TikTok at the G7: Sea shanty singers welcome leaders

What does TikTok's viral sea shanty video have in common with the G7 summit?

Global leaders are descending upon the British coast in Cornwall while police and security prepare for the arrival so are the Bryher's Boys: eleven men, aged in their mid-50s to mid-70s, who specialize in the traditional seafaring songs.

[Bryher's Boys Band Leader, Trevor Brookes, Saying]

"Having the G7 sited here in Cornwall is a fantastic opportunity to plug in to the culture of Cornwall. Cornwall has a tradition of these sort of songs, they were sang to galvanize men. It comes from the days of sailing when there was a lot of manual hard labour, so turning a capstan to bring up a chained anchor, hauling on ropes to pull in sails and shift yard arms and things."

Sea shantys have been having a pop culture moment thanks to a Scottish postman who went viral after performing his rendition of the 19th century song "Wellerman" on TikTok.

This pop re-mix of his song reached number one in the UK music charts and he has reportedly been offered a record deal.

"The 'Wellerman' song is a great song and thanks to that guy Nathan Evans who put that out on TikTok. It went viral as we all know and lots of people suddenly said 'Hey, there's something here with sea shanties', they're not just for old fogies sitting down making nets on a wharf side."

Bryher's Boys were invited by Reuters to perform ahead of the G7 summit.

It's their first opportunity to perform live since March 2020 and they even wrote G7 themed lyrics to mark the moment, on Reuters' request.

Next up will be the International Sea Shanty Festival festival - which will be streamed online and hopefully a return to normal live performances very soon.

"We do it because we love it. It's a passion for all of us, we enjoy singing, we enjoy performing and putting smiles on people's faces. And as I say, it's a job for life, there's no escape."