Song Part Information
A Better Way
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

Written for the occasion of the Industrial Deaths Support and Advocacy Memorial Service for workers who were killed in industrial accidents. The choir has performed this song at each memorial service since 2007

Words & music: Mary Caruana 2007; music adapted from the song ‘Bigger Than This’

Acknowledgement: We Honour the Land
Words and
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song can be sung as an alternative to a spoken Acknowledgement of Country in a public context.
Music and lyrics Laura Brearley© 2017
And So Can You
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song answers the question that is asked by You Knew (below). It tells of the things a person can do about Climate Change: “That’s what I do, and so can you.” 
John Fisher (2015)
Are You Listening?
Words & Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A protest song, introduced to choir in 2021.

Words and music: Nicki Johnson & Craig Barrie (2019)

Asikatali
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
During student demonstrations in Soweto, this song reportedly turned back armed riot police. “We are not afraid of going to prison – we are the united children of Africa. We are determined to win our freedom!”
Traditional; Arrangement: Kerry Milligan
Ballad of 1891
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Written in 1995, the song tells the story of the long dispute between shearers and their employers (the squatters, or graziers), during the Depression of the 1890s. Squatters were trying to reduce pay and conditions and were employing non-union labour. The dispute soon spread throughout the country and to other industries. It has gone down as a major event in union and working-class history in Australia.
Words: Helen Palmer; Music: Doreen Bridges; Arrangement: Roger Ellis (1995)
Ballad of Eureka
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

The story of the Eureka rebellion in 1854.

As with The Ballad of 1891, this song was written in 1951 by two women active in the revival of interest in Australian folk songs, and concerned that two important events from Australia’s past were largely uncelebrated in song. To address this, they wrote both these ballads. Eureka has been revived in recent years by The Fagans and John Dengate. The power and poetry of Helen Palmer’s lyrics combine with the tune to make the song striking and memorable. The choir performed the song at the 150th anniversary Eureka celebrations at Ballarat in 2004.

Words: Helen Palmer; Music & arrangement: Doreen Bridges

Bandiera Rossa
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
An anti-fascist theme song of Socialist parties in Italy, which became well-known among the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War and is now cherished all over the world. Many versions and verses exist. The Choir’s version is to sing one verse and chorus in Italian and one in English. Choir sang this at the 2008 Feast of Choirs in Daylesford, to a mainly Italian audience.
Traditional Italian tune; writer unknown
Banks of Marble
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A New York State farmer and member of the Farmers’ Union, Les Rice, wrote this song linking farmers’ problems with those of workers across the USA. The song was made popular by Pete Seeger and The Weavers.
Words & music: Les Rice (1950); Arrangement: Michael Roper 
Bella Ciao
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

A workers’ song for Italian women, popular in World War 2, in the resistance against fascism. “This morning I woke up and found the enemy is here. O partisan, take me to the mountain, for I feel death is near. And when I die, bury me under the shade of a beautiful flower. And when the people pass, they will say, ‘What a beautiful flower”- and this is the flower of the partisan who died for freedom”.
Traditional from Italy; Arrangement: Ricardo Andino (one-time director of the Solidarity Choir)

Bigger Than This
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

A moving song that expresses our feelings towards the Australian government’s cruel policies towards asylum-seekers. We first performed this song at the Darebin Music Festival Peace Concert and the launch of the choir’s CD in 2003.
Words: Mary Caruana; Music: Mary Caruana & Brent Parlane, 2002

Bigger Than Yourself
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Words & music: John McCutcheon and Si Kahn; Arrangement: Tom Bridges (2008).  Additional words by Rod Noble
Added to choir repertoire in 2010.
Bosses’ Darling
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song was written in the 1970s for a play called Work to Role. It underlined women’s dual roles of paid work and home duties and their ongoing struggle to achieve true equality in both spheres.
Words & music: Jean Hart; Arrangement: Phillip Griffin
Bread and Roses
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
It was 1912, the year 20,000 textile workers, mostly women, walked out of their factories in Massachusetts in protest against a cut in their weekly pay. They had been working a 56-hour week for an average $8.76. After 10 weeks, the strikers won important concessions for themselves and for the 250,000 textile workers throughout the New England region of the USA. At one of the demonstrations held during the strike, a banner read “We want bread and roses too”. This wonderful moving slogan inspired this song, which is now associated with feminist movements in the USA, England and Australia. The choir’s first performance of Bread and Roses was at the wake for Senator Olive Zakharov in 1995.
Words: James Oppenheim; Music: Caroline Kohlsaat; Arrangement: Tom Bridges
The Bridge
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song appears on Yirrmal Marika’s debut EP Youngblood. It is a hopeful song about Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians coming together. “It doesn’t matter to that river which side we’re standing on.”
Words & Music: Yirrmal Marika, Shane Howard, Lajana; Arrangement: Rigby Thompson
Bring Out the Banners
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
John Warner was inspired to write this song on the occasion of an exhibition of trade union banners in Sydney. The themes are central to our concerns about the times in which we live. The need to resist divide and rule; the need to protect what has been won over the years that the ‘new world order’ is trying to wind back; the need for unity and for a bold, visible symbol of that unity. At the choir’s request, John re-wrote part of verse three to specifically include women in the song.
Words: John Warner (1997); Music: See Amid the Winter’s Snows, by John Goss (a hymn tune); Arrangement: Tom Bridges
Do It Now
Words 
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
To the tune of Bella Ciao. A song for peace to be sung August 6 – Hiroshima Day
Dona Nobis Pacem
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Give us peace.
A traditional round in Latin
Down The Street
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

This song has been in the choir repertoire for a long time and is often performed at demonstrations and rallies.
Words & music: unknown

(The) Eight Hour Day
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song was added to the choir repertoire in 2003. John Warner writes: “I heard an ABC program which dealt with the erosion of the eight-hour day principle via individual contracts and ‘flexibility’ arrangements. I think the eight-hour day concept must be stated explicitly as a standard from which we must refuse to budge and that all work done beyond that point be at the choice of the worker, and paid with meaningful penalty rates to compensate for time lost to rest and recreation with the family.”
Although not written in Victoria, this song has particular relevance here; the first recognised eight-hour working day in the world was achieved in Melbourne in 1856. The 150th anniversary of this event was celebrated in 2006.
Words: John Warner (circa 1998); Music: Bluey Brink
El Pueblo Unido
Words
Music (T&B)
Music (S&A)
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Composed before the military coup in Chile in 1973 and sung by large crowds in public protests, this song has become a symbol of the Chilean resistance and the struggles of many oppressed people. It is now a rallying call for the overthrow of oppression through all South America. “El pueblo unido hamas sera vencido” is a slogan often heard during industrial and community disputes and campaigns. “A people united will never be defeated!” (Popularised in Australia in the 1970s by the folk group Quilapayun.)
Anon/Sergio Otega; Arrangement: Michael Roper
Forward We Shall March
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

This song comes from the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. It can be sung to keep the spirits high on any occasion, and can be re-written to suit the context. It comes from an oral tradition of breaking into multiple harmonies. This version is one of many possibilities. © public domain
Traditional

Four Strong Women
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

A school teacher and singer from NSW, Maurie Mulheron, wrote this fine song as his tribute to the courage and fortitude of four English peace activists.

The song celebrates the actions of the these women – members of the peace group, Ploughshares. In January 1996, they broke into a British Aerospace hangar and used hammers to destroy the weapons system of a Hawk jet, which was due to be delivered to the Indonesian Government for use against villagers in East Timor. At their trial, the women argued that their crime was justified, because its intent was to prevent a larger crime: the crime of genocide.
They were acquitted.
Words & music: Maurie Mulheron, 1996; Arrangement: Tom Bridges, former conductor, Sydney Trade Union Choir

(Kev’s) Freedom
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This is a song about the relationship between Aboriginal people and their land – about justice and equality, respect for the environment and for all living creatures.
Words: Kev Carmody & Bart Willoughby; Music: Kev Carmody; Arrangement: Jen Lindon, former conductor of the South Australian Trade Union Choir
Freedom is Coming
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

Translated from Bantu to English. It is sung in a call-and-response style, culminating in a rousing call to workers. It was popular during the long campaign against Apartheid.
Traditional, South Africa

Haida, Haida
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Traditional Hebrew welcoming song
Hogan’s Flat
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

This song was written in 1928 and refers to the seamen’s strike of that year. The Hogan in the title – Ted Hogan – was premier of Victoria from 1929 to 1932. Melbourne composer and conductor George Dreyfus taught us this song and the choir performed it during the MUA dispute in Melbourne in 1998. The choir’s version has extra verses by choir member Paddy McCorry that link the MUA dispute with past struggles.
Words & music: Clive Douglas; Additional words: Paddy McGorry; Arrangement: George Dreyfus for the choir

How Can I Keep from Singing
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A traditional hymn with new words by Doris Plenn that reinforce the witch-hunts of the Un-American Activities Committee. The joy of singing eases pain and suffering and gives hope “through all the tumult and the strife”.
Traditional Shaker Hymn; New words: Doris Plenn; Arranged by Lesley Lear
I’ll Be There
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Adapted and arranged by Wayne Joiner, this is an African-American song, with new words that celebrate trade unionism and union struggles. It is in the African-American tradition of call-and-response style.
Traditional; Words & arrangement: Wayne Joiner (former member of the VTUC)
(The) Internationale
Ornate words
Ornate music

Plain words
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
An international workers’ song. It originated in France in 1871. Following the ruthless suppression of the Paris Commune, Eugene Pottier – an elected district mayor in the Paris Commune – was on the run for his life as the Commune was falling. In the words of his song, he called on the workers of the world to rise up against their masters.      In 1888, Pierre Degeyter put the words to music. The Internationale has become the anthem of the international struggle for socialism. Despite the current economic and political push to individualism, the sentiments expressed in the song are just as relevant today as the day the words were written.
Words: Eugene Pottier (1871); Music: Pierre Degeyter; Arrangement: Michael Roper/Alan Bush
(The) Irex
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
The Irex was the name of a boat used to transport people from the mainland of Queensland over to Palm Island. Many of those who travelled on this boat were displaced and removed as punishment under the Protection of Aborigines Act. This also included young children – now considered part of the Stolen Generations. ‘The Irex’ was  sung at the time of separation and  now in memory of those lost children and loved ones. With the author unknown, it is assumed the song was sung on Palm Island since the 1920s-1930s, with many elders still familiar with the tune and its sentiment today.
Words & music: Unknown
Joe Hill
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Joe Hill was a famous union organiser and songwriter in the United States. He wrote many union songs which became very popular. He was executed in 1915 in the state of Utah on a murder charge, the evidence of which was tenuous. It is believed that his real crime was his support for the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World). On his last day, Joe Hill sent a telegram to a colleague: “Goodbye Bill, I die like a true rebel. Don’t waste time in mourning – organise!” Paul Robeson maintained the song’s popularity. He regularly sang Joe Hill in the campaign for human rights, international solidarity and peace.
Words: Alfred Hayes; Music: Earl Robinson (published in 1938); Arrangement: Wayne Joiner, former choir member (1992)
Keep on Walking Forward
Words & Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Kolele Mai
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

‘Why does your corn not ripen? Why is your stomach not full?’ We acquired this song from the Canberra Union Voices song book in 2006.
Words: Timorese resistance poet Francisco Borga de Costa (1975); Music: Abilio Araujo (traditional, East Timor); Arrangement: Chrissie Shaw (Canberra Union Voices)

La Plegaria a un Labrador
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song was added to the choir repertoire in 2004. The Chilean singer-songwriter, Victor Jara, wrote this song as a plea to Chile’s farm labourers to join with urban workers in taking their tools and their lives into their own hands. When President Allende was elected in 1970, Jara dedicated himself to the People’s Song Movement. He saw singing as the most effective way to communicate with people like miners, factory workers, peasants, students, and children, all of whom were excluded from power. After 1973, Victor Jara was detained and later murdered by the Pinochet regime. Chileans were then forbidden to mention his name or sing his songs.
Words & music: Victor Jara; Arrangement: John Abraham
Mamaliye
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Mamaliye is a joyous song of praise to maternal protection and warmth, which demonstrates the greatest reverence for mothers in Africa. Choir learnt to sing Mamaliye in 2007 as a warm-up song. We first performed it at the Daylesford/Hepburn Springs Swiss-Italian Festa in April 2008.
Traditional Zulu; Arrangement: Markus Detterbeck
(I have a) Million Nightingales
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
The composer was inspired to write this song when she came across a fragment of a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. She wrote “The plight of the nightingale, a bird unable to sing in captivity, seemed a poignant expression of the situation in the Middle East.”
Words: from the poem ‘Defiance’ by Mahmoud Darwish; Music: Linda Hirschborn
(I don’t want your) Millions Mister
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song deals with unemployment and the disparities in a society where a small few have massive wealth. Jim Garland was a contemporary of Woody Guthrie and Heddy “Leadbelly” Leadbetter. He was also one of the troubadour union organisers of the Industrial Workers of the World.
Words: Jim Garland; Music: traditional from America
(The) Mine Whistle Song
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song comes from the township of Wonthaggi in South Gippsland, which was a coal mining town. Life in Wonthaggi centered on the mine. Miners struck for and achieved holiday pay and sick pay. Relations with the employer – the Victorian State Government – were difficult and there were strikes for safer working conditions, wages, as well as accident compensation. The mine whistle in the mine’s powerhouse could be heard all over the town. It blew regularly throughout the day and night, signifying a change of shift. It also blew if there was an accident, disaster or death of a miner. In the days before everyone wore a timepiece, the mine whistle was the town’s time-keeper. (The whistle was made by Danks and is a sister whistle to the Titanic’s.) The song is based on the sound of the whistle. The notes of B, A and F#  on ‘blow, blow, blow’ are the actual notes of the whistle. The whistle now blows at midday from a 1950s poppet head in a town park.
Words & music: Joe Chambers
Never Again the A Bomb
Words & Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Never Lose Count
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Each April, on International Workers Memorial Day, the choir sings a few songs a sombre gathering of family and friends of those who have died at work. This song was written especially for the occasion.
Words & music: Mary Caruana, 2020; Arrangement to come
Never Turning Back
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
“We’re gonna keep on moving forward…never turning back”. Written by Pat Humphries in 1984. Humphries is a member of Emma’s Revolution – an American folk music and social justice activist duo – with Sandy Opatow (aka Sandy O). The duo sing a version of this in both English and Spanish.  Choir adds its own words according to the occasion. See Emma’s Revolution at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aMX78a5ZJM
Words & music: Pat Humphries
Nicaragua, Nicaraguita
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Written during the 1980s civil war in Nicaragua, this song celebrates the overthrow of the US-backed Somoza dictatorship in 1979. This love song in Spanish compares revolutionary Nicaragua with flowers and honey, and declares: “Now that you are free, I love you more than ever. (The name Diriangen was that of a 16th Century warrior who fought against the Spanish invaders.)
Words & music: Carlos Meijia Godow (1990); Arrangement: Ricardo Andino (1987) and Miguel Heatwole (1990)
N’Kosi si kelel i’Africa
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Written and sung in the Xhosa language in 1897, from which time it was sung by choirs in churches and in African schools. Additional verses were added in the 1920s. Originally intended to be a hymn, the African National Congress adopted N’Kosi as its anthem in 1925. Today it is sung in many countries throughout Africa and is the anthem of South Africa and other African countries. The choir was privileged to sing this at a moving trade union reception for Nelson Mandela at the Melbourne Town Hall in 1990.
Words & music: Enoch Mankayi Sontonga (1897); Additional words: Sek Mahayi (1927); Arrangement: Sian Prior (former musical director of the VTUC) –  © Public domain
Not Gonna Give it Back
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
We learnt this song in 2005 and first performed it at the big Anti-IR Laws rally in November, 2005. The concert in the Exhibition Gardens was very successful and this song was popular with the crowd, who sang along enthusiastically.
Words & music: Peggy Seeger
Oh Freedom
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A post-Civil War African-American song, often associated with the Civil Rights Movement. Performed and recorded by the popular and vibrant women’s acapella group Sweet Honey in the Rock.
Words & music: Ysaye M. Barnwell (from Sweet Honey in the Rock)
Pay Cheque (We bring more than a)
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Performed and recorded by the popular and vibrant American women’s a capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Pay Cheque warns us of some of the dangers in the workplace.
Words & music: Ysaye M. Barnwell, 1980
Peace Hymn
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
The music for this song comes from a 17th Century hymn. The words were written by choir member Paddy McCorry. Inspiration for the words came from opposition to the first Gulf War in 1991, when the choir sang at public demonstrations against Australia’s involvement in that war.
Words: Paddy McCorry; Music: J. B. Dykes
Peace Salaam Shalom
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Power in a Union
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Written and performed by Billy Bragg, this version of the song comes from Western Australia, where it was arranged by the WA Trade Union Choir. It encompasses the sentiments of trade union struggle and solidarity, which we celebrate through our music. It is an essential part of our repertoire.
Words: Billy Bragg; Traditional tune from ”Rally round the flag”
Precious Friend
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Recorded in 1981 and performed by Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie; a confirmation of friendship and celebration of solidarity
Words & music: Pete Seeger
Songs Parts Information
Senzenina?
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

“What Have We Done? Our only crime is being black.” This Xhosa and Zulu language song has been around since the 1950s, reaching its height of popularity in the 1980s. It was sung during the Truth and Reconciliation process in the 1990s after the end of the Apartheid period in South Africa. Commonly heard at funerals, demonstrations and churches. The song’s origins are unclear. Activist Duma Ndlovu compared the influence of “Senzenina?” to that of the American protest song We Shall Overcome.
Words & music: Traditional, South Africa

Short Memory
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A song protesting imperialism, neo-colonialism, and historical amnesia. This song was added to choir repertoire in 2014.
Words & Music: by Martin Rotsey, Peter Gifford, Robert Hirst, James Moginie, Peter Garrett; Arrangement: tbc
Siyahumba
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
“We are marching in the light of love”.  A song in the Zulu language that became popular in the 1990s.
Original lyrics “…marching in the light of God” were varied by the choir.
Traditional South African
Solidarity Forever
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Originally a gospel song of the 1850s, Solidarity is one of the best-known union songs in the English-speaking world. The tune comes from an American Civil War song John Brown’s Body, which celebrated the anti-slavery hero, John Brown and later became a hymn of the anti-slavery forces Battle Hymn of the Republic. Ralph Chaplin was an organiser with the Industrial Workers of the World, a poet, an artist and writer. His words were inspired by a coal mining strike in the USA. Solidarity is a wonderful celebration of trade union unity and strength.
Words: Ralph Chaplin (1915); Music: William Steffe (1850s); Arrangement: Chrissie Shaw & E Blyth
Song of Choice
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song was added to the choir repertoire in 2004. Peggy Seeger’s song warns us all to be aware of the ever-present seeds of fascism. It asserts the importance of being there by taking a stand. It reminds us that we all have the personal responsibility to act to prevent prejudice and the return to fascism.
Words & music: Peggy Seeger; Arrangement: Dave Bartlett

Soyilwela
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

From the Apartheid years: “We struggle, we will keep struggling until Africa is free.”
Traditional from South Africa (Xhosa language). As taught by Siphiwo Lubamba, an ANC representative, 1990s.

Stand Together
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Bernard Carney was commissioned by the WA Trades and Labour Council to write this song for a new CD as part of a union campaign. It was sung on marches and rallies in 1997, during protests against the WA Government’s attempts to erode the union movement and limit workers’ rights through changes to the industrial relations laws.
Words & music: Bernard Carney (Conductor of the WA Trade Union Choir; 1996)
Step by Step
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A traditional Irish song, the words of which have a powerful message about the strength that comes from working together. Sung as a round.
Words: Anon, found in a 19th Century Mining Union rulebook. Music: Pete Seeger
Tagi Sina
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
The song was originally sung by island women in the 1860s when large numbers of their men were forced on board ships to be taken to South America as slaves. Tagi Sina has been recorded by the Auckland group, Te Vaka. We acquired this song from the Canberra Union Voices Songbook in 2006, and performed it at the Frances Folk Festival in February 2008 and at the Feast of Choirs in Daylesford in April of that year.
Traditional from the Tokelau Islands; Transcribed and arranged by Rachel Hore
Thirty Years On
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
The original version of this song was Ten Years On, written to celebrate the choir’s 10th birthday in 2000. Now we are 30 years old, so the song is reprised for the occasion.
Words & music: Mary Caruana; Arrangement: Michael Roper
The Giant Feels Their Sting
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This is a tribute to 34 women from the city of Wollongong, who fought and won a landmark case of discrimination against their employer, Australian Iron and Steel. The Equal Opportunity Tribunal found that complaints of discrimination in hiring and retrenchment, threats of retrenchment and sexist attitudes were proven. The decision was a major triumph for the Jobs-for-Women Campaign and has had far-reaching consequences on business practice throughout the country. For these women, this result ended a six-year struggle for the right to work.
Words & music: Sue Edmonds (1985)
The Kids Will Grow
Words
Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A song of hope that our children will grow up accepting ‘the good from what we give them and reject the bad’.
Words & music: Don Henderson; Arrangement: Michael Roper
The Red Flag
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
By an Irish songwriter, inspired by the victory of the London dock workers in a protracted, bitter and famous strike in 1889. Originally set to the tune, The White Cockade, but later sung to the German Christmas song, Tannenbaum.
Words: James Connell, 1899; Music: to the tune of Tannenbaum; Arrangement: English composer Alan Bush.
This Darkened Room
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song was composed for the musical Dust, produced by Melbourne director and playwright Donna Jackson. Dust recognises the endurance, integrity, and courage of those affected by asbestos-related diseases. The choir was heavily involved in the development and initial performances of the play during 2008 – in Ballarat and Williamstown. Individual members of choir also performed at Geelong and other regional shows.
Words & music: Mary Caruana 
Tolpuddle Man
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Inspired by the memory of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. In 1834, six farm labourers from the village of Tolpuddle in Dorsetshire, England, stepped from obscurity to become known through history as martyrs in the history of trade unionism – George Loveless, James Loveless, Thomas Stanfield, James Hammet, James Brine. They were imprisoned under laws aimed to outlaw the formation of unions.When farm labourer wages were reduced from nine to eight shillings per week, they complained to a magistrate, James Frampton. They were told they had to work for whatever wages their masters cared to pay and their wages would be reduced to seven shillings. The six labourers organised gatherings, which decided to form a union branch. They were found guilty and sentenced to seven years’ transportation.  They were sent to Hobart and Sydney and worked on chain gangs. The case led to a large growth in the English trade union movement and a mass campaign to free the prisoners. After two years, the government gave way and extended a free pardon and free transportation back to England. They were welcomed home at huge rallies.
Words & music: Graham Moore; Arrangement: Tom Bridges (2004)
Union Maid
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Woody Guthrie wrote this popular song for his group, The Almanac Singers, after hearing of the vicious physical attack perpetrated by vigilantes on a female union organiser he knew.
Words & music: Woody Guthrie (1961); Verse 3 words: Nancy Katz; Arrangement: Tom Bridges 
Unity (Raise your banners)
Word/music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
 Words & music: John Tams, 2000; Arrangement: Miguel Heatwole, 2016.
Vine and Figtree (Loy Yisa Goy)
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Sung as a round in English and Hebrew, this peace song was one of the first items in the choir’s repertoire. The words of this traditional song are drawn from the simple, powerful messages in the Book of Micah in the Jewish Torah, or Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This song of peace transcends religion and has been sung by diverse advocates for peace throughout the world. The words are inscribed into a wall of a park, named after Nobel Peace Laureate Ralph Bunche,  across the street from the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. The park is a popular site for demonstrations and rallies concerning peace and other international issues.
A Hebrew folk song; English words are found in The Bible
We Got All The Love
Words & Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Composer Helen Yeomans established Thula Mama in the UK – lullabies and inspirational singing for parents and babies.
https://www.thulamama.co.uk/main.htm
Words & music: Helen Yeomans
Weevils in the Flour
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
Describing conditions during the depression of the 1930s, this song concerns the problems of poverty, exploitation and environmental degradation that are still so relevant today. “In those humpies by the river We lived on dole and stew, While just across the water, Those greedy smokestacks grew, And the hunger of the many Filled the bellies of the few.”
Words: Dorothy Hewitt; Music: Michael Leyden; Arrangement: Ricardo Andino, former director, Solidarity Choir
We Shall Not Give Up The Fight
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song expresses our feelings that so long as social injustice continues, we will continue fighting for changes. Performed several times over the years, including at the Palm Sunday rally, April 1, 2007.
Composer: Unknown. Printed in “Freedom is Coming – a collection of songs: Rainbow Books publisher
Which Side Are You On?
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
This song has a long history. It was originally written by Florence Reece in 1932 for the miners’ strike in Harlan County, USA. Florence was the wife of one of the union leaders. Apparently, Florence Reece’s husband Sam, a coal miner in Kentucky, was helping organise a union when all hell broke loose. The company and its hired thugs started attacking miners and their homes, including Reece’s. With bullets flying around them and taking cover under the bed with their seven children, Florence took out her pencil and started writing. The song was born. Since then, many versions  have been written and sung, for many different struggles. We learnt a new arrangement in 2006 for performing at IR rallies. A new verse 3 about workplace agreements was added at that time to make it specific to that particular campaign.
Words & music: Florence Reece and Arlo Guthrie; Arrangement from the Sheffield Songbook
Working Life (Factory)
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
A popular song from the 1980s. In his lyrics, Bruce Springsteen has captured the all-encompassing and frustrating nature of the lives of many working people. It is a powerful song that deals with the difficult and sometimes tragic nature of work.
Words & music: Bruce Springsteen; Arrangement: Rose Brough
You Gotta Go Down (and join the union)
Words

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor

We first heard this song when we sang in a combined unions concert at the National Folk Festival in the 1990s. We sang it to close the concert as we walked off stage and through the audience.
Adaptation by Woody Guthrie from the well-known Gospel song ‘Lonesome Valley’

You Knew
Words (long)
Words (short)

Music
All parts
Alto
Bass
Soprano
Tenor
You Knew is a song about climate change. It was written by John Fisher in 2010. It’s a cheerful marching song sung by children from 2020 onwards. It is a statement and a question for grandparents. “You Knew. So what did you do?” The short form has eight of the 24 verses. You Knew was refined, learnt and performed in 2011. YouTube link are on the VTUC website.
Words & music: John Fisher; Arrangement: John Fisher & Michael Roper