First Sunday of Every Month | 2pm – 4pm ET | Hybrid | Free
South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music, the original NYC chantey sing, continues on the first Sunday of every month.
This Winter, each of our Sea Chantey events will include a 45-minute performance by various local artists singing a variety of traditional maritime work songs and ballads. Attendees are invited to sing along with the featured guests or just sit back and enjoy their performance. Following the set, the stage will open for a round-robin where attendees––in-person and virtual––can sing and share their favorite Chantey that will be heard by all.
Singers of all levels, as well as listeners, are welcome to join in the choruses throughout the event, lead or request a song in the round-robin, or just listen.
Those joining in-person, before or after the Sing, are invited to enjoy free access to the Seaport Museum galleries at 12 Fulton Street, and visit tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose on Pier 16.
The event is FREE, and advance registration is required.
About the February Featured Singers
February’s Chantey Sing includes a performance by Sean and Deirdre Murtha, featuring traditional chanteys from around the world, as well as maritime songs and ballads accompanied by a variety of instruments––with plenty of opportunity for singing along.
Sean and Deirdre Murtha, of Norwalk, CT met in the vibrant Irish music scene of New York City in the 1990s. They enjoy connecting Irish traditional to Old-time Appalachian and Maritime music, tracing common folk through song who have traveled for work, pleasure, or simply to find a better life. From ballads to songs of immigration to lively dance tunes, the Murthas sing in harmony and play a variety of instruments, including fiddle, banjo, bouzouki, guitar, bodhran, mandolin, dulcimer, tin whistle, harmonica, ukelele, and piano. Deirdre has been singing maritime music with South Street Seaport’s resident group The New York Packet and the NY-based female quartet The Johnson Girls for over 25 years. Deirdre and Sean host a monthly Chantey Sing in Rowayton, CT and continue to attend Irish traditional music sessions in the tri-state area.
New to the Chantey Sing?
Read more about what to expect:
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.
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.”
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.
Support Our Work!
Virtual programs like this one are provided at no cost in order to serve our community in unique and engaging ways, no matter where you might be in the world. Help us make this work possible.