor Irish Rovers

2
219 71
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Roll the Old Chariot Along David Coffin

3
149 58
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Leave Her Johnny Rachel Kay

4
99 31
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Rolling Down to Old Maui The Revels

5
126 56
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Spanish Ladies Sea Shanties

6
77 28
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Haul Away Joe The Eskies

7
106 49
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Blow the Man Down Sheringham Shantymen

8
28 4
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K. Hs added Randy Dandy​-​Oh The Dreadnoughts

9
46 29
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Haul Boys Haul The Felix Stowaways

10
34 20
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Fiddler’s Green The Dubliners

11
35 21
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Lowlands Away The Corries

12
27 14
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The Bonny Ship the Diamond The Corries

13
38 24
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Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate The Felix Stowaways

14
30 18
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Mingulay Boat Song Richard Thompson

15
28 17
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Santianna Penn Pipers

16
17 7
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Eliza Lee Johnny Collins

17
28 18
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Cockles and Mussels (Molly Malone) The Dubliners

18
29 20
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Bully in the Alley Three Pruned Men

19
25 17
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Old Billy Riley Johnny Collins

20
26 20
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Cape Cod Girls (feat. William Hut) Storm Weather Shanty Choir

21
18 13
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Roll the Wood Pile Down Bellowhead

22
20 15
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Lowlands Low Bryan Ferry and Antony

23
16 11
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Good Ship Venus Loudon Wainwright III

24
16 12
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Greenland Whale Fisheries The Pogues

25
15 13
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Blood Red Roses Sting