First Sunday of Every Month | 2pm – 4pm | Virtual | Free
South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music continues – virtually. From our living rooms and kitchens, and even from the deck of Wavertree, join us for our round-robin of shared sea songs, featuring members of The New York Packet and friends. Listen in, lead or request a song, and belt out the choruses for your neighbors to hear. Hosted by singers from the New York Packet.
The event is FREE. Sign up for the next chantey sing below and receive the Zoom link 24 hours prior:
How does the Virtual Chantey Sing work?
Looking for Chantey resources?
See what songs have been sung at past events, or download lyrics and resources for chantey singers.
Old-time sailors on long voyages spent months living together in close quarters with no outside entertainment, no new people to interact with, a monotonous diet, and each day pretty much just like the day before. How did they keep their spirits up? Singing together! Work songs and fun songs, story songs and nonsense songs, songs of nostalgia and songs of up-to-the-moment news — all were part of the repertoire onboard. At South Street Seaport Museum, the Chantey tradition lives on.
“Sea chanteys fit in beautifully with the New York tradition,” says Laura Norwitz, Seaport Museum Senior Director of Program and Education. “Sailing ships were a melting pot of languages and cultures, and chanteys and forecastle songs, along with hard work and shared challenges, helped sailors merge into one community. When we sing these songs today — some old, and some updated with up-to-the-moment lyrics — we celebrate our connection with our maritime heritage and also with the community we create enjoying home-made music together.”
The New York Packet was established over 30 years ago as the official maritime singing group of South Street Seaport Museum. First singing on the iconic vessel Peking, they have endeavored ever since to keep chantey singing alive in lower Manhattan. Even when the Seaport encountered “heavy weather” during and after hurricane Sandy, the Packet found places to fill with sound while awaiting a return to their beloved ships at the Seaport. In May of 2019, the moment came when the Packet could return and sing aboard Wavertree. It was a magical and welcome moment.
WWFM On a Positive Note – An interview with Captain Boulware
Click below to visit WWFM and listen to an interview with Captain Jonathan Boulware about our virtual chantey sing
Click to browse and download custom backgrounds to use during the chantey programs
Sea Songs, Sea Lives
Join us for a webinar series that explores the lives of diverse groups of sailors today and in history through conversations with singers, sailors, historians, and more.
Support Our Work!
While the Museum’s indoor spaces remain closed to the public, we are continuing to serve our community in safe and engaging ways by developing and delivering virtual programs like these, at no cost. Help us make this work possible.