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ShantyTok: is the sugar and rum line in Wellerman a reference to slavery?

By Adrian York, Senior Lecturer in Commercial Music Performance, University of Westminster
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Amid the global media coverage of the pandemic and Donald Trump’s final days as US president, an unexpected music genre went viral on TikTok: traditional sea shanties, spurring what has become known as the “ShantyTok” phenomenon.

Global interest in ShantyTok began when a postman called Nathan Evans, who lives near Glasgow in Scotland, posted a video on TikTok of…


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