Sheffield Socialist Choir 10th Anniversary Songbook

‘With One Voice’

Some people talk about "political songs" meaning "protest songs" but there are also songs of solidarity, hope and bright prospects.

Our songbook ‘With One Voice’ was published in May 1999, in celebration of our tenth anniversary.

It contains 26 songs, with their words and music in choral arrangement. There are brief notes about what we know about those who created them and those who have sung them, and what the songs have meant to us. Plus there are anecdotes, photos, cartoons and graphics.

• Songs from Brazil, Chile, Ireland, South Africa, the USA, as well as Britain.
• Songs for everyone - from first timers to old timers - in a tapestry of music styles.
• Songs that declare the extraordinary creative powers of ordinary people.
• Songs that make a difference.

We regret to announce that all 500 copies have now been distributed, and we are unlikely to do a reprint, because it is so difficult to get copyright permission.

Many of the individual songs are also recorded on our CDs which you can buy. (Recordings page) Some are available as MP3 files on this site.

Or if you would like a photocopy of one or more of the songs, please do let us know. (Contacts page)

1. In My Name
Mal Finch wrote this in protest against the first Gulf War in 1991. For solo alto or bass, plus SATB chorus. (Also on our CD ‘Watch Out!’)

2. Song of Choice
Peggy Seeger issues a warning about the price of ignoring fascism. For solo tenor or baritone, plus SATB chorus. (Also on our CD ‘Watch Out!’)

3. Forward We Shall March
A chant from the Anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa, it is an easy street song that lends itself to new words appropriate to the occasion. SATB.

4. Thatcher's Gone/Bye-Bye Tories
By Nigel Wright of our choir, there are two sets of words celebrating (1) the demise of Thatcher in 1990 and (2) the fall of the Tory government in 1997. For SSSAATB choir. (Also on our CD ‘Watch Out!’)

5. Which Side Are You On?
A well-known song from the US by Florence Reece and Arlo Guthrie, which has been adapted to suit different occasions. For solo voice plus SATB chorus. (Also on our CD ‘Which Side Are You On?’)

6. Walk Away from the Battleground
A song about domestic violence by Deborah Silverstein, for women's voices in two parts.

7. (Something Inside) So Strong
A glorious choral arrangement of a song by Labbi Siffre, which originally started as a protest against Apartheid but is now a Gay Pride anthem. For mezzo, baritone or tenor solo, plus SATB chorus. (Also on our CD ‘Raise Your Banners’)

8. Coal not Dole
Written during the 1984-1985 miners' strike by Matthew Fox and Kaye Sutcliffe, to a traditional tune. Two parts, mixed voices. (Also on our CD ‘Watch Out!’)

9. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
By Enoch Sontonga, this is the hauntingly beautiful plea for African unity that became the anthem of the anti-Apartheid struggle, and is now (part of) the South African national anthem. SATB arrangement by John Jordan. (Also on our CD ‘Which Side Are You On?’)

10. Hino dos Grevistos - The Strikers' Anthem
A strikers’ song from Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1978. Arrangement by Rubens Ricciardi in 1989, who dedicated it to John Hamilton (English translator) and the Nottingham Clarion Choir. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Which Side Are You On?’)

11. Deep River
This beautiful spiritual carried hidden messages of resistance and hope for Africans held as slaves, since to talk openly of escape would result in death.
Traditional, arrangement by Nigel Wright of our choir. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Raise Your Banners’)

12. From a Distance
A popular song by Julie Gold, with new words by Annie Blindell about Britain's involvement in Ireland. Arranged by Tony Wilde. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Raise Your Banners’)

13. La Plegaria a Un Labrador
This is Victor Jara's plea for landless labourers in Chile to take action to relieve their plight. Jara was later murdered by the Pinochet military coup. Arrangement by John Abraham. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Raise Your Banners’)

14. There is Power in a Union
Sung to the tune ‘Rally Round the Flag’ of the US Civil War, with words written by Billy Bragg during the miners’ strike of 1984/5. Arranged by Jane Edwardson, then of our choir. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Which Side Are You On?’)

15. Derry Streets
About the Bloody Sunday Massacre of 30 January 1972 when British troops killed 14 civil rights demonstrators in the Irish city of Derry. Arrangement by Ivan Sears and Pete Toolen of the traditional tune ‘The Foggy Dew’. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Which Side Are You On?’)

16. The Red Flag
This is the traditional anthem of the British labour movement, by Jim Connell, and restored to the traditional Scottish tune ‘The White Cockade’ Connell intended for it (and liberated from the more commonly used ‘Tannenbaum’). Arranged by Nigel Wright of our choir. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Watch Out!’)

17. The Ballad of Joe Hill
This song, by Alfred Hayes and Earl Robinson, celebrates the life of US worker activist Joe Hill, framed and executed in 1915. It is also indelibly associated with US black rights activist and singer Paul Robeson. Arranged by Nigel Wright of our choir. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Raise Your Banners’)

18. The Internationale (Billy Bragg’s version)
Billy Bragg told us he wrote new words for the ‘Internationale’ at the instigation of Pete Seeger, hoping to give this traditional workers’ anthem “new legs” rather than it being “thrown into the dustbin of history just because it happened to be the national anthem of the Soviet Union until 1942”. The original tune was by Petrus Degeyter; this new ‘upbeat’ arrangement is by David Bedford and John Abraham. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Watch Out!)

19. The Last Leviathan
A song about environmental destruction by Andy Barnes, lamenting the threat to animals and humanity. Arranged by John Abraham. SATB with an optional tenor solo. (Also on our CD ‘Raise Your Banners’)

20. Mzi Wase Afrika
Written by B. B. Myataza before the end of Apartheid, but looking forward to an Africa that is united, peaceful and free of racism. Full of variety and rich South African harmonies. SATB with tenor solo. (Also on our CD ‘Cry Out for Liberty’)

21. Step by Step
Sung to a traditional Irish tune, with words said to come from the Constitution of the United Mineworkers' of America. Arranged by the Sheffield-based women’s singing group Tactlass. SA(TB).

22. Lives in the Balance
Jackson Browne wrote this powerful song about the arms trade and western military adventurism. It was arranged by Mike Reid of our choir. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Cry Out for Liberty’)

23. Don't Fence Me In
This famous song by Cole Porter is sung by the women of the choir as a statement of a woman's right to be her own person. Arranged by Jane Edwardson. SAT. (Also on our CD ‘Cry Out for Liberty’)

24. Freedom is Coming
An easy-to-learn, optimistic and rousing song originating from the Anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. SATB. (Also on our CD ‘Which Side Are You On?’)

25. Rolling Home
This 1970s song by John Tams in the traditional English folk style expresses hope for a more equitable society. Arranged by Tony Hindle. Tenor, alto or baritone solo plus SATB chorus. (Also on our CD ‘Raise Your Banners’)

26. Moving On
An upbeat women's song which came to us from Australia. It is by Jane Sapp and Tremaine Hawkins, and this arrangement is by Kate Swadling. (SAT)