No, you do not have to sing every single number. There is lots of fun and creativity here, though, with lyrics by barbershopper Tom Larsen.
A most powerful piece, this popular hit by Toto is sure to thrill your audiences. Probably more suitable to chorus than quartet. Be sure to check out Perpetuum Jazzile’s version on YouTube and consider adding their stormy sound effects to your performance. Continue reading Africa
They don’t come any sweeter than this love song. Sing this lovely tune on an afterglow or for a change of pace during a show.
Did you ever wish your quartet consisted of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and, well… Mighty Mouse? Your wish can be granted with this clever batch of parodies. This piece goes very well in a set with the parody version of When I Lost You. Continue reading Aging Superheroes Medley
You don’t have to be from the largest state to love this combination of “Where We Live” and “Alaska, I’m Comin’ Home.”
You can’t go wrong with a hit by the Everly Brothers. This version is a little bit fancier than the published Harmony Explosion arrangement. Now available for SATB mixed voices. Continue reading All I Have to Do Is Dream
A rock hit for Swedish group Ace of Base, this arrangement is not for the faint of heart. Sure, her ex-lover is just that little bit bitter, but the woman earned it.
This wonderfully intense ballad is great for contest. Flipside first sang it in most heartfelt fashion. Now top women’s groups such as MAXX Factor and Gem City have taken this song to a new level. Continue reading All the Way
The ever-clever Ray Stevens sang this spoofy, melodramatic song. Even a sedate group will be funny when performing this piece.
This may be the best song every written, period. Couldn’t all of us fallible mortals use a little grace? Continue reading Amazing Grace
This Broadway hit is most lively, with great choreography possibilities. Isn’t this just where you would like to be?
A classic patriotic song, this piece celebrates the USA in a positive way.
This is a soaring, gorgeous song about the natural beauties of America, as sung by the Vocal Majority.
The lovely John Denver song, this piece is good for weddings—and any other occasion when you want to express your feelings for your beloved.
Yes, this song starts with the famous line “Oh, how we danced on the night we were wed.” It is just the right tune for this occasion. Continue reading Anniversary Song
A great show opener, this Broadway standard will get any performance off to an energetic start. Continue reading Another Op’nin’, Another Show
No one else ever wrote lyrics quite like the great Cole Porter. In-rhymes, regular rhymes, irregular rhymes—Porter used the English language to enable performers to take their audiences on a delightful roller coaster ride. So hop on into the first car. . . .
An eight-part song from Annie Get Your Gun that is a sure hit for a combined number with a chorus or quartet of the opposite sex. Can you guess who wins in the end? Also available in eight-part male and female versions. Continue reading Anything You Can Do
Well, are you? This lively, cheery song is a reminder to us all to enjoy life. After all: “You ain’t gonna live forever. Before you’re old and gray, still O.K., have a little fun!”
Hilarious Victor Herbert song for women only, requires a soprano who can sing high in operatic fashion. Continue reading Art Is Calling for Me
Bobby Darin made this cheery song popular. This tune is just right for opening your shows with lots of happy energy. Continue reading As Long As I’m Singin’
Suitable for roasting a friend — a very good friend. . . .
If you have a lead singer inclined toward sacred music, this solo is for you.
A parody of “M-O-T-H-E-R,” this tune will leave your audiences flying high.
Short and, um, sweet, this tune was sung by Homer Simpson’s quartet, The B Sharps. You don’t need a little diamond-shaped sign to show that you are so uncool as to be cool. Continue reading Baby on Board
This beautiful song takes you to beautiful New Brunswick. Take you audience on a trip down Memory . . . River.
This comedy song about smoggy Los Angeles will leave your audiences, well . . . breathless.
From the animated musical “The Jungle Book,” this delightful tune will charm audiences and judges alike. Storm Front sang it until they decided to be unremittingly hilarious. Continue reading Bare Necessities
Do you want to stay young, at least in your heart? Then this is the song for you.
Celebrating the surfer dude and dudette in all of us; songs include “I Get Around,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “In My Room” and “California Girls.”
How about a unique, lively version of this sweet old classic? Hard for you to picture? This is how the Ohio State marching band — the Best Damn Band in the Land — interprets the song. So take it out for a test . . . march.
Quite inspirational, this song in a unique mix of musical styles. It was arranged for the Stone Mountain (Ga.) Chorus and popularized by International champ Vocal Spectrum.
Here is a lovely pop song by Celine Dion, in the mold of “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” Sing it at weddings or any time love is in the air.
There is lots of fun to be had with this foamy piece. The tunes included are, in order: “Fritz (Fritz, Bring Us Some Schlitz),” “Beer Barrel Polka,” “In Heaven There Is No Beer,” “Under the Anheuser Bush” and “The Night That She Cried in My Beer.” Wet enough for you?
Mix of classical music and fun lyrics, a real kick; lyrics have a soap-opera theme, which could be changed. Continue reading Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
No, this isn’t Ripley’s. Peformed by Joey Scarbury, this is the theme song from the early-’80s TV show The Greatest American Hero. Make yourself and your audiences happy with this most uplifting tune!
Joseph sang this moving song to God in an animated film. This arrangement has been a hit for champs Power Play and Crossroads.
Did you ever fall in love with the wrong person? You know he or she is just not right for you—perhaps not for anyone—but there you are, hooked. Stuck in the magic spell. Well, maybe it will help you to sing about it. Sinatra did. . . .
This piece is suitable for… um, that rare occasion when it is just the perfect thing…
A slightly risque country song, this tune makes for much merriment. You can probably guess the double entendre—and your audiences will have great fun with it!
There are all sorts of goofy key changes and lyrics in this light-hearted spoof. Can be sung in contest. Hi-Fidelity was runner-up for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America’s novelty song of the year award with this delightful number. Continue reading Blackbird Parody
This parody is quite clever. What blew by you? The singer’s toupee! The piece has been a barbershop hit since Power Play sang it and Crossroads subsequently picked up on it. Continue reading Blew by You
No joke, this is the straight version of the Roy Orbison song, covered so beautifully by Linda Ronstadt, among others. Your group can set a sultry Louisiana mood with this pop hit. Continue reading Blue Bayou
This unique rendering combines the verse from Rodgers & Hart’s original version from 1934 with the chorus of the swinging 1961 doo-wop hit. This may be the ultimate “Oh, yeah” song.
Step on the gas with this vintage Carl Perkins/Elvis Presley tune.
Jake and Elwood kicked some butt in the movie, and now your group can boot some booty too. Songs include “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Shake a Tail Feather,” “Everybody Needs Somebody,” “Think” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”
On just about everyone’s list of top 10 popular songs of all time, this song gets right to the heart of the downside of love. Do check out this most powerful, and contestable, piece.
Do you know Jacque Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld? You do too—it’s the song most associated with the Can Can. Add some whodunit lyrics in German and you have this delightful romp.
The jumpin’ WWII tune made famous by the Andrews Sisters, this song is sure to please your audience members of all ages.
This lively tune was a one-hit wonder back in 1958 for the Monotones. Hailing from Newark, N.J., the doo-wop group reached #5 with this pop classic. This was their only chart hit, but maybe if they had picked a more musically-skilled name. . . .
Van Morrison wrote this happy, lively tune back in the golden year of 1967. Quite faithful to the original, this version is sure to have your audiences rocking and clapping. Up All Night does a great job on this song.
Pop/country hit about a father and daughter that is sure to go over big at weddings.
Here is one of the Everly Brothers’ finest tunes. The men’s version of this lively tale of lost love is published by the BHS. Continue reading Bye Bye Love
Unless you plan on singing at Cologne’s Karneval (Mardi Gras) in the local dialect, Koelsch, this song is probably not for you. Yes, the title is in English, but…
This classic from the Fab Four is not only lively and wise, it is contestable too (though SAI groups should check with a Music judge). But whether for contest or show, this song is a sure winner. “Everybody tells me so!” Tim Waurick’s tracks for women are purely great, and he now has them for men too. Continue reading Can’t Buy Me Love
The King sang this pop classic, so your audiences are sure to love being transported into the past by it.
This is Elton John’s moving tribute to Princess Diana. The lyrics of this beautiful song still resonate today.
A beautiful song from the Disney film “Pete’s Dragon,” this explores the depths of true love.
Omitted words make normal songs sound risque, thus really fun. First sung by the great comedy quartet Four Under Par, this challenging piece is not for everyone.
Written to the tune of “Ballin’ the Jack,” this parody pokes fun at the cliched stage-presence moves we barbershoppers are wont to make. Your audiences, especially barbershop ones, will love it.
A gentle, mellow piece, this song expresses devotion to God.
A cute, short, dumb ditty, this song is suitable for major silliness. Not many other songs talk about a dog biting you on the behind.
A folky song written by Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul & Mary), this piece warms the heart during a cold time of year.
Not many arrangements are listed in both Inspirational and Comedy, but this medley is one big happy mix. Your holiday audiences are sure to enjoy this potpourri of Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, Here Comes Santa Claus and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.
One of the most cheerful messes you will ever encounter, this potpourri crams a ton of tunes into 180 seconds. Think you can count them all in real time? Not likely. . . .
A 15-page production number performed by the Louisville Thoroughbreds, this medley takes you all over the holiday map. The dozen or so public-domain songs paint a large and lovely picture of this joyous holiday.
A country song with lots of heart, this seasonal song will have your audiences reaching for their hankies. Feature your lead on this one.
This one is corny and funny, a sure laugh-getter. Do give it a listen. Your audiences will thank you for it, in a groaning sort of way.
This energetic collection of vintage songs captures the spirit of the early days of the war, when both sides figured they would be able to end matters in a few weeks and be home in time for plowing. Goes well in a contest package with Tell My Father or The Vacant Chair.
There are more fun songs in this medley than you can shake a squirting flower at: “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Be a Clown,” “That’s Entertainment” and “Send in the Clowns.” This barrel (or clown car?) of laughs is no longer exclusive to the MegaCity Chorus.
A short, heartfelt intro for a college-days show, this song could be put into a medley with another college piece(s).
This doo-wop classic earned the Dell-Vikings a gold single in the golden year of 1957. The BHS publishes the men’s version of this sure winner.
Ella Fitzgerald made this tune famous. It is just right for pledging undying devotion at weddings and other happy occasions.
From the musical “Oliver,” this happy, lively tune can be sung in contest. International champ Power Play welcomed you to their family with this one.
You have never heard the Barry Manilow hit quite like this before. With solo, four harmony parts and two rhythm lines, the song requires a chorus or octet to make it swing.
Picture yourself at THE night club in 1930s Harlem. What might you hear? What would you see? They would be marvelous and exciting things, that is for sure. This medley is no longer exclusive to the Big Apple Chorus.
This Roy Orbison song is a popular classic, of course. Very few barbershop groups have a lead(s) who can handle the rangy melody, so the lead, tenor and bass take turns with it. (Sorry about that, baris.)
Hey, if this heartfelt closer about show biz is good enough for Bobby Darin, it should be a hit for your group too. Continue reading Curtain Falls, The
Frank Sinatra sang this moving song of life’s ups and downs. Your audience members will definitely be able to relate to the message of this tender piece.
“What a day” for singing this Lovin’ Spoonful pop classic. This cheery arrangement is for chorus plus soloist.
This traditional Mexican children’s song is really sweet. A few years ago the Baton Rouge (La.) Chapter started a revolving quartet that dressed in scrubs and sang for the children who were patients at the local Shriners’ Hospital. When they realized that a large proportion of the kids were Hispanic, they decided to learn a song in Spanish. Disfrútala! (Enjoy it!)
Yes, this is the Eagles’ big hit, and it can even be sung in contest. So “come to your senses” and give this heartfelt tale a try.
It doesn’t get any better than the Everly Brothers singing about true love. Would make a fine addition to wedding vows. Continue reading Devoted to You
This rousing song is from the musical “Les Miserables.” Your audiences’ hearts and guts will be moved, and the song itself would even fly in contest, though this arrangement is better off used for shows.
This Statler Brothers’ tune revives all sorts of ’50s nostalgia. The arrangement could even be redone for contest.
Doing a British Invasion show? Maybe just a short package? Or perhaps your sense of humor runs toward the just plain silly! If so, then this 1924 novelty hit, revived by Lonnie Donegan in the ’60s, is the song for you!
Way raunchy but cute, but this song tells of what happened when the dogs all had a party. And what happened afterward was. . . .
How much debt can you get into if you make your purchases for a dollar down and a dollar a week? Well, if you buy enough items that way—and get the same terms when you run afoul of the law—the answer is: plenty! Both the Limelighters and Woodie Guthrie had hits with this clever little ditty back when. Give it try, it’ll only cost you a buck. . . .
A swingy tune with the singer pretending that lost love doesn’t matter, this song does not really fool anyone.
Get some serious teenage angst going with this combination of “Donna the Prima Donna” and “(Oh) Donna.” This tune is campy fun.
High energy is the name of the game with this lively number. The BHS publishes the men’s version.
For contest or show, this song is beloved by audiences and performers alike. The men’s version of this arrangement is published by the BHS. Continue reading Dream a Little Dream of Me
This beautiful Disney song has a most hopeful message: Keep believing!
This is the Swedish national anthem. Hey, you just never know when you might need it. . . .
Who would believe counting to 18 in Roman numerals could be so funny? This novelty song has to be heard to be believed.
Plenty unique and maybe even strange, this Beatles’ tune has lots of key changes and melody swaps.
Would you believe a contestable medley could be made of “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Burning Love” and “Viva Las Vegas”? You will have a blast singing this piece, one that is fit for a—well, the one and only—King.
A fine show opener, this is the theme song from the movie “The Sting.” Paul Newman and Robert Redford would be proud.b.b.b.
What? You mean you don’t have a song in Finnish in your repertoire? My friend, you have a serious shortage of double letters in your life. Actually, this is a lovely song in any language, and an English translation is in the works. So take a chance and givve itt aa tryy.
This Broadway show opener is ultra-optimistic. Better take your 5-Hour Energy drink!
Wish your audiences a Merry Christmas in bilingual fashion. This lively chart is written for four voices plus percussion instruments. The BHS publishes the men’s version.
This is a unique big-band version of Ohio State’s famous fight song. Go Bucks!
This lovely Roberta Flack song has passed the test of time. Give your audiences some warm fuzzies with this deeply moving tune.
Midwest Vocal Express earned an International medley with this crazy concoction. Ask anyone who was there: Their performance was all-time funny, delightful, memorable and totally marvellous.
This Statler Brothers’ song puts an ironic twist on loneliness. And it won’t bother your audiences at all . . .
A novelty number about looking at the world from a unique perspective, this tune was written by the delightfully twisted Heywood Banks.
Do you have an outlaw sort of bass who is looking for a solo? This is a good one, with one caveat: The song is arranged to be accompanied by guitar and bass fiddle. It could be redone someday but not just yet, for the piece is exclusive to Boardwalk right now. After all, doesn’t Pookie remind you quite a bit of Johnny Cash?
Though this song is usually set as a dialog between two people (see the next entry), the song can work just fine for one soloist. So if you are like many groups and have just one soloist with the medium range, this piece could be just the ticket for you.
From the musical Wicked, this song features a heartfelt, intense dialogue between witches Elphaba and Glinda. If your group has two good soloists with medium to high voices, this is the ticket for you. This arrangement, and the sentiments of the song, work just fine for men as well. Tracks for the women’s version have been recorded by Shawn Thomas. Continue reading For Good (two soloists)
This touching song of love lost was written by singer/songwriter/actor Kris Kristofferson. “Make believe you love me one more time”—that is some good writing. . . and your group can do some fine singing with this strong song.
A comedy number about the famous Los Angeles cemetery, this tune features clever images galore. You and your audiences will have big fun with this tune. You could even laugh yourself to death. . . .
Barry Manilow co-composed and performs this ballad, a powerful declaration of love. This tune would fit most weddings very well but works fine for almost all occasions.
This delightful song is about not judging a book by its cover. So get on out there and “kiss you a frog!”
This tune from “My Fair Lady” is a sure hit with your audiences. International champ Power Play sang it delightfully, and it is now available to your group. Continue reading Get Me to the Church on Time
An ultra-cool combination of Get Me to the Church on Time and The Girl That I Marry, this medley is both hip and loving. No longer exclusive to Alchemy.
Kristin Chenoweth popularized this cool, fun, creative piece. For women only, it requires an opera diva, a jazz singer, a barbershopper and the innocent girl caught in the middle. Not for the faint of heart.
Here is a great to honor residents of nursing homes. They will love you for it.
The rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears revived this 1941 Billie Holiday song in 1968. This tempo, bluesy ballad is as moving as they come. And here is a blessing for you: The piece is no longer exclusive to the Big Apple Chorus.
This toe-tapping, old-time gospel number is arranged in an unusual woodshed style.
This offbeat tune comes from the film “A Mighty Wind.” (Hey, that would not be a bad quartet name!) You have never heard the stories of Noah and the Ark and David and Goliath told like this. Requires a guitar and string bass. Exclusive to Boardwalk right now.
Composed back in 1976 by Freddie Mercury, this tune is happy and seductive at the same time. You will be Queen for a Day if receive loving treatment this good.
An enormously funny and interesting conglomeration, the arrangement is even contestable. This winner has been recorded by SAI queens the BUZZ. The medley bashes the opposite sex, well, just a little bit. Continue reading Goodbye Medley
Have yourself some fun with a little doo-wop barbershop. Sing this with tongue in cheek, yours or your sweetie’s. . . . Continue reading Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight
These two songs about your home in the sky go together so well that they even intertwine at one point. Have a good time letting out some energy with this one.
This pop hit is great for school-days shows. Or you can sing it to add some gentle enjoyment to any performance.
You are sure to fall under the spell of this lovely Spanish tune. It was arranged for the Investigators, the quartet that led the founding of Spain’s barbershop organization, SABS. Though in Spanish, the piece probably could be sung with the English lyrics without too much trouble.
This lively, happy, nostalgic John Denver song is great fun for either sex to sing. Now available in contest and show versions. James Estes has recorded learning tracks for the contest chart.
This hilarious number bemoans the effects of aging on a woman’s body. Seattle feminist Lisa Koch composed this clever song, and Lisa did yours truly the honor of incorporating a phrase from this arrangement into her own performances.
Revisit Danny and Sandy in a monster medley that is great for either contest or shows. The Hot Air Buffoons no longer have exclusive rights to the piece. Of course, their take on “grease” had to do with—what else?—food!
This tribute to the Great Lakes and their seagoing men is strong and moving.
Written and performed by John Jarvis, this lovely song stresses two types of love. One is for one’s spouse, while the other is even greater: “Peace on Earth, goodwill to men.” At this time the arrangement is exclusive to Nova Quattro, but your chance will come one of these days.
This clever song of a boy’s outsized baseball fantasies is no longer exclusive to Buckeye Blend. Do check this sweet, lovable tune out.
Recorded by various country artists, this melancholy song is sure to move your audiences’ hearts. There are many ways to get back home, but this method is clearly not recommended. . . .
A pop hit for the Mindbenders (1966) and for Phil Collins (1988), the song has been sung lately by the King’s Singers. Makes a great solo for tenor or high lead/bari. The bass also gets some licks in too. Do have a look at this uniquely wonderful chart.
Arranged for eight-part mixed voices, this Amy Grant song is a wish list for a better world. So get together with a chorus or quartet of the other sex and move your audiences’ hearts with this gem.
Diana Ross sang this tender song of the happiness love brings. This is definitely not the Pharrell Williams tune.
Barbershopper Jim Ahlgrim wrote a lovely verse to this standard.
For Western shows, this is the quintessential Roy Rogers & Dale Evans song. I even had the chance to tell Dale personally about arranging her song in the barbershop style! Use this classic tune to end any performance, Western-themed or not.
Very funny for contest or shows, as sung by Shenanigans. Just how many things can go wrong today?
Great for weddings, of course, this tenor solo also adds a special touch to any show.
The powerful message of this tune makes it just right to stir your audiences’ emotions. With Him, all things are possible, eh?
This unique tune, written by Lynn Hauldren, the inimitable bari of Chordiac Arrest, chronicles some highly unlikely barbershop happenings. No longer exclusive to Rumors.
Allan Sherman’s novelty hit from the 1960s can be your group’s next hit. Check out this boy’s plaintive lament sent from summer camp.
LEARNING TRACKS AVAILABLE:
- Daniel Gillis | http://www.vocalharmonies.com
Can Joe Mahoney catch the criminal mastermind who pulled off the big heist? Joe’s disguise when he goes undercover does not fool anyone, but our man just may be able to close the book on this one nonetheless. Set to a light classical tune, this piece is heavy fun.
The lively Ricky Nelson song works just fine for contest or show. Audiences purely love this one.
A classic song for older singers, this ballad from The King and I is as timeless as it is beautiful. Give it a whirl and see what you think.
All four voice parts get a shot at the melody of this delightful holiday tune—yes, even the baritones! Written by the famous singing cowboy Gene Autry and the wonderfully named Oakley Haldeman, this song is sure to bring seasonal cheer to your audiences.
A regional song honoring spud-state dwellers, this tune is rather, um, specialized.
A classy easy-beat, very romantic, this song would be just right for honoring the bride on her wedding day.
Well, this football fight song doesn’t have any, um, lyrics, but the nonsensical energy sure does run high when you sing this one.Contestable medley of energetic ’60s Broadway tunes, as sung by Power Playcontestable medley of energetic ’60s Broadway tunes
Now available for men too, this hilarious song of what happened in the back seat of the teen’s car is pretty odd and offbeat. Continue reading Hickey
This emphatic tune is arranged for four-part women’s voices with male solo. The fellow needs to be either a bass or a low baritone—low in more than one sense of the word? The arrangement is also available in German. That title translates as “Come, Drink Up, Jack.” Fun, eh?
Johnny Marks wrote this most happy, lively tune. It just plain feels good, and nobody doesn’t love it, so please your holiday audiences with this one.
What Is America to me? This song lists many everyday things in heart-warming, inspiring fashion. Give this tune a listen.
The original lyrics to this song are in Italian, and the Italians sure do know about love. The piece was arranged for the LABBS (British women’s) organization but is available to all.
This inspirational classic is a hit on any show. Power Play put their family touch on this heartfelt tune. Continue reading I Believe
A beautiful, haunting piece, “I Believe in You” encourages a friend who is down and out to believe in herself or himself. The lyrics are mostly in English, partly in French. The format is solo with four-part background, with the final chord splitting into seven parts. Do check this wonderful song out for your chorus!
When well-known barbershopper Darryl Flinn first heard my current quartet, Lock 4, he remarked on what a fine voice our lead, Keith, had and declared him to be the lost Ink Spot. So naturally I went back and arranged Keith’s favorite Ink Spot song. The piece lives more vividly with guitar accompaniment, and there is even a traditional, uh, spot for a bass recitation.
By the way, our quartet’s name has a double meaning. The Ohio & Erie Canal came through Akron back in the day, and of course we barbershoppers love to lock and ring those chords!
The Patsy Cline classic about a love that is tough to get over, this song is sure tug at your listeners’ heartstrings.
Put a little sophisticated flair into your contest or show package with this classic Cole Porter love song.
From the musical Girl Crazy, this swingy tune is a sure crowd-pleaser. But you had better have the rhythm in your soul if you want to pull it off.
A poignant song of a city dweller who yearns for the great outdoors, this song is just a little bit melancholy. Sure is beautiful, though.
This gorgeous tune is from the classic musical West Side Story. The format is solo plus chorus, five parts for women. Romantic love was never explained any better.
The cute childhood song with all sorts of funny patter, this tune appeals to the kid in all of us, singer and listener alike.
Tom T. Hall’s ode to the ethereal amber beverage is great fun. This whimsical tune is available as either a lead or bass solo.
Tom T. Hall’s ode to the ethereal amber beverage is great fun. This whimsical tune is available as either a lead or bass solo.
This lively, contestable march medley is sure to stir your audiences’ souls.
This popular classic is now available in two versions. One has the shimmering feel of the rock ‘n’ roll hit, while the other is a contestable tempo ballad as sung by Metropolis. The latter can be sung either straight or, as the quartet did it, humorously. Continue reading I Only Have Eyes for You
Popularized by Dusty Springfield in the ’60s, this happy love song was arranged for all of the LABBS ladies.
This country-flavored patriotic number is no longer exclusive to Accent. It speaks of pledging your allegiance to that “grand old flag.”
When I first got involved with the Cleveland Heights High School Barbershoppers, I asked the young women what song they would most like to have arranged. Thinking of the Julia Roberts film “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” they choose this one. This sweet tune is now available to other youth groups, and there is also a version for the grown-ups which is pitched down a little.
A very happy uptune for kids of all ages, this song just gushes friendship and love.
A most humorous tune, as sung by The New Tradition quartet. The men’s version of this arrangement is published by the BHS.
From the classic animated film The Jungle Book, this song is great fun to, um, monkey around with.
This football-type pep song appeals to Buckeyes of all ages.
Your audiences will be almost in heaven when you sing this hearfelt song.
A novelty hit for child singer Gayla Peevey in 1953, this seasonal tune is just strange enough to be big fun for you and your audiences.
What a delightful love song this is! The Beatles sure knew how to write ’em. . . .
Truer words were never spoken, eh? Even when times are tough—as they are right now, in July of 2020—we need to do what good we can every day. This song was arranged for Harmony Inc. queen quartet Aged to Perfection, but there is a men’s version as well.
The title of this lively spiritual pretty much says it all. Time to sing praises, and indeed with great energy!
Written by a barbershopper from Dallas, this song is of professional quality. Hear why the Vocal Majority and Second Edition have performed this lovely seasonal tune.
There are not many lovelier, more poignant ballads than this seasonal one. This song is no longer exclusive to the Macomb County Chapter, feel free to take it home with you. . . .
Dionne Warwick sang this classic by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Though arranged for the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers, the song works fine for men too. Continue reading I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
Your audiences will howl at this novelty tune, composed by Joe Hunter and Tom and sung by Reveille. This may not be the best time of life for every man. Does he need to take Viagra? Depends…
This ribald tune, written by Seattle’s own Lisa Koch, is available in both PG and R-rated versions. You pretty much have to see/hear this one to believe it.
This one is tough to explain. Think of a typical ’30s swing tune with modern lyrics like “hard-rock diet,” “in your face” and “MTV and AMC.” Way cool, and it is contestable too! Continue reading I’m Beginning to Like It
Everyone likes this fun, offbeat love song. Great for men and women alike, it is now available in both contest and show versions. Learning tracks have been recorded for the women’s contest chart.
A goofy golden oldie, this English music hall song is quite repetitive, so you might want to make part of it a sing-along with your audience.
George Burns sings this funny song about the end of a marriage, a piece with quite a surprise twist at the end.
A very cute tune, this tale tells of a poor little dolly who had “appendisawdust.”
No doubt you have already guessed the punch line to this tune. No, the person is not a yo-yo. Yes, he or she is head-over-heels in love! Give this happy song a test spin. . . .
This tender pop hit, made famous by Bread, is a most moving love song. It makes a great song for weddings, Singing Valentines and much more.
Simple but by no means dull, this tune professes a great love. Not quite contestable, it is still great for shows or Singing Valentines.
From the animated film Monsters Inc., this happy tune was sung as a duet by Billy Crystal and John Goodman. As a bonus, the arrangement is contestable. Continue reading If I Didn’t Have You
This song is a little strange, in the same sense that Shaquille O’Neal is a little tall and famous. A fantasy of grandiosity, this tune is no longer exclusive to Buckeye Blend.
Folk music meets barbershop in this inspiring piece. Couldn’t we use some “justice, freedom, and love between our brothers and our sisters” right about now?
An old-time novelty number about a feisty Irishman, this tune shows a lot of Irish pride.
This traditional gospel tune is available in both barbershop and modern versions. At this most interesting time in history “we sure do need Him now,” wouldn’t you agree? Continue reading If We Ever Needed the Lord Before
A most uplifting pop love ballad, this tune is full of goodness and inspiration.
The great Stephen Foster wrote many beautiful, poignant songs, as well as some lighthearted ones. Guess which kind this is. This song, as well as its composer, was featured at the 2015 Pittsburgh International convention.
The lovely Beatles tune is great for men and women alike. Express your deep love sweetly and gently with this hit song. Continue reading In My Life
The Beach Boys’ story of teenage angst is surprisingly sweet and moving, and works well for singers of all ages. The BHS publishes the men’s version. This short song is a natural for Youth in Harmony groups of both sexes.
The Boyz II Men redo of the classic doo-wop hit is popular with singers and listeners of all generations. The Society publishes the men’s version. Continue reading In the Still of the Nite
A goofy takeoff on Goodnight, Irene, this song expresses great frustration that the fellow who keeps repeating himself to his love does not just shut up and get lost.
The ’60s group The Seekers (I’ll Never Find Another You, Georgy Girl) sang this captivating song. It is arranged for eight-part mixed voices.
If your group has a soloist with lots of heart, this lovely tune will take your audiences back home to Ireland. It was the theme from the John Wayne movie The Quiet Man. Continue reading Isle of Inisfree, The
If you sing in a mixed-barbershop group or church choir, this SATB arrangement is for you. The message is as timeless as it is powerful.
The King’s Singers sang this bittersweet song, which is available in both tenor- and bass-solo versions. This piece is purely lovely, “but it’s much too hard to write.”
The King’s Singers sang this bittersweet song, which is available in both tenor- and bass-solo versions. This piece is purely lovely, “but it’s much too hard to write.” (Hmm, where have you read that before. . . .)
Remember the teenage angst of being out past your curfew—waaay past your curfew? Ricky Nelson sang about it back in 1958, but every word still applies today. And instead of feeling dread, your group, and your audiences, can have great fun with this tune. By the way, this song was arranged for the award-winning Cleveland Heights High School Men’s Barbershoppers.
Cute and risque, this song fights sexual stereotypes. Check it out.
In 1991 this song was a big hit for Boyz II Men. Formed in 1988 in Philadelphia, this R&B vocal group recorded a whopping eight Top-10 tunes in just a little over four years. Do yourself, and your audiences, a favor and check out this beautiful, poignant song of lost love.
From the musical Mame, this happy, driving song urges you to celebrate the day. It makes a really energetic opener and is great for both men and women. Continue reading It’s Today
Your basic pleasant nonsense song, this is a pop standard. Use it to lighten and cheer up the mood in any performance.
Every voice part gets a solo in this lively, happy Christmas tune. Well-known composer and arranger Kirby Shaw has penned a winner here!
This wonderful tune welcomes a new baby to the world. It is as gentle and sweet as they come, so give it a look and listen. (And I am looking at you, White Rose.)
This is a surprisingly complex and powerful take on the children’s song. With lots of key changes and melody swaps, it is not for the faint of heart.
This was written by the late Frank Buffington, who also composed the wonderful tune “Old Songs Are Just like Old Friends,” popularized by 1991 International quartet champ The Ritz. Both pieces were proud achievements for Buffy, a hard worker for JAD for many years.
This is a novelty number with an old-fashioned Italian flavor. Better watch what is behind you when you start hugging and kissing. . . .
Big fun is ahead when your group whips out its kazoos. The energy builds and builds to a great finish. This unique number is sure to delight your audiences. Continue reading Kazoo Koncerto
This powerful Grammy Award winner, sung by Roberta Flack, is now available in two versions. One is as usual, while the other, as sung by MAXX Factor, is delightfully twisted.
Everyone enjoys this light-hearted hobo song, composed and performed by the great Roger Miller. And the arrangement could even be edited to be contestable, so hitch a ride on this tune!
Two brave lads are almost ready to slay dragons, rescue fair damsels, drink mass quantities of mead, and the like. Will they make the grade or . . . ?
This nutty compilation contains So Long, Mother; Back in the Old Routine; Side by Side; I Love a Parade; Chattanooga Choo Choo; Bright Was the Night; and (I’m Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over. Crazy enough for you? Check out the medley below.
And its partner piece is composed of these tunes: I Got Rhythm, Soft Shoe Song, Tonight, By the Light of the Silvery Moon and The Hokey Pokey. All these, and you get to wear swell costumes as well!
Spike Jones and His City Slickers did a bang-up job on this number way back when. There is plenty of room for fun, including making just about every sound effect you can think of.
Would you believe “Hit the Road, Jack” in German? Unusual fun awaits here. This piece is arranged for women’s voices with male soloist. Also available in English.
Fine for either contest or show, this cheerful song helped Marquis win gold at the 1995 International, in Miami Beach. Though a bit rangy, this piece pretty much sings itself. Continue reading Lazy River (Up a)
Want to perform Script Ohio, just like the Ohio State Marching Band? If you want to be the vocal version of the Best Damn Band in the Land, this is the song for you.
From way back in 1905, this tune is lots of old-fashioned fun. So come join Schmidt, Schmaltz, Heiny, Jake and Heinz in some crowd-pleasing antics. This song is published by the BHS.
Composed and sung by Bill Withers, this is one of the most popular songs of the last 50 years. Inspire your audiences with this uplifting winner.
The Everly Brothers sang this heartfelt love ballad with great Success. It was a Top 10 hit for the duo back in 1960. Now available for SATB mixed voices (as well as for men and women).
This wonderful, romantic song was written by Barry Manilow and featured in the movie Thumbellina. And isn’t the title just lovely?
A country tune with lots of heart, this plea to allow children to act their age is a real gem. It is no longer exclusive to the fine senior quartet Melodies & Memories.
A show closer with a great message, this song offers the best wish possible. The men’s version of this arrangement is published by the BHS, and it works great for women and mixed groups as well. Continue reading Let There Be Peace On Earth
The Dallas rock ‘n’ roll group Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs earned a gold record with this catchy tune, which rose to #2 on the charts back in 1966. Their breakout hit from the year before, Wooly Bully, had also charted at #2. Time to get delightfully funny with the wicked song!
This love song, in German, was a hit with every soldier. It can be sung in English as well.
A solid gold hit from 1957 for the Diamonds, this doo-wop tune will give your lead a chance to shine and your tenor some hammy moments.
Written by barbershopper Stewart Girlock, this gospel song is of professional quality. Yes, there are angels among us.
The word in question is indeed long. It is very long. It is very, very long. Would you believe “hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliaphobia’? And it is a real word too, unlike a certain one from the musical Mary Poppins. See if your group can wrap your brains, and tongues, around this delightful, energetic song.
Billy Joel’s hit is doo-wop barbershop at its most enjoyable. The BHS publishes the men’s version, and the song works great for the ladies as well. Continue reading Longest Time, The
This beautiful piece is a rearrangement for SATB of the Society-published chart done by the great Joe Liles and me. It is fine for both mixed-barbershop and church groups.
This is a contestable version of a most powerful song. Judges in the Performance category have assured me that this song does not really function a religious number, but rather as a lament about feeling quite alone. The arrangement is no longer exclusive to the Brothers in Harmony, who sang it most dramatically in International competition.
If you are not familiar with this Andrew Lloyd Webber song, you owe it to yourself to find it, whether this arrangement or in some other form. It is purely gorgeous.
This is a contestable editing of the barbershop classic. They don’t come any sweeter than this, so give the song a whirl. Continue reading Lullaby in Ragtime, A
The totally nonsensical lyrics of this tune make for lots of laughs. It is way, way silly.
A swinging version of When You and I Were Young, Maggie, this song is just right for you cool cats and kittens.
Unique to say the least, this medley combines the Bob Dylan song with one by Snow Patrol.
Not your run-of-the-mill barbershop tune, Mammas would go great in a Western show, or use it as a novelty number for a change the pace. Audiences just plain like this song!
A golden-oldie novelty number, this light-hearted song carries a timeless message regarding what sort of man appeals to the ladies.
This seasonal medley combines two songs composed by the great Johnny Marks, Have a Holly Jolly Christmas and Silver and Gold. Your audiences are sure to enjoy the sweet sentiments expressed here.
Pretty and rhythmic, this pop ballad lets you express your feelings for your beloved most sweetly. If sweet is your thing, have a listen to this tune.
Who didn’t love our Mary? Your group will enjoy singing this happy little number.
Powerful, reverent song, this piece is a hit at Christmas or any other time of year. Available in male, female and mixed voices. Continue reading Mary, Did You Know
A modernish tempo ballad, this tune is suitable for contest. It conveys a sweet sentiment with powerful, creative lyrics and images. Have a look and a listen. . . .
Partly in English and partly in German, this song is, well . . . what it is, is . . . different—and great fun! The English title is “My Brother Makes the Sound Effects for Movies.” The sounds included are a mix of vocal, electronic and mechanical effects. And the piece is contestable too. It could be redone for your group to be all in one language or the other.
This happy seasonal song is easy to learn and perform. Hey, you may even may be able to get your audience up and dancing!
The Carpenters’ moving hit is available in various versions: women’s, men’s, mixed and as a solo plus four parts for a chorus specialty number. They don’t get any sweeter than this.
This C&W classic harmonizes just fine for barbershop and has multi-cultural appeal. A Spanish translation of the chorus is included. Sing both choruses to please a wide audience, even in contest.
Who knows? You could need this one sometime. Well, you could.
Have soldierly fun with this humorous combination of Sound Off and Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning.
A wonderful sisterhood song for women, this tune is from the fine film “The Color Purple.”
Must be heard to be believed. The strange and marvelous workings of the Holy Spirit—or, well, something—are detailed in this hilarious piece. Can I get an “Amen!”?
This old-time medley contains Bright Was the Night, Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon. How is that for some vintage classics?
An most unusual type of lullaby, this catchy tune from Annie Get Your Gun has a lazy, fun feeling to it. This tune is especially suitable for women to sing.
The theme from the movie Mondo Cane, this easy-listening classic is great for shows, glows and weddings. And it’s not really a dog’s world after all, is it?
With 16 pages of fast musical action, this medley will make you fasten your seat belt. There are some solos with four-part background, so this song is meant for a chorus to sing. Only the women’s version is available right now, but it could be redone for men.
Long considered a jazz standard, this tune was written by the great Kid Ory in 1926. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five. This song is lively and plenty of fun, so come along with us. Let’s get ready to ramble!
Nobody doesn’t enjoy this fun, catty pop #1 hit from 1963. This tune is good for young and old alike, so give it a whirl. The arrangement is available in men’s voicing also. Hey, why not. . . .
Partly in English and partly in German, this song is, well . . . what it is, is . . . different—and great fun! The sounds included are a mix of vocal, electronic and mechanical effects. And it is contestable too. It could be redone for your group to be all in one language or the other. The German title is “Mein Bruder macht im Tonfilm die Geräusche.”
This pop hit from 1962 will touch your audiences’ hearts. Slick and sad, this tune of love lost contains very evocative images, allowing you to paint quite a picture for your audiences.
All of your favorites are included here. Great for choruses, and maybe even quartets, of both sexes.
For mature groups only. With an opening line like “Maalox and nose drops and needles for knittin’,” this song lets you know that big fun is on the way. Hey, this tune is really funny and clever!
A novelty song about the travels of a token of love, this tune is large fun. The men’s version of this arrangement is published by the BHS.
When this song went all the way to #1 back in 1964, it was no miracle. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson—get it?—this happy tune of loyal love made in big on both the pop and R&B charts for Motown star Mary Wells. This tune will make your audiences smile, and you as well!
Willie Nelson is probably the best-known singer to perform this poignant song. Shades of America’s pioneer past.
This beautiful hymn speaks of joy in the face of suffering. The lyrics are just about as strong as those of It Is Well with My Soul, which is saying something. Continue reading My Life Flows On (How Can I Keep from Singing)
Tim McGraw sang and co-wrote this beautiful song. Guaranteed to melt any parent’s heart, this piece is no longer exclusive to the fine seniors quartet Melodies and Memories.
By gosh, no one wrote ’em quite like the Scottish poet Robert Burns. If you like singing the old songs, and if you like singing love songs, this piece from 1794 qualifies nicely as both.
This arrangement of the beautiful #1 hit for the Platters (1956) debuted at a barbershopper’s wedding. You can spread the love by picking up on this hopeful tune.
Can you guess which classic barbershop tune this is a parody of? All sorts of mischief is created by substituting fancy words for the normal ones. Do give this uniquely strange piece a try.
This allegedly sinful sweetie turns out to be a brand new baby girl. Guaranteed to have be an audience-pleaser. The chart is no longer exclusive to Susan Wells, the Southern Belle.
This 1985 hit by the Pointer Sisters is guaranteed to energize your audiences. Surely you want a Pointer Sisters song in your repertoire, right?
This one is rather tough to describe. For one thing, it does not exist yet—at least not in a completed form. The gag is pairing the lyrics from songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and so on with the melodies of much older songs. Some examples of the latter are “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,” “After the Ball” and “I Got Rhythm.” The hope is to pleasantly scramble your audiences’ brain waves (maybe you own also). If you are interested in this weird concept, do give me a holler.
This contestable version of a beautiful ballad is most sincere but also rather sophisticated. Do give this strong song a try.
Performed in English by Texas Lightning, this song was the German entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. Has a fine rock/pop/country feel to it.
Are you ready to “wake up the echoes”? This famous tune was written by brothers Michael J. Shea (’05) and John F. Shea (’06). Rumor has it that singing this song will get you in tight with Touchdown Jesus, so order your copies today!
From the movie Mary Poppins Returns, this delightful song will take you on a natural high. You won’t be flying a kite—you will soar over the town, maybe even heading to the moon. This arrangement is fine for contests using the BHS judging system but might be more suitable for shows in the Sweet Adelines world. Commissioned by the Hunterdon Harmonizers, this piece is exclusive to them for a while longer.
Celtic Woman popularized this moving tribute to the spirit of the USA. Even singers and audiences from other lands will be touched by this powerful piece.
This arrangement uses an ancient melody and Robert Burns’s classic lyrics. Burns composed this poem way, way back, in 1794. Love is timeless, eh?
Unpopular in the state of Michigan, this tune is beloved by us Buckeyes.
This pop standard paints a lovely picture. Delight your audiences, and the judges too, with this sweet, swingy song. Continue reading Old Cape Cod
Yes, this is the hit from Three Dog Night. Of course, we sing it in four-part harmony, not three. Take you audiences back to the glory days of the ’70s with this happy tune.
Composed of Paul Simon’s Bookends and When You and I Were Young, Maggie, this medley is dedicated to my paternal grandfather.
Take a trip down memory lane with this sweet old song. It was arranged for Vintage Mix, a delightful Wisconsin quartet composed of teenage quadruplets. Their grandfather used to sing it to them, and they purely fell in love with it. Give yourself the same chance. . . .
This wonderfully maudlin tale of a boy and his dog was written by Red Foley and Arthur Willis. The story was based on a German Shepherd, Hoover, a dog Foley owned as a child. Hoover died due to an unfortunate incident with a neighbor. Elvis Presley really made the lyric live, and so can your quartet or chorus.
This stirring song of the futility of war comes from the film Billy Jack. Sometimes the only survivor is. . . .
This powerful song sounds as though it were written for 9/11. Though it appeared about a year earlier, the amazing sentiments make it a great song for any group’s repertoire.
This happy song of faith moves along with considerable energy. Manhattan Transfer made the piece famous—and your quartet or chorus can help it stay that way.
This one is way fun and makes a great opener or closer. It is available in both contest and show versions. Continue reading Orange Colored Sky
Here is a regional, sweet uptune about a pretty little miss in Oshkosh, Wis. See, it rhymes and everything.
The words don’t make a bit of sense, but that doesn’t stop the fun in this novelty number. In fact, the words are the biggest part of the merriment. This song is no longer exclusive to Buckeye Blend.
This cute Western medley looks at the other side of the coin.
This is a delightful song of sensual, well . . . entitlement. Uppity in the manner of “Santa Baby,” this tune hides its desires—not all that subtly—behind words of luxury and being spoiled. Show off your inner femme fatale with this seductive piece.
No one doesn’t enjoy this easy-beat tune. It makes a fine change of pace for your performances.
Idina Menzel, who played the Wicked green witch Elphaba on Broadway, sings this haunting tune. You are sure to tug on your audiences’ heartstrings when you sing about a mother reassuring her child that even though she and her husband must part, the child is wonderful and is truly loved.
Have a look at this delightful combination of “You Can Fly!,” “I Won’t Grow Up,” “Captain Hook’s Waltz” and “The Chase.” We have here a unique mix of humor and heart that the child in you will purely love. Sing it in contest along with the beautiful ballad Second Star to the Right, which comes from the animated film Peter Pan.
Five well-known barbershop songs are given new lyrics, and new life, in this fun romp. Wonder what could be paired with it in a high-concept contest set. “I Don’t Have a Wooden Heart,” “I’m Your Puppet,” “I’ve Got No Strings”—we could think of something!
Celtic Thunder sings this happy, lively, energetic, creative, wonderful, fantastic song. You owe it to yourself to check it out for your quartet or chorus. You just do! Can be sung with or without a backup band. Continue reading Place in the Choir
Be sure to include this parody in your next Amish package. You will be doing an Amish package, right?
Peter, Paul and Mary sang this funny, sweet song about being the last kid chosen. Do check it out!
This gem of a Maori love song was originally arranged for The Ritz, who won quartet gold in 1991. They sang it with great success on a trip to New Zealand. The Musical Island Boys, our champ in 2014, picked up on it too, as have many other groups in that country. The lyrics are about half in English, but no worries, for Polynesian words are easy to sound out.
Olive Oyl, Swee’ Pea, Wimpy, Bluto and the Sailor Man himself are all featured in this parody melange. Suitable for contest, this medley would also make a great centerpiece for a fun show theme.
Folk legend Pete Seeger penned this uplifting song. Use this piece to honor a friend(s) or simply to inpire your audiences. Arranged for chorus and soloist.
This fun meter parody is quite contestable. The lovable quartet Shenanigans had a hit with it, and so could your quartet or chorus.
Parodies on well-known songs tell of each quartet member’s upcoming stint in Alcatraz, Sing Sing, Marion and Leavenworth. No longer exclusive to Rumors, this piece will really, uh, capture your audiences’ attention.
A yo-ho-ho and a bottle of Captain Morgan’s, ye scurvy landlubbers! This clever song from the film Muppet Treasure Island will shiver your timbers for sure.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ride — well, a bicycle, anyhow — again. This light song is, well, delightful. If you don’t give this tune a try, you’re all wet!
Country star Toby Keith sings this homage to his favorite container for adult beverages. The lead handles the funny, quirky recitation. This a different kind of love song. See—or sip—for yourself!
The wall-to-well redneck jokes will have your audience swallowing their chawin’ tobaccy. No longer exclusive to Overture.
This lovely song was written by Newfoundland folk singer Shirley Montague. Newfound Sound, the Harmony Inc. chorus from St. John’s, commissioned the piece in honor of their late member Elaine Sparkes. Though the piece is very specific to Elaine’s life, it probably could be rewritten to honor another barbershopper.
No, that is not a misprint. This snappy opener is a combo of Rock Around the Clock and Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay. Hey, it’s time for you to rock out!
Four rock ‘n’ roll classics make this medley a winner: Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay, Hound Dog, Tears on My Pillow and Blue Moon. So, hey, let your eternal teenager out for a little while.
This stirring Jewish religious piece is right for believers of all faiths.
This tune is high-energy, recognizable and just plain fun. On top of that, the arrangement is fine for contest. So what are you waiting for? Have a sip of moonshine and give it a try!
The thought-provoking Dan Fogelberg song, this piece seems to be about a colt that might run in the Kentucky Derby but may just have a deeper meaning for us all.
If big, gooey messes are your thing, this is the dirty—er, ditty—for you.
Originally arranged for a female soloist with men’s quartet or chorus, the piece is now available for five women’s voice parts. This seductive song is cool, hot and fun. Continue reading Santa Baby
John Denver sang this clever novelty song. Just what does happen in that Ohio town when the sun goes down?
Brothers and Sisters, are you leading a life of sin and corruption? If so, this energetic, tongue-in-cheek song will set you on the righteous path. Okay, so it did not quite do the trick for the comedy quartet Up All Night, but it almost always works. Let me hear an “Amen!”
A plug for Steeltown, this tune makes for big regional fun.
Well, this medley is, um, hard to explain. The theme is a crew appealing to the captain for shore leave. And there are lots and lots of songs in it. For sure, it is funny. It would make a great contest piece for an ambitious group, or sing it on a show.
Arranged for the LABBS organization, this lush tune works for men too. Isn’t it great when you can let a happy secret out. . . .
This tongue-in-cheek lament is best saved for after-afterglows. But, hey, legalization is slowly but surely happening. . . .
This moving, haunting song is especially powerful as a bass solo. Enjoy Stephen Sondheim at his best!
The first line of the chorus is “Senior moments, brain farts.” What more do you need to know about this humorous afterglow song? It will have your audiences rolling in . . . their wheel chairs.
You don’t have to be a Baptist to sing this song, which somehow manages to be both lively and majestic.
This uplifting pop/country hit pays homage to the beloved lady who gives you so much support. Sing it to bring out your inner Kenny Rogers!
Well, now, what did our Minnie lose at that famous hotel? This humorous tune with a surprising punch line will tell you. Your audiences will enjoy this harmless fun—promise!
Definitely an oldie, this song of a fallen woman is to be sung with tongue firmly in cheek.
A wildly creative commentary on lonely life in the suburbs, this song can be sung in contest. You need to experience this offbeat tune at least once in your life to believe it.
I am not sure whose idea this was, but putting “Silent Night” into minor mode was way interesting. Want to scramble (but not to eat!) your audiences’ brains? This tune will do it. . . .
Truly a rock’n’roll classic that will take your audiences back, this tune offers lighthearted fun. The BHS publishes the men’s version. Continue reading Silhouettes (On the Shade)
A doo-wop gospel tune a la Glad, this song really fits us barbershoppers. We sure do love to sing it a cappella, eh?
What a sweet Christmas tune this is. Your group will enjoy singing a lullaby to the baby Jesus, and so will your audiences.
Hopeful songs of love don’t come any prettier than this. The lead sings the melody in the normal range in this version.
Hopeful songs of love still don’t come any prettier than this. Makes a great solo for a tenor or high lead.
Inspired by the Andy Williams version of the holiday song, this arrangement features five key changes. That makes for a most energetic piece, for sure. Continue reading Sleigh Ride
This country hit tells us to enjoy life right now. Hey, when else is there?
As sung by The New Tradition, Nightlife, Ringmasters and many other groups, this piece is really powerful. You could close your shows with it or sing it in just about any other position. This arrangement is my all-time favorite. It works well for BHS, HI, etc. contests, but I am not sure about SAI. Continue reading Smile
A big hit in Europe in the time of Flower Power, this song was a performed by a Swedish group whose only Austrian member, Dieter Feichtinger, is now a Stockholm barbershopper.
It is just about impossible to go wrong with this beautiful tribute to the USA. Do give it a listen.
An ultra-intense Civil War song, this piece is contestable. Lots of sadness here, so skip this one unless you can handle it. But if you can, the cost of war is spotlighted in this story of a young solider who did not make it home.
Arranged to help the Dutch Association of Barbershop Singers (DABS) celebrate its 20th anniversary, this song is as strong as it gets. It has been used for protest and inspiration by a wide variety of oppressed groups, though anyone can relate to its powerful, uplifting message. A mixed version is now available. Continue reading Something Inside So Strong
I wrote and arranged this energetic song honoring music and other sounds of life around us. The men’s version of this arrangement is published by the BHS. There is now an SATB version for YMIH/YWIH singers, as well one for women’s voices. Continue reading Sound Celebration
This fast piece definitely cooks, with a scat section for each voice part. There is nothing more fun than singing about music. Continue reading Spreadin’ Rhythm Around
What? You don’t have a Led Zeppelin song in your repertoire? Well, isn’t it high time you got one? The answer is, maybe. For one thing, this arrangement requires an extra soloist or two, making it better suited to a chorus than quartet. Also, many of the tricky instrumental effects are reproduced vocally, making this piece very . . . not easy. But if your group can pull it off, your audiences are bound to go bonkers!
From the 1954 Broadway musical The Pajama Game, this tune is hot. No, it’s hotter than hot! The Cleveland Heights High School Women Barbershoppers debuted this sultry song with great success at the Midwinter Convention, but is just fine for the grownups as well. The piece is probably not suitable for SAI contests, but it is great for shows. And don’t forget to wear your black derbies. . . .
Okay, maybe streaking is not as popular as it once was, but gratuitous nudity will always sell well. It is recommended that you perform this piece fully clothed, though, letting your audience members use their imaginations—hopefully happy ones.
Come join the folks of this nickel-mining town for a rollicking time. Canadian legend Stompin’ Tom Connors paints a most vivid, delightful picture of what the weekend is like up north in Ontario. You are right there, and your audiences will be too.
This lovely tune was a #1 hit for Kyu Sakamoto back in 1963. The Japanese lyrics tell a sad love story, not really anything to do with food. Surprisingly, the song made the Top Ten again in 1981 and 1995. And you should hear the delightful Yuki sing it, backed up by her Louisville HI chorus. . . .
There is plenty of seasonal fun to be had with this hit from the UK. It is time to go on holiday!
Here are three songs from the musical about everyone’s favorite dance-hall girl: “Hey, Look Me Over,” “Baby Dream Your Dream” and “Big Spender.” This combination of witty and hopeful tunes are best suited for women only.
Ever wonder what would happen if your group reversed its standing position? A barbershop classic might well come out backward, to highly funny effect. This tune is a sure audience-grabber. It fits both men and women just fine.
A fun nonsense song that takes you in circles, this vintage tune surprises your audience every few seconds. Could this be the next big barbershop hit? Well, maybe not, but it is large fun to sing and listen to!
Great fun for singers and audiences alike, this lively tune is available in both contest and show versions. It is easily one of my most popular charts. Power Play sang it with much success, and it works just fine for the ladies as well. Continue reading Swinging on a Star
This is an offbeat, fun, potentially contestable list of forbidden things. The original was in German, but the piece is available in English as well.
This is the classic fun version, the one where the notes and words somehow become one notch off. All’s well that ends well, though. Your audiences are sure to enjoy this comedic tune.
No one doesn’t love this happy, swingy tune. Your contest and show audiences are sure to enjoy hearing you sing it. So take a chance and sing through it. What have you got to lose?
The origins of “Taps” date back to American Civil War. This bugle call began as a lights-out signal to soldiers at night but now is played at military funerals and memorials. Though not a cheery song, it can be very powerfully sung when the occasion calls for it.
From the musical Civil War, this song of a dying young soldier is most powerful, indeed. It makes a fine contest companion to the Civil War Medley of rousing uptunes. Both Power Play and The Alliance have sung it in international competition.
How could there be so many reasons for getting back together with an ex? Think Powerball! That’s what highly creative barbershopper Mike Lietke thought of.
You know how some songs are just plain fun? Well, this is one of them. John Denver’s popular classic can be a hit for your group too—whether you are really country or just pretending.
What could be more inspiring than singing about our music? This uplifting arrangement is no longer exclusive. Continue reading Thank You for the Music
Looking for a short song to close your shows with? How does one minute of happy thanks sound to you? Lots of fun and energy in this piece, so give it a whirl.
A great Statler Brothers’ tune honoring music, this song is heavy on old-fashioned values and references.
Bob Hope’s theme song is just the thing to close your show with. Some of the lyrics have been changed to provide barbershop references. Nice, eh?
Though this ballad was most popular in the UK, barbershoppers the world over will enjoy its sweet, romantic sentiment.
How long has it been since you heard a good old Gene Autry song? Well, your audiences probably haven’t either, so take them back in time with this heartfelt tempo ballad. By the way, my daddy’s hair is more, well, flesh-colored.
The rock hit performed by Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt and many others, this tune is a lot of uppity fun. Continue reading That’ll Be the Day
A fine show opener in the Broadway tradition, this song offers plenty of clever, energetic fun.
A beautiful song of lifelong love, this piece will warm your audiences’ hearts. So sing to the young person we can all carry with us for life.
Also called Through the Eyes of Love, this song is especially lovely. Give this delightful piece a try. Your audiences will be glad you did.
This tribute to the Challenger astronauts is clearly on the somber side.
A stirring medley about moving on to the Promised Land, this piece was commissioned by the Great Northern Union, who performed it with Four Voices and the Happiness Emporium. It normally requires a chorus and two quartets, though it also can be sung in eight rather than 12 parts.
I wrote and arranged the setting for this medley of sing-along standards: She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round The Mountain, I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad and My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean. Your audiences will enjoy participating rather than simply listening.
This parody of the “Three Girls Medley” is plenty of fun. Here are the three tunes included: “My Little Magpie,” “No, No, Nuthatch” and “Robin, My Breast Is Throbbin’.”So if you sing in a bird-brained group. . . .
Written by barbershopper Gary Scalise, this song expresses religious humility.
Emmylou Harris revived this rock’n’roll hit in the album Trio, along with standout performers Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. The original was a #1 hit back in 1958 for the Teddy Bears, one of whose members, Phil Spector, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame as a writer and producer in 1989.
Well, this is sure a unique song. Written way, way back in 1898, this novelty tune was covered by the Kingston Trio in the late 1950s. The fellow tells the agent wants to take a train to Morrow, well, today. Confusion ensues, which will lead to merriment for you and your audiences!
Performed by our 2003 international champion quartet, Power Play, this powerful love sung was debuted by Josh Groban in 2001, when he was barely out of his teens. Now pushing 40, Groban is still going strong, so dropping out of college to turn pro was not such a bad idea, eh?
A King’s Singers tune about a London omnibus, this song is delightfully offbeat.
The King himself sang this cautionary love story. The Musical Island Boys might just be willing to share it with you.
This popular classic speaks to all the men in your audience—and the women sure do hope the menfolk will listen.
Whitney Houston sang this most inspirational song. The singer acknowledges having made many mistakes in her life, but now is the time to do it her way. So have a look at this song—and sing it your way.
A cool/hot show tune, this swingy number will have your audiences swaying in their seats and smiling from ear to ear.
Yes, really. This chart is actually fairly fancy, with various styles of harmonization being used. A couple of extra verses have been added to honor ill children, so this song is just right for certain occasions.
Joni Mitchell sang this offbeat, jazzy piece about a real nut case. So come on, baby, let’s do the . . . twisted?
A folky tune that is really cute, this song speaks of He-gulls, She-gulls, Mom-bats, ad-bats . . . well, you get the idea. Silly fun for all audiences.
Here is some gentle, sweet, lighthearted fun for you and your audiences. Mm, can’t you just feel the warm breeze and taste the drink with the little umbrella in it.. . . . The highly entertaining quartet Boardwalk can.
Similar to Acoustix’s take on the old rock ‘n’ roll version, this chart is plenty weird. Your tenor gets the chance to shine here, but—heck, sing it anyhow. . . .
Funny and wordy, as sung by Joker’s Wild, this piece could be made contestable. You will not believe the rapid-fire list of roadside attractions included in this clever song.
This happy summer song is always in season. The BHS publishes the men’s version, of this tune, which is virtually a Polecat song in some places. Now available for SATB mixed voices.
A spoof of the Aussies’ favorite, um, edible substance, this tune is big, though, specialized, fun.
Though it starts out straight, this spoof of the Michigan fight song from the Ohio State point of view ends up quite crooked.
Don McLean composed and performed this lovely, haunting song. The poetry of McLean’s lyrics matches Van Gogh’s later, colorful paintings very well. This moving tune is sure to captivate your audiences.
There is plenty of rhythmic interest in this Christmas tune. It somehow manages to be both calm and lively at the same time—not to mention lots of fun.
Has your envy of the fabulous Vocal Majority ever caused you to want to poke a little fun at them? Now is your chance. This parody will spice up any barbershop performance.
This is the touching Matt Monro hit from 1965. Even when true love is involved, a relationship still could be hopeless—but this song certainly is not.
Australia’s unofficial national anthem, this tune is rollicking fun. Take your audiences on a lively trip Down Under.
This tune tells the sad tale of a computer, a Wang that is down. Aww. . . .
Singer and lesbian activist Holly Near wrote this song after the 1978 assassination of Harvey Milk. Milk had been the first openly gay person elected to high office in California. There are many verses to this song, and you can make up your own easily enough. This powerful song is also called “We Are a Gentle, Angry People.”
Hey, don’t take it personally. Any other Buckeye fan would say the same thing. This ditty is sung to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare, She Ain’t What She Used to Be.”
This song of resilience and hope was composed by Leon Dubinsky, a songwriter from Sydney, Nova Scotia, for a 1984 stage musical titled The Rise and Follies of Cape Breton. The Rankin Family’s 1993 rendition popularized the song across Canada. The message of this song is certainly fitting for the time we live in. So lift your audience’s hearts, and your own, with this soaring song.
A cute song for a group wid a criminal image, dis barbershopper-written tune is just plain moider! Continue reading We’re Number One
This classic can be sung in either German or English. The song is way cute.
This song is just right for weddings, naturally. Pizza, Pooh and Magpie—well, that is what the Beatles called Peter, Paul and Mary—sang this piece with great success.
Sincere but rather specialized, this song may or may not be right for your group. . . .
Also specialized, this medley includes Hail West Virginia and Fight, Mountaineers.
Here is a heartfelt regional song about the almost-heavenly state.
Here are seven songs that could be the centerpiece to a Western-themed show: Back in the Saddle Again, Home on the Range, Deep in the Heart of Texas, The Yellow Rose of Texas, Clementine, Red River Valley and Oh Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie. This medley is also available in a shorter version.
A witty conundrum for us singers, this tune was arranged for the Cleveland Heights High School Men’s Barbershoppers. The funny, clever piece, with lots of built-in movement ideas, would be great for adult men too (and could be put into women’s voicing).
Your audiences will surely be able to relate to this classic, hip lament about love. Can you solve the mystery?
This powerfully uplifting show song is sung by numerous women’s choruses. But, hey, it works just as well for men’s groups. For everyone, singing about our music is the best! Continue reading What Would I Do Without My Music
This Statler Brothers’ lament about modern times stresses solid, old-fashioned values. Things were just a whole lot clearer back then. . . .
Ready to thumb your nose at fashion snobbery? With its ever-so-mildly risque lyrics, this Mama Cass tune is bound to be hit, whether on the contest stage or in a show. Continue reading When I Just Wear My Smile
Voted the best barbershop ballad of all time by Arrangement judges, this song will touch your listeners’ hearts.
Jazzy, fun, a natural for barbershoppers, this song is a sure winner. Do check it out. Continue reading When I Sing
This Beatles’ song is always a kick, for singers and audience members alike. The men’s version of this arrangement is published by the BHS. Of course, you can vary the lyrics to reference any age that ends in a four. Continue reading When I’m Sixty-Four
It is hard to say what the main characteristic of this fun song is, silliness or simplicity. Anyhow, Sammy made quite a sticky mess of things.
This lyrics to this haunting song were written by the great Johnny Mercer. Barry Manilow, who is no slouch himself, composed the music. The story is familiar—love was sweet as spring in April but turned cold by December—but this piece is something special. Partly a lead solo and partly all-skate, this is a tune you will want to check out for your group.
What a beautiful song this is. A metaphor for the afterlife, the piece can be a great comfort at funeral and at other times as well.
Here is an easy-beat, contestable love song that is most gentle and enjoyable. This tune is now available in both men’s and women’s voicing.
This classic is a good candidate for the best popular song of all time. “And may all your Christmases be white!”
No doubt you have always pondered this timeless query. Though the song does not exactly provide you with the answer, your group will have big fun exploring the matter. So will your audiences, especially the listeners of a certain age—well, heck, any age!
This is the cute pop hit popularized by Tony Orlando & Dawn. Suspicion seems to be going around, eh? Will this mystery ever be solved?
A #1 hit for Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle in 1993, this lovely tune soars into the stratosphere to tell us of the joys of new love. And believe it or not, this song works just fine in BHS contests. So take a magic carpet ride on this theme song from the animated film Aladdin.
Here is Brahms Lullaby, in German. It could be translated into English, of course.
A #1 pop hit from 1966, this tune has a lilting feel and a mock-sad message. It is some fun.
Here is the inspirational Bette Midler hit about the man behind the woman, or vice versa. Do give this powerful piece a try. The arrangement is now available for SATB mixed voices, where it also fits very nicely.
Marvelously energetic 8-parter about men and women working together, as sung by Friends. Continue reading With Two Wings
While this song is not really a translation of “Happy Days Are Here Again,” it does feature a new set of German lyrics that capture the cheery spirit of the original. This song has the honor of being one of the first two polecat songs for BinG!, which is a mixed barbershop organization.
As sung by SAI’s San Diego Chorus, this a real production number. Songs included are “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag,” “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “Till We Meet Again” and “When You’re Smiling.” They also serve who sit and smile. . . .
Your audiences will love to do the movements associated with this song. This tune is sure to raise the energy level of your performance.
This moving ode to the flag is a sure winner nowadays.
The lovely Beatles’ tune may be the most recorded of all time. The men’s version of this arrangement is published by the BHS. Now available for SATB mixed voices. Continue reading Yesterday
This is a powerful song from the French, with a sophisticated sentiment of regret. It is especially good for mature groups.
Quite humorous Christmas tune about a kid who has been bad. Continue reading You Ain’t Gettin’ Diddly Squat
Written by Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager, this bittersweet tune tells of a love so hot that it had to burn out. The young lover in all of us will be able to relate to this tale.
The great Irving Berlin makes some of his best word plays in this delightful song. From the musical Annie Get Your Gun, this contestable tune is for women only. Continue reading You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun
Light and sweet, this Christmas tune will add sparkle to your holiday shows. Wouldn’t you like to meet it? Continue reading You Meet the Nicest People
The Good Lord called on this man to become a bass singer. Though the fellow lacked faith, God’s will—and sense of humor—prevailed. Feature your stud bass with this clever tune.
Simply a classic, this song is loved by all of your audiences, both barbershop and non-. This piece is probably one of the two most requested barbershop songs of all time. The other would have to be “Lida Rose.”
What’s not to like about this Carole King classic? Great for honoring a special person or delighting all of your audiences. Continue reading You’ve Got a Friend
This is a highly cute song that lays down the law about fidelity. For sure it is for women only, and the ladies know how to sing it! Continue reading You’ve Got to See Mamma Every Night
No matter what your sign, dude, wicked things are in store for you for the foreseeable future. This Weird Al tune is quite funny, not to mention way intense.