Put It On The Ground

This song, published in both “The Little Red Song Book” and “Sing Out” magazine, was closely associated with the Industrial Workers of the World, an international trade union movement. The song’s copyright is marked 1947. Recording’s are scarce. This arrangement uses the lead-sheet published in “The Little Red Song Book” as a starting point. One point of difference is the last line of each verse, where I have used a Peter Paul & Mary recording as a reference point.
The arrangement is mostly in two parts, bass and melody. In the last line of both verse and chorus, I have added an alto line. In the first line of the chorus I have added a tenor line, and at the cadences notes for tenor and alto are added. In short, this is for a small group of singers, who may not be able to muster the forces for SATB throughout the song. The “missing” voices could easily be added later.

Sheet Music .pdf

Practice Tracks

How to download practice tracks:





All Parts


Peter Paul & Mary Recording


The Price of The Coal: Climate Change

Here is an adaptation of a song written by Wendy Richardson. The original song focuses on the price of the coal in the context of the lives of the miners. This version of the song, with verses written by members of the Illawarra Union Singers, focuses on the price of the coal in terms of environmental costs.

The arrangement is in 2 parts, for higher and lower voices.

Sheet Music

Practice Tracks

Practice your own part, and then practice singing that part with the both parts track. Click here for instructions on how to save practice tracks from this site.

Upper Voice


Lower Voice


Both Parts


A Sung Demo Track With Both Parts: Male Voices

Here is the sheet music, in .jpg format:

Notes on versions:

The Appin Tragedy

The night of Tuesday, July 24, 1979, shook not only the small mining community of Appin but the entire Illawarra, with the region’s families dependent on their men going underground day after day (Cox 2009).  This song uses words from a poem by Sid Wright, and music written and arranged by Sarah De Jong. This arrangement, for the Illawarra Union Singers, has been transcribed with a couple of tweaks to the bass line, and guitar chords added, by Doug McPherson.

Sheet Music Gm: Score

This is the original key. To save room the unison parts are only written on the soprano/alto stave.

Soprano Part

Soprano & Drum Parts

Soprano & Alto Parts

Tenor Part

Bass Part

Sheet Music Em: Score

This should only be used by a guitarist, with a capo on the 3rd fret.

Sarah De Jong’s Original Sheet Music

Practice Tracks

In most instances, the practice tracks include an introduction, not written into the sheet music.



Melody, Sung with Drum Beat
-Sung by a tenor; not a soprano


Alto, Sung:

The sung parts are only where the alto differs from the soprano line.


Tenor, Sung


Bass, Sung


All parts: These tracks below use combinations of instruments representing the four vocal parts. It may be useful to learn your part and then sing it with the accompaniment of these instrumental parts, to test how well you have learnt the part. Of these two tracks, the string arrangement may be more in keeping with the spirit of the song.

All Parts: Woodwinds

All Parts: Strings

Lyrics: Syllables separated by hyphens

Here is the music in jpg format:

Notes on changes from previous versions of the song.

Cox, B, 2009 ‘Appin mine blast: a day that shook our world’, Illawarra Mercury, 23 July, viewed July 2 2019, <https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/619987/appin-mine-blast-a-day-that-shook-our-world/>

A Lament for Liberal Party Leadership

-Or lack thereof.

This song is based on a somewhat earlier song, “The Nonsense Song”, written at the height of Tony Abbott’s “leadership” of Australia.  This current song only has 3 verses, dealing with the 3 most recent Prime Ministers.

Sheet Music
Sheet Music (Cropped)
Scroll down for the sheet music, with performance notes in .jpg format.

Practice Tracks
Practice Suggestion: Practice your part, singing all the choruses of the song, with the practice track for your part.  Then practice your part against the “All Parts” track.

Chorus: All Parts, Sung


Chorus: Melody, Sopranos and Altos


Chorus: Tenors


Chorus: Bass


Verse and Chorus: Instrumental, Melody

Notes on versions of this song.

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


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


Which Side Are You On?

Arrangement 1

Arrangement 2

Arrangement 3

Arrangement 4

This seminal song was written by Florence Reece in 1931, in Harlan County, Kentucky.  These  arrangements for  a mixed voice choir, the Illawarra Union Singers, by Doug McPherson.

“In 1931, the miners and the mine owners of that region were locked in a bitter and violent struggle (called the Harlan County War). In an attempt to intimidate the Reece family, Sheriff J. H. Blair and his men (hired by the mining company) illegally entered their family home in search of Sam Reece. Sam had been warned in advance and escaped, but Florence and their children were terrorized in his place. That night, after the men had gone, Florence wrote the lyrics to “Which Side Are You On?” on a calendar that hung in the kitchen of her home.”

Many  different performances of this song can be found.  These arrangements are based on a recording made by Florence Reece later in life, recorded live in a broadcast studio, and later released on the album, “Coal Mining Women”.  The  arrangements presented here use Florence’s words and mostly her melody line, but open with the chorus, and repeat the chorus throughout.  Neither the sheet music nor the practice tracks reflect the rhythm changes needed for the words in different verses, particularly in verses 5 and 6.  The arrangements are further informed by the Almanac Singers rendition of the song in 1941. Neither the sheet music nor the practice tracks reflect the rhythm changes needed for the words in different verses, particularly in verses 5 and 6.

Scroll Down, or Click Here for Arrangement 2, Melody, Alto, Tenor and Bass

Arrangement 1

Melody, Tenor and Bass: Altos could sing the bass part, an octave up in the verse.

Sheet Music: .pdf Format
Practice Tracks:

In each of these tracks the targeted voice uses a piano sound.







Harmonically, this arrangement is notated in Dm, but the melody is essentially pentatonic, and could also be considered to be in the (modern) Dorian mode of the C scale; the 6th note and 3rd notes are omitted in the melody.

Arrangement 2

This arrangement is for Melody, (Soprano and/or Tenor), Alto, Tenor and Bass. The chorus is in unison, except for a tenor harmony. In the verses, the Melody and Tenor lines are in unison, with a harmony part written for Alto voice, and a Bass line.

Sheet Music: .pdf Format
Practice Tracks

The melody and bass tracks are the same as in arrangement 1. The alto track is new, and the tenor track dispenses with harmony in the verse and reverts to the melody.  The target voice uses a piano in each track, except the Alto which uses an oboe sound.  The All Parts track is an experiment, and uses the sounds of a wind quartet: flute, oboe, clarinet and basoon.





All Parts

Arrangement 3.2

The differences between versions 2.1 and 3, are the tenor line in the chorus and chords in the chorus, bars 3 and 7.  The alto track is simplified, mirroring the melody except for the first and last bar. The practice tracks use the piano in the target voice. The all parts track uses a wind quartet.

Sheet Music .pdf Format
Practice Tracks

Practice your own part, and then try singing this with the “All Parts” track.





All Parts

Arrangement 4

This arrangement contains a more fully developed alto line, and one note altered in the bass line, 2nd quaver in bar 13 changed from A to F. For melody and tenor practice tracks, see arrangement 3, above.

Sheet Music .pdf
Sheet Music .pdf Cropped
If printing the cropped music, look for a setting that says “Fit”, or “Fit to printer margins.”





All Parts

Here is version 4 in .jpg format:

Notes on Recent Versions of This Arrangement

Source Recordings

Florence Reece

Here is a recording of Florence Reece, with the pitch altered to Dm, the same key as the arrangements above.

The Almanac Singers

Lament for Manus Island

Image Source: https://thenewdaily.com.au

Click here, for the arrangement in parts:

This is a song I felt compelled to write in October 2017, aghast at Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. The second verse of our national anthem has the lines,
“For those who’ve come across the seas,
We’ve boundless plains to share;”.

We should be more compassionate.

Here is a recording of the song. It’s far from a professional recording, but just something I put together in my kitchen.

Sheet Music

Lament for Manus Island 2ii

And finally, here is the song with a slideshow, uploaded to Youtube.

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