First Sunday of Every Month | 2pm – 4pm ET | In-Person | Free
South Street Seaport Museum’s monthly Sea Chantey and Maritime Music, the original NYC chantey sing, continues live aboard Wavertree. Join a round-robin of shared songs featuring members of The New York Packet and friends. Singers of all levels, as well as listeners, are welcome to lead or request a song, join in the choruses, or just listen as we present traditional maritime work songs and ballads.
Location: Tall Ship Wavertree
The Sing will take place on the main deck of Wavertree. Guests must walk up a few stairs and along an angled gangway to board the ship. At this time there will not be a way to participate virtually. Hybrid sings will return in October.
The event is FREE, and advance registration encouraged but not required.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.