Ahoy, ye blue-and-yellow-bellied scallywags! Argh Argh Argh week is upon us! Lest ye wish to walk the plank, celebrate by belting out these festive shanties in the middle of Doe Library, your dormitory commons, or any other quiet location full of people studying for exams.

  1. “Drunken Sailor” (ca. 19th century)

‘Ho! Ho! and up she rises!/ Ho! Ho! and up she rises!/ Ho! Ho! and up she rises!’ unfortunately does not apply to your MCB 100B grade, which won’t rise to an A- unless you score above a 120% on the final. On a more positive note, it looks like you don’t have to worry about med school anymore! Embrace the life of maritime crime that your MCB professor clearly wants you to pursue instead.

  1. “Spanish Ladies” (1796)

‘Farewell and adieu to my sleeping schedule/ Farewell and adieu to my GPA!’

  1. “Soon May the Wellerman Come” (ca. 1860)

The last place you want to be is here and now, so transport yourself back to the 1860s whaling era (or at least to 2021 TikTok) with this famous New Zealand sea shanty. Bonus points for singing this while speed-writing a twenty-page essay about Moby Dick!

  1. “The Ballad of Captain Kidd” (1701)

You know, for a song about a man confessing his numerous horrific crimes against God, “The Ballad of Captain Kid” has an incredibly catchy beat. Best paired with CS70 homework, Chem 3B practice syntheses, an English R1B essay, or any other activity that makes you want to brutally murder someone.

  1. “So Early In The Morning” (ca. 19th century)

Who thought it was a good idea to have a final at 8:00 AM???!!!! Coincidentally, 8:00 AM is also the perfect time to holler this song in the erroneously labeled ‘Quiet Study’ section of the VLSB library.

  1. Anything produced by Nintendo (ca. 20th-21st century)

Funnily enough, this is the only music on this list that will actually get you sued for piracy. 

  1. “Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate” (ca. 1800)

‘Don’t forget yer old shipmate, faldee raldee raldee raldee rye-eye-doe!’ Seriously, were they  even trying with this one?

  1. “Dead Man’s Chest” (1883) by Robert Louis Stevenson

Alright, so it was written specifically for Treasure Island and it doesn’t even meet the technical definition of a sea shanty. So what? Flex that knowledge and your general insufferability by mentioning that fact every time you sing this song.

  1. “Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her” (ca. 19th century, written down in 1917)

Johnny wishes he had listened to this advice before the turds started appearing on his bedsheets.

10. “Running Down To Cuba” (unknown)

Would running down to Cuba actually save you from your soul-crushing econ final? Your GSIs say ‘no,’ but our sources say it’s worth a shot.


Editor’s note: Yes, we know that “Soon May the Wellerman Come” is technically a sea ballad, not a shanty. But you thought it was, didn’t you? Yeah exactly.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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