First Sunday of the Month | 2pm | Wavertree | Free
Join the South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music program, the original NYC Chantey Sing, on the first Sunday of every month.
October will be the last month that the Chantey Sing gathers on the deck of the 1885 tall ship Wavertree! Beginning in November, the program will move indoors to the Museum’s 12 Fulton Street galleries and will also welcome hybrid attendees over Zoom.
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.
The October in-person event is free, and registration is encouraged. The host for this Chantey Sing will be Hannah Livant.
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 exhibitions on view at 12 Fulton Street as well as a walk through Wavertree at whatever price is right for you––free in-person admission, the full ticket price, or any amount in between.
Looking for More Chantey Experiences with the Museum?
On September 9, from 4–6pm, the Seaport Museum is hosting a Chantey Sing and Sail aboard the 1885 schooner Pioneer. As the Historical Register-listed vessel glides across the water, you’ll be treated to a round-robin of catchy rhythms, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of unfurled sails and iconic New York landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan’s architectural gems, Ellis Island, and more! This is a truly immersive experience that lets you soak in the essence of the city’s maritime history.
Tickets range from $20–$50 and advance reservations are recommended.
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.
“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.