Bristolian folk band The Longest Johns are inviting sea shanty lovers the world over to join them in a global singalong of 'Wellerman', the shanty that recently went viral on TikTok and helped the band pave the way to success.


The Longest Johns are inviting fans to help create a virtual choir performance of 'Wellerman'. They have performed a stunt like this before, with their 2020 cover of 'Leave Her Johnny', another sea shanty.

When Scottish postman Nathan Evans's cover of the 19th-century New Zealand whaling song 'Wellerman' went viral on TikTok at the start of the year, The Longest Johns were one of the few groups to have recorded the song previously. Their cover, therefore, was one of the few available on streaming platforms, and thanks to the success of the TikTok trend, The Longest Johns soon became famous overnight.

Their version of 'Wellerman' entered the UK Top 40 singles chart, helped secure them a record label contract with Decca Records and ensured a sellout Bristol leg of their upcoming tour. The group's first album for Decca, Smoke & Oakum, has also been announced and is due for release on 21 January.

To join The Longest Johns in their singalong, visit their website. You can find the lyrics to 'Wellerman' here. The band are also inviting those who know sign language to sign along to the song as well. Deadline for submissions is 5pm GMT on Friday 12 February 2021.


You can find the lyrics to many of your favourite sea shanties here


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.