Actually the origin of shantey singing is much deeper than previously thought. It seems that the term is derived from ANT(so ch/sh, who cares?) and hints at connections to our animal brethren hitherto undreamt.
I offer the following true quote as evidence for my thesis. Bernie Krause is a world-renowned nature audio-recorder. He describes an encounter in the rainforest this way:
"We set up camp for the night, commenting on how amazed we were by life we have found and recorded here. Then just before sundown we recorded ants singing...I dropped a little lapel mike into the hole leading to their nest...At that point I switched on my recorder and discovered, much to my surprise, that they were emitting a plaintive, high pitched sound, a kind of CALL & RESPONSE. They were COORDINATING THEIR MOVEMENT THROUGH SOME KIND OF DIALOGUE, we realized..."
Pretty amazing, eh?