Ranked by CBC as one of Canada’s Top 100 songs of all time, the late Stan Rogers’ “Barrett’s Privateers” (Borealis/True North Records) is experiencing a very 2021 renaissance thanks to the delightful Internet corner we all needed: ‘sea shanty TikTok.’
The trend burst forth from niche obscurity late last year, quickly taking the billion+ user platform by storm; millions upon millions of videos — plus coverage from CBC, Billboard, the Today Show, BBC, Rolling Stone, and more — shows a series of the old-timey, tag-along work tunes sung just as they are, or reimagined by genre.
Within the craze, TikTok-ers quickly zeroed in on the Canadian folk artist’s classic folk ditty — resulting in 250% streaming spikes week over week since the start of the year to over 3.5 million streams so far.
From his’ 1977 album, Fogarty’s Cove, “Barrett’s Privateers” came to be six years before Rogers’ tragic accidental passing; the award-winning artist’s catalogue is currently under Borealis Records’ and True North Records’ wing, among other artist’s experiencing an uprising courtesy of the trend.
“It’s great to see the work of incredible Canadian artists like Stan Rogers, Jimmy Rankin, and the Irish Rovers appreciated by a whole new generation,” Geoff Kulawick, President of True North Records, says. “It goes to show the power music and lyrical storytelling has when it comes to connecting people from all walks of life.”
Kulawick also notes the platform’s breakthrough accessibility and opportunity when it comes to introducing — and re-introducing — Canadian music to the masses. “It’s without question that TikTok is a dynamic and changing force within the music industry, and this is a perfect example of meeting audiences where they are to get great music in their hands.”
While most of us aren’t hauling anchors, (you’d have to visit ‘cruise ship TikTok for that), the ubiquitous allure of sea shanties is here to boost morale and connectedness through these long days of increased COVID-19 restrictions.