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.

Lament for Manus Island:
A Choral Arrangement

Lament for Manus Island In Parts

I was asked for an arrangement of this song for a mixed voice ensemble, so here it is. The score is written with melody, (plus a descant in the chorus), to be sung by sopranos and/or tenors, an alto line and a bass line, with guitar chords indicated.

For the solo version,  click here!

Sheet Music

Lament for Manus Island 4.7 Bm

Lament for Manus Island 4.7 Am
Guitarists may prefer this; capo on 2nd fret for Bm.

The next files are identical to the ones above, except they don’t contain the descant notes in the melody.
Lament for Manus Island 4.7: Bm

Lament for Manus Island 4.7: Am

If you have a previous version of this music the next document lists the main changes which have been made: “Lament for Manus Island” versions.

Practice Tracks

In the all parts track, the melody is the flute sound, the alto the oboe sound, and the bass, a baritone sax.

Soprano/Melody

 

Melody/Descant

 

Alto

 

Bass

 

All Parts Together

 

Here is the original, solo, version of the song. I recorded this in my kitchen.

Here is the sheet music in .jpg format.

A Minor

B Minor

 

And finally, a YouTube video I created to go with the song:

Which Side Are You On?

Arrangement 1

Arrangement 2

Arrangement 3
(Altos, See 3.2)

This seminal song was written by Florence Reece in 1931, in Harlan County, Kentucky.  These 2 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.”
Wikipedia

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 2 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.

Melody

 

Tenor

 

Bass

 

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.

Melody

Alto

Tenor

Bass

All Parts


Arrangement 3

The only difference between versions 2.1 and 3, are the tenor line in the chorus and chords in the chorus, bars 3 and 7.  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.

Melody

Alto

Tenor

Bass

All Parts


Arrangement 3.2

The only difference here is a simplified Alto line in the verse, mirroring the melody except for the first and last bar.

Sheet Music .pdf Format

Alto Practice Track


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 arrangement 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)

Score

Melody

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

Score

Melody

Practice Tracks

All Parts

 

Melody, (With Descant Cadences)

 

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.
Melody/Soprano 
Alto
Baritone
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
Lyrics (Word Document)
Lyrics (.pdf)

Practice Tracks (Instrumental)
Soprano/Melody

Alto

Baritone

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

Soprano

Alto

Tenor

Bass

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

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

 

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.

 

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”