A form of singing, rarely used these days. Originally used by sailors to sync and time an action on a sea vessel, such as the raising of the main sail (An effort that demands everyone pulling the rope at the same time for maximum effect). In this way the chanty can relate to blues music, originating from work-related songs to the more advanced singing and recording. The chanties tell the tales of the sailors from all over the world, and exists in every sea-fareing nations. Often, the chanties are basis from childrens songs.

A more modern spelling variety would be shanty.
A note on the spelling: The varieties are chantey, chanty and shanty. According to dictionary.com, a shanty is more likely to mean a shabby house, while chantey / chanty refers to the song style.

An example:

Stand Navy down the field,
Sails set to the sky.
We'll never change our course,
So Army you steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll up the score, Navy,
Anchors Aweigh.
Sail Navy down the field
And sink the Army, sink the Army Grey.

Get underway, Navy,
Decks cleared for the fray,
We'll hoist true Navy Blue
So Army down your Grey-y-y-y.
Full speed ahead, Navy;
Army heave to,
Furl Black and Grey and Gold
And hoist the Navy, hoist the Navy Blue

Blue of the Seven Seas;
Gold of God's great sun
Let these our colors be Till
All of time be done-n-n-ne,
By Severn shore we learn
Navy's stern call:
Faith, courage, service true
With honor over, honor over all.


(Copyright 1906 (expired): Lt. Charles A. Zimmermann)

Chant"ey (?), n. [Cf. F. chanter to sing, and Chant. n.]

A sailor's song.

May we lift a deep-sea chantey such as seamen use at sea? Kipling.

 

© Webster 1913.

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