Blow the noodles down, bullies, blow the noodles down!

Yes, we’ve heard about the recent popularity of sea shanties on Tik-Tok and other youth social media. Also the idea of musically combining sea shanties with modern rap or pop music. 
All of that still leaves most of this Bliss cartoon unexplained!

“I am wearying of the crew’s constant repetition of the same old sea shanties.”


  1. I think they’re going by the other meaning of “shanty”, which is “shack.” “Ramen Shanty” is a fast-food joint, apparently. So this is like it was called “Noodle Shack” or something. And “Ramen Shanty” sells a lot of fusion cuisine, using things that you wouldn’t normally expect to fuse. It’s playing on the fact that ramen is now really popular, and there are many ramen variations.

    It fails as a joke for the same reason that a bunch of jokes a decade or two or three did, where they were making fun of all the flavors of beer, or coffee, or ice cream that were coming out — because, like this one, you would read those menus and go, “Okay, well, I can see that … that might work.”

  2. “Yes, we’ve heard about the recent popularity of sea shanties on Tik-Tok and other youth social media.”

    I first heard about this on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show . . . hardly a ‘youth social media’. When he first said it, I DID think it was all about shanties/shacks; not until he began to sing one did I realize it’s all about shanties/songs.

  3. As someone who grew up listening to the guys on Mitch Miller singing “A Shanty In Old Shantytown,” this was totally understandable to me.

    As for the menu, it seems to be combinations of ramen with other food court staples. Call it Food Court Fusion Cuisine.

  4. Ian is surely right that calling it a shanty is meant to be in the tradition of Radio Shack and Pizza Hut. But why was the word shanty in their head in the first place? There’s a strong likelihood it springs from the recent strange surge of popularity of shanties in the song sense.

    Andrea, sure we are now hearing about it via Colbert and NPR. But TikTok has only very recently allowed adults. 🙄

  5. Andréa and Dana K, sorry I wrote this sentence with a structural ambiguity that led you to an unintended reading, and an unnecessary disagreement.

    “Yes, we’ve heard about the recent popularity of sea shanties on Tik-Tok and other youth social media.”

    The “other youth social media” (or the whole “on Tik-Tok and other youth social media”) was meant as complement to “popularity”; but I see it did allow a reading with them as complement to “heard about”. So no call to decide whether the place you or I heard about it counts as youth social media, that wasn’t what the phrase was meant to say.

  6. I don’t think there’s any connection to sea shanties. It’s just another synonym for “shack”.

  7. As a guy who lives under a rock, could someone fill me in on this recent popularity of sea shanties?

    I’ve yet to hear about it.

  8. Right, I knew it was a shack when I read it, but instantly my mind was pulled to the song meaning because of shanties being popular last week. I found THAT out on one of the late night shows where they made up a new shanty.

    Actually, I think I had never thought of them as the same word and so I started to doubt my whole reality around the word shanty for a moment.

  9. You’re onto something, cxp.

    Etymonline gives

    shanty (n.2)
    "sea song," 1867, alternative spelling of chanty (n.).

    and then under chanty(n)

    chanty (n.)
    1856, also shanty, chantey "song with a boisterous chorus, sung by sailors while heaving or hoisting anything heavy;" probably an alteration of French chanter "to sing," from Latin cantare "to sing" (from PIE root *kan- "to sing"). Perhaps the immediate source is French chantez, imperative of chanter. The purpose was to enable them to pull or heave together in time with the song.

  10. P.S. In case anyone is interested in the other sense, here again is Etymonline:

    shanty (n.1)
    "rough cabin," 1820, from Canadian French chantier "lumberjack's headquarters," in French, "timberyard, dock," from Old French chantier "gantry," from Latin cantherius "rafter, frame" (see gantry). Shanty Irish in reference to the Irish underclass in the U.S., is from 1928 (title of a book by Jim Tully).

  11. Well, I hadn’t heard of theTik-Tok Sea shanty thing until 3 hours and 57 minutes ago.

    But I had been noticing for the last year or so an obsession with Ramen as though it is understood to be the most desirable and perfect food.

    So if shanty means “shack” or “food booth” and concentrating on the current ramen obsession this… almost … makes sense and the tik-tok shanty fad is bonus.

    (Hadn’t heard of the sea shanty aspect of it but was aware of the white cat that likes to bob its head to the beat. ANd as sea shanties have the best beat of any music — they exist so you can work in unison— it makes sense that shanties are a thing as we need something for that white cat to bob its head too.)

  12. Then there’s the question of timing – was this panel created before, or after, the sea chantey craze? If he was working a couple weeks ahead, as normal, the link may be entirely coincidental. Or the craze has been going on longer than I was aware of it, which is perfectly possible – but I heard about it from a song-mad online community, so I suspect I heard it pretty early (less than 2 weeks ago).

  13. “Yes, we’ve heard about the recent popularity of sea shanties on Tik-Tok and other youth social media.”

    That would be a no for me.

  14. With regard to fusion cuisine, a food court at a mall near me had among all the booths three which were owned by the same owner and shared a kitchen: a Chinese food place that had such offerings as General Tso’s Chicken, Beef with Broccoli, Chicken with Cashews, brown rice and white rice; a Tex Mex place that had chili, Texas brisket, General Tso’s Chicken, Beef with Broccoli, Chicken with Cashews, brown rice and white rice, and a Cajun place that had Blackened Chicken, Blackened Fish, General Tso’s Chicken, Beef with Broccoli, Chicken with Cashews, brown rice, white rice and dirty rice.

  15. A bit from The Big Bang Theory that I really liked had a sea chanty (the spelling that seems natural to me):

  16. Andrea

    They may be good … but it doesn’t have the bopping cat! And if it doesn’t have the bopping cat I’m not interested.

  17. As far as “shanty=shack”, “shanty=song”, “shanty/chanty” things — it sure looks to me like the “shanty” spelling of “song sailors sing” is influenced from “shanty=shack.” According to Etymology Online, “shanty”, meaning “a crude cabin”, is attested from 1820, deriving from a French term for a lumber camp headquarters used in Canada. “Shanty town” is attested fifteen years after that. “Chanty” is attested from 1856; “shanty” is attested eleven years later, in 1867.

    Obviously, first attestations in print doesn’t tell you when people STARTED using the word — but “chanty” makes more sense as an original spelling, and I can see people making a pretty fast connection between sailors and cheap lodgings when they’re on shore, and the whole concept kind of squishing together pretty quickly. And now, of course, “shanty” is the preferred spelling.

  18. Dan Drazen: All this talk about sea shanties and NOT ONE REFERENCE to “Louie Louie.”

    I was going to add, how about “Hang on Sloopy”? But on reviewing the lyrics, and checking this video:

    then I realized my decades old picture of someone literally hanging onto a boat as it takes a sharp turn too fast, was entirely a confabulation. There is nothing marine about that song! Yikes!

    (Well, except for the syllable “sloop” which can be a kind of boat.)

  19. I can understand the Captain’s frustration over the same old sea shanties. The ship doesn’t have a music store where you can buy new ones, and traveling musicians almost never show up to bring new tunes.

  20. Since I looked up shanty/chanty stuff on Google yesterday, today YouTube figures I want to view videos on the topic.

  21. One of my favorite music resources:
    (keep scrolling down the page past all the “related threads” listings to the actual discussion relating to the history of shanties.) Poke around the forum for more discussions on the subject.

    Very briefly, shanties/chanties were sung only when actually doing work (hoisting sails, etc.) and only on merchant vessels, apparently.

    Adam Neely is already one of my favorite music discussion channels on YT. He breaks down the shifts in “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Interestingly the Adam Neely video posted ties in with Stephen Colbert’s ranting on the subject. Watching his show as it aired was how I became aware of the TikTok meme.

    Maybe the whole thing might get young folks interested in folk music. 🙂

  22. deety — Hunh. I’ve … been writing the URL wrong in my brain for years now. No wonder you couldn’t find it. That’s embarrassing.
    It’s It’s just… I googled it first, and it’s now in my address bar, and it autocompletes, and I didn’t even THINK about it.

    On the screen, it’s titled “The Online Etymology Dictionary”, and that’s what it is. It does have brief definitions of words, but it is mainly breaking down history and etymology.

    Here’s the entry for “kale”, to just pick an arbitrary word:

    kale (n.)
    also kail, “cabbage, any kind of greens with curled or wrinkled leaves,” c. 1300, a variant of cawul (see cole (n.1)), surviving in Scottish and northern English. Slang meaning “money” is from 1902, from the notion of leaves of green.

    Entries related to kale

    You can see that the definition is rudimentary. It’s true enough — kale is a member of the cabbage family — but if you didn’t already have a great idea of what kale is, this would only help a little. But then it tells you WHEN the word showed up, and connects it to things.

    I like to use it for it’s Proto-Indo-European information:

  23. *bhel- (1)
    Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to shine, flash, burn,” also “shining white” and forming words for bright colors.

    It forms all or part of: beluga; Beltane; black; blancmange; blanch; blank; blanket; blaze (n.1) “bright flame, fire;” bleach; bleak; blemish; blench; blende; blend; blind; blindfold; blitzkrieg; blond; blue (adj.1); blush; conflagration; deflagration; effulgence; effulgent; flagrant; flambe; flambeau; flamboyant; flame; flamingo; flammable; Flavian; Flavius; fulgent; fulminate; inflame; inflammable; phlegm; phlegmatic; phlogiston; phlox; purblind; refulgent; riboflavin.

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit bhrajate “shines;” Greek phlegein “to burn;” Latin flamma “flame,” fulmen “lightning,” fulgere “to shine, flash,” flagrare “to burn, blaze, glow;” Old Church Slavonic belu “white;” Lithuanian balnas “pale.”

  24. “Adam Neely is already one of my favorite music discussion channels on YT”

    The only other person I know of named Neely is Erica, who’s a filker. I wonder if they’re related.

  25. Interestingly, the “Reader” view just shows the URL for your bangordailynews item, but the “normal” view shows the video clip.

  26. I’m about to give up on this “Reader” view. Andréa, I was apparently citing the wrong citation from you. Just ignore my prior comment. It might or might not be true, and I can’t find the “Reader” one again to make sure. I’m giving up.

  27. Ed, the Reader view shows comments in threads, indented and attached according to what prior comment they are replying to. So your comment is there, just below Andrea’s one that you are replying to.

  28. What WordPress Reader view does is suppress the style sheet of the site’s own Theme, and use a generic style sheet for all the bits it shows, from all sites you are following. That’s good in some ways and not so good in others.

    Here I am doing a blockquote. On the CIDU site proper it will probably show in that “unwieldy” large print, that becomes awkward quite quickly. But in Reader view I think it will show as a neatly encapsulated paragraph with a vertical bar down the side.

    That’s an example of how it may be better for some things. Your observation of how some page links containing media are displayed is perhaps an example on the other side.

  29. Ed, I see Andréa’s bangordailynews item as a text URL in four different views (CIDU site in web browser with theme, WordPress Reader view, and two different Admin page interfaces). Several others of hers in this topic do embed as images or videos inline, in most of those views; but not this one.

    ( And I guess this is what you meant to correct, but couldn’t find the place to post your reply. The indent/threading of reply comments is one of the features of Reader view that is good in some respects but bad in others, as Deety was saying.)

  30. I had to admit that I’ve NO IDEA what y’all’re talkin’ about . . . should I be doing something different when I post something?

  31. Andréa, the discussion among Deety, Ed, and some others is about different ways of VIEWING or READING the site. It’s not dependent on how you are doing your COMMENTING, which is entirely great!

  32. Good to know – thanks!
    All I know is that I get notifications of new posts/comments via email and can read them there, or click on the heading and read them in my browser. I like to keep it simple, and I have no complaints. I keep the notifications in a CIDU folder thru which I can do a search for a keyword if I want to go back and add a post.

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