Illawarra Union Singers Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks

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


Illawarra Union Singers Solidarity: IUS Version

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.

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.


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.


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!

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!

Join Your Union Join Your Union: Simplified Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks

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.

Ballad of 1891 Illawarra Union Singers Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks

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.


Illawarra Union Singers Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks Power In A Union

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.


Illawarra Union Singers Join Your Union: A Song Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks

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


Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks

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.

Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks The Internationale

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, (-Latest Version 2.8)
This contains the harmony in the introduction, and the final chorus.

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

Latest Version: 2.9


Chords and Melody -This doesn’t include any of the harmony.

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.

Below,  is an earlier melody only version


Below is n earlier melody version with piano accompaniment.

Piano, Guitar Chords and Melodyinternationale_pno_guit_mel_v1_page_1internationale_pno_guit_mel_v1_page_2

Illawarra Union Singers Music Arrangements & Practice Tracks Tolpuddle Man

Tolpuddle Man: A Song Arrangement

Here is an arrangement of a song by Graham Moore, a commemoration of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Scroll down for sheet music and practice tracks.

The grave of James Hammett, who was the only martyr to return and live in the village of Tolpuddle.
The grave of James Hammett, who was the only martyr to return and live in the village of Tolpuddle.  Image By Poliphilo – Own work, CC0,

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of 19th century Dorset agricultural labourers who were arrested for and convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. The rules of the society show it was clearly structured as a friendly society and operated as a trade-specific benefit society. At the time, friendly societies had strong elements of what are now considered to be the predominant role of trade unions. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were subsequently sentenced to penal transportation to Australia.

A massive protest swept across the country. Thousands of people marched through London and many more organised petitions and protest meetings to demand their freedom.

Practice Tracks:
On PC,  Right Click on Title to Download
On Android, Press and Hold Title: Choose “Save Link”

Note the verse is in unison throughout. with the Chorus in harmony. All practice tracks are in F major.

Melody; Key F Major


Tenor Instrumental

Tenor Sung


Bass Sung

Soprano, Alto and Bass Together: Key F Major


Sheet Music: PDF


Melody & Chords; Key of E Major


Word Document: Large Font

PDF File: Large Font

TOLPUDDLE MAN by Graham Moore

Verse 1: Farewell to my family, it’s now I must leave you,
That far fatal shore in chains we shall see.
Although we are taken, do not be forsaken,
As brothers in Union we shall be free.

Chorus: They can bring down our wages, starve all our children,
In chains they can bind us, steal all our land;
They can mock our religion, from our families divide us,
But they can’t break the oath of a Tolpuddle Man.

Verse 2: To those who rule us, we are the dissenters.
“Do your duty; be thankful; don’t complain”, we are taught.
For God in His wisdom has divided this kingdom,
For few to have much while so many have naught.


Verse 3: As brothers together, with an oath we will bind us,
The labouring men in all England shall rise !
Though Frampton defamed us, they never will tame us.
Arise men of Britain; we will yet win the prize !

Chorus: They can bring down our wages, starve all our children,
In chains they can bind us, steal all our land;
They can mock our religion, from our families divide us,
But they can’t break the oath of a Tolpuddle Man,
No they can’t break the oath of a Tolpuddle Man!