Solidarity Forever: An Arrangement for the Illawarra Union Singers

“Solidarity Forever”, written by Ralph Chaplin in 1915, is a popular union anthem. It is sung to the tune of “John Brown’s Body” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic“. Although it was written as a song for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), other union movements have adopted the song as their own.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_Forever

This arrangement, for a small mixed voice choir with guitar accompaniment, sounds like this. It is based on an SATB arrangement by C. Shaw and E. Blyth which is sung by the combined Sydney, Newcastle and Illawarra union choirs.
The key has been lowered from Bb to G.
The melody, identical to the combined choir version except for the lower key, is to be sung in unison by baritone and/or mezzo-soprano voices.

Sheet Music: (.pdf format)
Sheet Music: (.pdf format, cropped)
Lyrics: Word Document

If printing the cropped sheet music, look for a printer setting that says “fit”, or “fit to printer margins”. If that doesn’t work for you download the first, uncropped file.

Practice Tracks

If you aren’t sure how to download tracks from this site, click here.

Melody: Mezzo-Soprano
Melody: Baritone

Identical to the soprano line, except an octave lower.

Alto

The alto part is identical to the combined choir arrangement linked to above. The end of the first verse uses the same notes from verse 2 in that arrangement. The beginning of verse 2 uses the same notes as verses 3 & 4. The pitch is lower than the combined choir version.

Tenor

The tenor part contains a solo harmony line for most of the first verse, to complement the solo sung by a soprano or baritone. This could also be sung by a contralto or a soprano. The rest of the tenor line is the same as the combined choir arrangement, except for the last note of the chorus, and of the coda. The beginning of verse 2 uses the same notes as verses 3 & 4. The pitch is lower than the combined choir version.

All Parts Together

Good practice may be to practice your part with its individual track, and then sing this against the all parts track.

Notes on previous versions:

And finally here is the sheet music in jpg format:

And the lyrics as text:

Solidarity: IUS Version

When the union’s inspiration through the workers’ blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun,
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
But the Union makes us strong!

Chorus
Solidarity forever, solidarity forever,
Solidarity forever,
For the Union makes us strong!

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite,
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?
For the union makes us strong!

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn,
We can break their haughty power gain our freedom when we learn,
That the Union makes us strong!

In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand fold,
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old,
For the Union makes us strong!

Coda After Final Chorus:

For the Union makes us strong!

Banks Are Made of Marble

This song was written in 1949 by Les Rice, a farmer from New York State, USA. It deals with the perverse injustice, exploitation and inequality Rice saw all around him. Pete Seeger wrote about Les Rice and this song: “Like most small farmers, he was getting intolerably squeezed by the big companies which sold him all his fertilizer, insecticide and equipment, and the big companies that dictated to him the prices he would get for his produce. Out of that squeeze came this song.”
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/banksofmarble.html

It seems to me that the song has particular resonance and currency in Australia at the moment, following the largely ineffectual Royal Commission into Banking. This arrangement is based on an earlier Michael Roper arrangement.

Sheet Music: (pdf, tightly cropped)

To print the music above, look for a setting that says “Fit” or “Fit to Printer Margins”, for a nice big printout, or if that doesn’t work, print the music below.

Sheet Music: (pdf, margins)
Practice Tracks

Soprano/Melody: 2 Verses Plus Chorus

 

Soprano/Melody: Final Chorus

 

Soprano/Melody: Final Chorus; With Click Track

 

Alto: Chorus Only

 

Tenor: Chorus Only

 

Bass: Chorus Only

 

Bass: Chorus Only, With Click Track

 

Here is a recording of the Weavers singing the song, in Bb:

 

And the same Weavers’ recording, with a pitch shift to C:

This last recording with the pitch shift puts the recording into the same key as the arrangement presented here.

How to download practice tracks.

Finally here is the sheet music in .jpg format:

Notes on version changes.

Love and Justice: A Song

An adaptation of “Love and Justice”, a women’s anthem by independent musician and ARIA award winner Kavisha  Mazzella. The Illawarra Union Singers thank Kavisha for her permission to perform the song, adapting it for a small mixed voice choir.

Sheet Music

The Original Sheet Music

Lyrics

The files below are adapted from this original music. If using the lyric sheet above, the following arrangement skips the “ah” chorus, and abbreviates the fanfare.

Adapted Sheet Music 1.9 

If you have a previous copy of the adapted sheet music or practice tracks this file documents, in part at least, changes made.

Practice Tracks

These practice tracks work closely with the adapted sheet music. The exact phrasing of the words in verses 2 and 3 may not be identical to what needs to be sung. They are all about 20% slower than the performance tempo. Good preparation might include practising your own part, and then, when confident, practice with the “All Parts” track. Click here for instructions on how to download these practice tracks.

Soprano With Click Track

 

Soprano Without Click Track

 

Alto With Click Track

 

Tenor With Click Track

 

Tenor Without Click Track

 

Bass With Click Track

 

Bass Without Click Track

 

All Parts

 

And as a reference point:

The Original Recording

And, (inspiring, but somewhat daunting), from YouTube,
The Original Amazing Performance

 

Walk On

This is an arrangement of a song by ‘Dogmatic Music’, From  ‘Walk On’ Kit – Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day. The educational resource, to commemorate Sorry Day or Reconciliation Week, designed for schools can be purchased and downloaded here.
You can hear their excellent rendition of the song here.
You can find out more about Dogmatic Music and band members Paul McGee, Neil McCann, John Littrich and Sarah McCann here.

You can find out about John Littrich’s amazing folk band, the Water Runners here.

Many thanks to John Littrich for allowing the Illawarra Union Singers to use this song.

Sheet Music

This sheet music, arranged in 3 parts is adapted from the original Dogmatic sheet music.  In a mixed voice choir, the main melody marked alto in the score could be sung by altos and/or baritone voices. The line marked S for soprano, could be sung by sopranos and/or tenor voices. The bass line should be sung by basses.
Score, (All Parts)

Soprano (Upper Voices) (with piano fingering)

Alto (Main Melody, Middle Voices)

Bass

Practice Tracks

Good practice is to sing the part you are learning on its own, and then test your learning by singing it against the “All Parts” track.  These practice tracks contain a “click” track, to signal the tempo, and tempo changes in the coda.

Soprano (Upper Voices)

Alto (Main Melody, Middle Voices)

Bass

All Parts

The next practice tracks contain vocals, but no click track. They are only practice tracks, not recordings of performance quality.

Soprano (Upper Voices): Vocals

Alto (Main Melody, Middle Voices): Vocals (Sung with Baritone Voice)

Alto (Main Melody, Middle Voices): Vocals (Sung with “Alto” Voice)

 

 

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Pete Seeger’s simple but effective song about mankind’s inability to learn the lessons of history. A simple arrangement for the Illawarra Union Singers.  Scroll down for Pete’s story about how the song came to be.

Sheet Music: PDF

Practice Track

Pete Seeger on how the song came to be written:

“I had been reading a long novel, “And Quiet Flows the Don”—about the Don River in Russia and the Cossacks who lived along it in the 19th century. It describes the Cossack soldiers galloping off to join the Czar’s army, singing as they go. Three lines from a song are quoted in the book: ‘Where are the flowers? The girls plucked them / Where are the girls? They’re all married / Where are the men? They’re all in the army.’ I never got around to looking up the song, but I wrote down those three lines.

“Later, in an airplane, I was dozing, and it occurred to me that the line ‘long time passing’—which I had also written in a notebook—would sing well. Then I thought, ‘When will we ever learn.’ Suddenly, within 20 minutes, I had a song. There were just three verses. I Scotch-taped the song to a microphone and sang it at Oberlin College. This was in 1955.

“One of the students there had a summer job as a camp counselor. He took the song to the camp and sang it to the kids. It was very short. He gave it rhythm, which I hadn’t done. The kids played around with it, singing ‘Where have all the counselors gone? / Open curfew, everyone.’

“The counselor added two actual verses: ‘Where have all the soldiers gone? / Gone to graveyards every one / Where have all the graveyards gone? / Covered with flowers every one.’ Joe Hickerson is his name, and I give him 20 percent of the royalties. That song still brings in thousands of dollars from all around the world.”
From: http://performingsongwriter.com/pete-seeger-flowers-gone/

And finally, a site which offers Pete Seeger’s unaccompanied original 1960 version of the song, and over 100 different versions and adaptations:
https://secondhandsongs.com/work/9593

Version Notes

I Come and Stand at Every Door

These lyrics from an original Turkish poem by Nazim Hikmet, English translation by Jeanette Turner were set to music by Pete Seeger in 1962, using music by James Waters, (“The Great Silkie”).

Pete sang the song in C, and later in life D. Choirs might usefully sing it in D or E. Note that the song is actually in the myxolidian mode, starting on the 5th note of the key signature.


Scroll down or click here for the latest version, Version 2.


Sheet Music: “D”

Practice Track in “D”

Practice Track in “E”


v2

Version 2

This version has each verse written out, with music, words and dynamic markings. This arrangement, in particular the phrasing, is based on a live performance originally released on a 1964 album,  “I Can See A New Day”.

Sheet Music: D (.pdf format)

Sheet Music: E (.pdf format)

Practice Tracks

Key of E (Myxolidian Mode)

Key of D (Myxolidian Mode)

The Pete Seeger version this arrangement is based on:

Here’s Pete, just months before his death:

And a performance with the Irish Sands Family.

 

One World, One Chance: A Song

I don’t know the provenance of this song. The two bits of sheet music I have found have the attribution, “Devised by Raised Voices of Climate Change Demonstration”, London December 3rd 2005. Tune: “Mayenziwe ‘Ntando Yakho”.

Full SATB Version

(Scroll down or click here for a simplified version)

Sheet Music: PDF
All Parts
Soprano or Melody
Alto
Tenor
Bass

Melody Alto & Tenor

Practice Tracks

As usual, good practice would be to practice your individual part and then test your mastery of that part using the “All Parts” track.

Melody

Alto

Tenor

Bass

All Parts

Melody and Alto

Version 1.ii contains a couple of piano fingering numbers, and the pickup measure is just the single quaver.

Simplified SATB Version

This version, for a smaller group of mixed voices has the tenor  singing the melody, along with the soprano, and the basses singing the alto line, (obviously an octave lower), with the exception of 3 notes at the end of lines 1 & 2, and the last line.

Sheet Music (.pdf)

All Parts
Soprano
Alto
Tenor
Bass

Practice Tracks: (Sung)

Soprano/Melody
(This track has a tenor voice singing, (an octave lower), over the soprano instrumental track.)

 

Alto
(Vocals start verse 2)

 

Tenor

 

Bass
This track has alternate bass notes sung at the end of lines 1 & 2, and the last line. Vocals start verse 2.

 

Join Your Union: A Song

A song by John Warner ©John Warner 2006
Tune Hymn “Bread of Heaven”
“Guide me oh thou great Jehovah/Redeemer”
Welsh tune: Cwm Rhondda.
Composed by John Hughes (1873-1932).

Scroll down for lyrics, music and practice tracks.

See also the simplified arrangement of this song!

See John Warner’s website,  http://www.folkjohnwarner.com/, where you can find  John’s full set of lyrics for this and many other wonderful songs he has written.

Here is a recording of Margaret Walters, http://www.margaretwalters.com/, and John Warner singing the song, in the key of A flat.


That key is a bit high for some choirs and singers.  Below are resources for an arrangement for the Illawarra Union Singers.  I’m suggesting either F for unison singing, or G for part singing.  The guitar  chords on the lyrics below are in the key of E, and would require a capo. Note also, the chords in the key of G on the sheet music, probably a better solution if the song is sung in G.  On a Windows computer right click on any title to download the related file. On Android press and hold.

Lyrics with Chords (pdf)

Lyrics with Chords (Word)


Practice Tracks

These are for the 4 verse and chorus arrangement,  with a one bar bridge before each verse, and a repeat of the last chorus.

F Major for Unison Singing

G Major for Part Singing

Melody: G Major

Alto: G Major

Bass: G Major 


Sheet Music: Click Title for PDF
Melody: Portrait
Melody: Landscape
Alto

Bass


Joe Hill: The Song

Public Domain,

Scroll down for lyrics, sheet music and practice tracks.

Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle, Sweden, and also known as Joseph Hillström (October 7, 1879– November 19, 1915) was a songwriter, itinerant laborer, and union organizer, who became famous around the world after a Utah court (wrongly) convicted him of murder. Even before the international campaign to have his conviction reversed, however, Joe Hill was well known in hobo jungles, on picket lines and at workers’ rallies as the author of popular labor songs and as an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) agitator. Continue reading “Joe Hill: The Song”

The Internationale

ahewar_logoHere is an arrangement of this truly revolutionary song, The Internationale, the original words by Eugene Pottier (1871), and music by Pierre De Geyter (1888). This arrangement in G major, for the Illawarra Union Singers, by Doug McPherson (2016) from an arrangement by Jerry Engelbach, (2001).

Sheet Music With Words: Latest version repeats last line.

Guitar Chords and Melody, (I Page) -Latest Version 1.5

 

Piano, Guitar Chords and Melody, (2 Pages)

Practice Tracks:  On a PC, right click on the title to download; on Android, click and hold.

Chords and Melody (Latest Version 1.5)

Version Changes: This document details what changes may have been made from previous versions.

Some performances to guide and inspire: Firstly, Arturo Toscanini, himself a refugee from Fascist Italy, conducting a choir and orchestra, in a performance censored by the US government. Note the use of dynamics.

The Red Army Choir and Orchestra performs revolutionary songs rather well.

And, of course, who else but Pete Seeger:

And finally, the music in .jpg format.

Guitar Chords and Melody

Piano, Guitar Chords and Melodyinternationale_pno_guit_mel_v1_page_1internationale_pno_guit_mel_v1_page_2