This came up elsewhere earlier, so let me offer a quick list of good sea shanty compilations. Or, at least, sea shanty compilations that I like. A lot of them are nautical music collections in general, because I don’t care it’s my list.
- 97th Regimental String Band, Vol. III: Chantey Irish. An excellent string band in general for Civil War music, in fact, but there’s good stuff on this one.
- Clam Chowder: various. They were always happy to sing a shanty or two.
- Classic Maritime Music from Smithsonian Folkways. This is gonna be one of your go-tos, actually.
- The HPL Historical Society: The Curious Sea Shanties of Innsmouth. Lots of fun if you know the originals. Hopefully lots of fun if you don’t. And, by all means, pick up the monograph, too. In fact, buy them both.
- Paul Clayton: Sailing And Whaling Songs Of The 19th Century. Okay, this is one of the serious ones. Melancholy and somber, but it’s good for a foundation in the genre.
- The Pyrates Royale: just keep buying. Shanties, piratical songs, nautical songs, a lot of songs about booze.
- Stan Rogers: various. Not many shanties, strictly, but… you really don’t have a bunch of Stan Rogers already? REALLY? Well, fix that.
- The Revels: Homeward Bound: Sea Songs, Ballads, and Chanteys. Adapted for a theatrical performance, but a couple of songs on here I listen to regularly. You will not find a better “Drake’s Drum,” and I’ve looked.