This acapella group from County Mayo performed a haunting version of a Scottish sea shanty in a Mayo pub, in 2016. 

The Coda singing group, which consists of seven local singers, performed the "Mingulay Boat Song", at Matt Molloy's Yard Bar in Westport, in August 2016. 

The sea shanty pays homage to the island of Mingulay, located in the Outer Hebrides in the Scottish Isles. The island was deserted in 1912, long before Sir Hugh Roberton penned the sea shanty in the 1930s. 

Roberton's shanty describes fishermen sailing homeward to their waiting families on the isle of Mingulay, while its tune is part of the old Gaelic song "Òran na Comhachaig".  The song's origins are shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been composed in the late 18th or early 19th century. It was likely passed down through oral tradition, with each generation adding their own interpretation and embellishments to the lyrics and melody.


The Coda singing group comprises seven singers from diverse vocal and instrumental backgrounds, including folk, trad, blues, rock, and pop music. The group combines their diverse backgrounds with their experience of singing multi-part vocal harmonies to create a fresh and unique sound. 

The group sings a wide variety of numbers, including acapella, traditional, contemporary, and self-accompanied songs. 

Group members Declan Askin, Brian Lennon, Alan Drumm, Conall Ó Domhnaill, Mike Cannon, Steve Bryant, and Leonard Kelly have been performing live in locations around Mayo for a number of years, while a selection of their performances can be seen on their YouTube channel. 

The group's most popular video - a stunning performance of the sea shanty "Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her" - has amassed more than 3.4 million views on YouTube since it was posted 12 years ago. 

Have a listen to "Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her" and see what you think:

What's your favorite acapella song? Let us know in the comments. 

* Originally published in March 2023, updated in Oct 2023.