First Sunday of the Month | 2–4pm | Wavertree | Free
South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music program, the original NYC Chantey Sing, continues on the first Sunday of every month.
This Spring and Summer the Chantey Sing moves outdoors to the 1885 tall ship Wavertree! Singers of all levels, as well as listeners, are welcome to attend and can lead or request a traditional maritime work song or ballad. The program will offer a round-robin where anyone can sing and share the chantey of their choice, join in the choruses throughout the event, or just listen.
This in-person event is free, and registration is encouraged.
The June Chantey Sing will be hosted by Lafayette Matthews.
Boarding the tall ship Wavertree requires climbing a small set of ladder-type stairs and an angled gangway.
Extend Your Visit
Before and after the Chantey Sing, participants are invited to take advantage of Pay What You Wish General Admission to the Seaport Museum. General Admission includes access to three gallery exhibitions at 12 Fulton Street as well as a walk through Wavertree at whatever price is right for you––the full ticket price, free in-person admission, or any amount in between.
New to the Chantey Sing?
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.
Each Chantey Sing may include a look at some objects from the Museum collection related to the songs being sung and a visit to one of the Museum’s ships and a chat with a member of the crew.
“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 by enjoying home-made music together.”
Read more about what to expect at the Seaport Museum Chantey Sing:
Looking for Chantey Resources?
See what songs have been sung at past events, or download lyrics and resources for chantey singers.
Click to browse and download custom backgrounds to use during the chantey programs.
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
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.