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.”

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.

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.


The Hammer Song Arranged for 4 Voices

(If I had a hammer) Scroll down for the sheet music and practice tracks.

An arrangement for the Union Singers, of the song originally by Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes. -From an arrangement by Tom Bridges, for 4 voices, all 4 verses.

In many ways the definitive arrangements must be the Weavers renditions, both songwriters being in the group, and this “folk-swing” feel is what I’m after.  Here are two Weaver’s recordings of the song:

if_I_had_a_hammer_v2_swing - satb_Page_1

Sheet Music:

Download the sheet music, in the original key of E flat, as a .pdf file here!
Download the sheet music, in the key of
D, (for guitarists, capo on the1st fret to play along with the E flat practice tracks), here!

Guitarists’ version of the sheet music  with just the melody line and chords (The missing lyrics in the last verse, “it’s the hammer of” are assigned to the bass and tenor voices in the original.)
Key of D (Capo 1st fret to play with practice tracks).

Key of E flat

A suggested practice strategy is to practice your part on it’s own, and then against an “all parts” track.

Practice Tracks:  Click Here to Download

These first 2 tracks are in straight 4/4 time.

All Parts, (no vocals)

Soprano Practice track (with vocals)

The next tracks are in “swing” time.

Soprano/Melody (vocals)

Soprano/Melody (no vocals)

Alto (with vocals)

Alto (without vocals)

Tenor (vocals)

Tenor (without vocals)

Bass (vocals)

Bass  (without vocals)

All Parts (vocals)

All Parts (without vocals)

Another guitarists’ version of the sheet music is here, with just the melody line. (The missing lyrics in the last verse, “it’s the hammer of” are assigned to the bass and tenor voices in the original.)

Click here for the easier 2 part version.

The Hammer Song (2 Parts)

(If I had a hammer)

For the (slightly) more difficult 4 part arrangement click here!

An arrangement for the Union Singers, of the song originally by Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes. -From an arrangement by Tom Bridges.

Here is the music for the first 3 verses. The 4th verse could follow the same pattern.

Scroll down for practice tracks.

Download the Sheet Music, as a .pdf file here!if_I_had_a_hammer_short_simple - Soprano and Alto

Practice tracks. Practice one part first, and then sing that part against all parts. Click on the track title to download.

Melody (Soprano)

Harmony (Alto, Bass)

All Parts

All Parts With Chords