Sea shanties (and other sea songs) are all the rage on TikTok right now. The sentiments of these often plaintive songs of hard labor, love, longing, and loss seem to have found a resonance in our collective psyche.
But, as graphic novelist, Alex de Campi, reminds us, there are plenty of old union songs that also speak of life-struggles under harsh circumstances. Here is TikTokker jax.in.the.box_ doing a gorgeous rendition of "The Chemical Workers Song."
Bonus track: Here is one of my favorite shanty-style songs, Cyril Tawney's "The Ballad Of Sammy's Bar," written in 1950.