Hands up any cultural commentators who predicted that sea shanties would become the most talked-about musical form of January 2021. No-one, right?
The world is an unpredictable place right now, and, inexplicably, this year's first significant musical trend has seen 19th century whaling song Soon May the Wellerman Come explode across social media website TikTok. A version by Scottish postman Nathan Evans was uploaded to TikTok towards the back end of last year and has since generated millions of views, inspired thousands of memes and landed Evans a major label record deal with Polydor. At the time of writing, a dance remix of the song, is sitting at Number 2 in the UK’s mid-week singles chart. Words fail us.
As the sea shanty craze continues to grip our plague islands, Goldie Lookin Chain’s Rhys Hutchings has stepped into the ring with a cutting parody of The Wellerman dedicated to, and ripping the piss out of, copycat fans of ‘Modfather’ Paul Weller.
The opening lyrics of WELLEND (which, by pure coincidence we imagine, rhymes with derogatory British slang word ‘bellend’) runs, “There’s a type of person that you see, with a haircut that’s pure comedy, you see this man in every town and he wants to be Paul Weller” and suggests that this archetype is “stuck in the past” and “loves dad-rock”, because “he wants to be Paul Weller.”
Hutchings goes on to sing:
“Had the same haircut since he was 18
Bought a coat in the sale at Pretty Green
He cried all night when Oasis split
And he wants to be Paul Weller
Thinks he’d look good driving a Vespa
But he looks a bit like a child molester
Watching Quadrophenia three times a week
’Cause he wants to be Paul Weller”
and delivers the chorus:
“So here the Wellerman comes
You can’t stop laughing when you see one
Spent all his money at the hair salon
Trying to look just like Paul Weller”
Say what you like, but it’s undeniably a catchy little ditty.
Please note: while Hutchings suggests that anyone spotting a ‘Wellend’ in the wild should consider snapping a photo and uploading it to Twitter, this behaviour might well land you a slap in the mouth, and, as such, cannot be condoned or encouraged.