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It’s Getting Really Hard to Sing Advance Australia Fair -Simpler Version

An older more complex arrangement of this can be found by clicking here.

The version below, 1.3, has the alto voices doubling the bass part, except for the ends of lines 4 and 5.  There is no tenor line, but there are descant notes in the melody line for the cadences, again at the ends of lines 4 and 5. These could be sung by a tenor and/or a soprano.

This   song is Keith Binns’ 2014 rewrite of the lyrics to Advance Australia Fair; a commentary on the xenophobia inherent in our current policy on asylum seekers arriving by boat.

Sheet Music

Key of Bb

SATB (Scanned “Original” Music)



Key of G: For Guitarist. Capo 3rd Fret for Bb



Practice Tracks

All Parts


Melody, (With Descant Cadences)


Join Your Union: Simplified

Simplified Arrangement

Click here for a more complex arrangement.

The resources below are for an arrangement of John Warner’s song, with the Alto line the same as the Bass, except for the end of each phrase. The basses of course sing an octave lower. The tenor line is identical to the melody, except for a phrase at the end of the 1st line, and a phrase in the chorus.

Practice Tracks
Instructions on downloading practice tracks.

Melody: Sung


Tenor: Sung (V2)


Alto: Sung


Bass: Sung


Alto: Instrumental


Bass Instrumental

Sheet Music

(Click on titles to download)

Score (Cropped)

Melody Sheet Music
Portrait (pdf)
Landscape (pdf)

Simplified Tenor Sheet Music

Simplified Alto and Bass Sheet Music
Portrait (pdf)
Landscape: Larger, Easier to Read (pdf)

Simplified Alto & Bass Sheet Music: Bass Clef
Simplified Alto & Bass Sheet Music: Bass Clef (Cropped)

Notes on versions of this arrangement.

Singing Exercise: Octave Glissandi For Altos

This is an exercise in seamlessly changing registers, moving from one part of the voice to another. The aim should be a smooth sound sliding from one note to another, and back again. The exercise is probably easier to sing than to read about, so feel free to jump in, play the sound file and sing along. DON’T FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF BREATH SUPPORT!

The first exercise is written for  altos. This exercise starts with a slide from the F below middle C, to the F above middle C. It then moves up chromatically, by semitone, finishing with a slide from middle C to C above middle C.  This range starts at the bottom of the alto range, as defined by the New Harvard Dictionary of Music, and finishes a tone below the top of the Alto Range

Octave Slurs for Altos 1

Octave Slurs for Altos 1 Sheet Music: .pdf

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)


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)


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)



Ballad of 1891

This is a song about the 1891 Australian shearers’ strike.  The song has been arranged in three parts:
Words: Helen Palmer; Music: Doreen Jacobs; ©1950 Doreen Bridges

Sheet Music
Here is the definitive score, I’ve worked from, sourced from the Sydney Trade Union Choir, (STUC) in Cm.
Sydney Trade Union Choir Score (.pdf)

From this I transcribed individual parts.  Lyrics to be sung in unison, (or by male singers only), are in bold italics. Some numbered piano fingerings are included, along with guitar chords in the melody part. These are all .pdf files.
I’ve also created a lead sheet, with just the melody line, transposed to Am. To get to Cm, use a capo on the 3rd fret..
Melody/Soprano Am

Lyrics (Word Document)
Lyrics (.pdf)

Practice Tracks (Instrumental)



All Parts

If aiming for the Sydney Trade Union Choir arrangement, perhaps the best thing to listen to is their stunning performance:

STUC Performance

Also, have a listen to two different Bushwacker’s Band performances.


Power In A Union

Here is an arrangement of Billy Bragg’s veritable anthem, “Power In A Union”, based on the American Civil War song, “The Battle Cry of Freedom”, which was written by the wonderfully named George F. Root. This arrangement by Christine Evans, with annotations including chords and the appropriate entry point for the bass voices. Aside from these annotations neither any of the arrangement, nor any of the practice tracks are my work.

Sheet Music (.pdf)

Practice Tracks





It’s worth having a listen to Billy Bragg in full voice and flight!

Finally here is the score in picture, .jpg, format.


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.”

And finally, a site which offers Pete Seeger’s unaccompanied original 1960 version of the song, and over 100 different versions and adaptations:

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”


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

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.





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

Practice Tracks: (Sung)

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


(Vocals start verse 2)




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,, 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,, 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