did pirates sing shanties

A shanty is a work song sung aboard sailing ships to help lighten the tedium of the seamen’s day-to-day labor. This is simply not true, or at least in the sense that their singing was no different than on the ship crews of any other ships during their time.

Before a ship set sail, the crew chose one man – known as the shantyman (also spelled chanteyman) – to lead them in singing shanties. Shanties flourished from at least the fifteenth century through the days of steam ships in the first half of the 20th century. Sea shanties (singular "shanty", also spelled "chantey"; derived from the French word "chanter", 'to sing') were shipboard working songs. One of the myths that is present in almost every modern retelling of pirate lifestyle is that they enjoyed singing pirate songs and sea shanties. Most surviving shanties date from the nineteenth and (less commonly) eighteenth centuries.

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