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Sea shanty reaches number three on UK singles chart

By | Published on Monday 1 February 2021

Nathan Evans

It’s official: sea shanties are still big news and are set to stay that way for at least another two to three days. Maybe even through to Thursday evening. Who knows? Anyway, Nathan Evans’ TikTok famous version of seventeenth century knee-lifter ‘Soon May The Wellerman Come’ – remixed by 220 Kid and Billen Ted – reached number three in the UK singles chart on Friday.

In a slight variation on the quote he has given to every media outlet over the last week or so (ie “I was postman, now this!”), Evans said: “It is absolutely amazing and so surreal. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d have gone from a postman to having a song sitting third in the charts in the space of two weeks. It’s incredible!”.

So that’s nice. Fans of chart facts might also like to know that Evans’ version of ‘Wellerman’ is the highest chart debut by a Scottish artist since 2011, when Emelie Sandé reached number two with ‘Heaven’.

Another version of the song, by The Longest Johns, is now at number 52 in the chart, dropping from number 37 last week. It had previously entered the Top 40 on the back of the hype surrounding Evan’s then-not-officially-released viral version.

Shanties are still no match for celebrity diary entries though, with Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’ staying at number one in the UK singles chart for a third week. Sabrina Carpenter’s response to that song, ‘Skin’, is also a new entry at 28.