Ronan Keating and Gary Barlow cover traditional Kiwi sea shanty

music news 19/01/2021

Boyzone's Ronan Keating and Take That's Gary Barlow have teamed up for another epic duet and this time, the song they have chosen has Kiwi roots.

The song they covered is a classic whaling song called Soon May The Wellerman Come, also known as Wellerman.

The sea shanty originated in New Zealand and frequently refers to the wellermen, supply ships owned by the Weller Brothers.

It continues its chorus with "And bring us sugar and tea and rum," and thus illustrates that Weller Bros were major suppliers of shore whalers.

"The workers at these bay-whaling stations were not paid wages, they were paid in slops (ready made clothing), spirits and tobacco."

First published in a book of New Zealand folk songs in 1973, the song became an unlikely viral hit on TikTok this year.