Story: Seafarers

The romance of the sea

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, old salts such as this man, photographed at Wynyard Pier in Auckland around 1910, would have known the words to a few sea shanties. These work songs, sung to help lighten the hard physical labour on board, also reflected the values and experiences of seafarers at the time.

Listen to ‘I’ve traded with the Maoris’, a New Zealand version of the British sea shanty ‘The sailor’s way’.

Using this item

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, A. N. Breckon Negative Collection
Reference: DU436.1212 Neg no. A73
Photograph by Arthur Ninnis Breckon

Permission of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Sound file from Bach Choir of Wellington

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Neill Atkinson, 'Seafarers - Crew culture', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/music/5377/the-romance-of-the-sea (accessed 18 January 2022)

Story by Neill Atkinson, published 12 Jun 2006