It happens all the time, of course, hearing an old song from the British Isles...
And recognising it as something like an American folk song - in this case a sea chantey. I learned this on Channel 11 - public television out of UNH - in the 1960's. We were made to learn a lot of these things at school. New England heritage and all that.
Lyrics to the latter here. Clearly, someone thought these were uproariously funny at the time. I'm betting there wasn't much of a tradition of standup comedy on board whalers, if the chanteys I learned are any indication. Of course, these may have been post-rum-ration songs, in which case I'm sure they were just fine for the purpose.
Sponge-headed Scienceman did something on Chanteys a while ago. Hmm. Almost a year ago.