Liverpool Docks in the Nineteenth Century

A new choir led by Professor Gerry Smyth will help revive a 200-year old Liverpool song tradition.

Shanty-singing developed on the transatlantic trade routes in the decades following the Napoleonic wars. Many songs in this powerful tradition reference Liverpool, as one of the great port cities of the international maritime imagination. The new choir will specialise in these Liverpool-based shanties, offering an opportunity for anyone who enjoys singing to celebrate a forgotten aspect of the city’s heritage.

Songs tend to be quite simple – based on a ‘call and response’ format utilised in a range of working environments. Unison singing prevails, harmony is minimal; timing, enthusiasm and volume are the most important qualities!

For further information about the choir and practice times, please contact Professor Gerry Smyth on