Arrangements

Leader of the German Band

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.

De Colores

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,…

I’m Henry VIII, I Am

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.

Learning tracks available from:
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Sukiyaki

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…

Etkö uskalla mua rakastaa

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…

Hit the Road, Jack

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?

Learning tracks available from:
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My Brother Makes the Sound Effects for Movies

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…

Wochenend’ und Sonnenschein

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…

Do You Hear the People Sing?

This rousing song is from the musical “Les Miserables.” Your audiences’ hearts and guts will be surely be moved by your powerful performance. Although the song itself would fly in contest, this arrangement is intended for shows only.

Learning tracks available from:
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Wiegenlied

Here is Brahms Lullaby, in German. It could be translated into English, of course.

Waltzing Matilda

Australia’s unofficial national anthem, this tune is rollicking fun. Take your audiences on a lively trip Down Under.

Vegemite

A spoof of the Aussies’ favorite, um, edible substance, this tune is big, though, specialized, fun.

Tage wie diese

The unofficial theme song of the German soccer World Cup, this driving song vividly captures the excitement of a perfect day, one that you would gladly live forever.

Taboo (Tabu)

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.

Sommersprossen

A German pop hit, this song is perfect if you ever want to sing in a foreign language about a girl with freckles (“summer sprouts”).

Pokarekare Ana

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…

Learning tracks available from:
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Oh! My Love Is like a Red, Red Rose

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?

Nur geträumt

Telling the tale of a teenage girl’s angst, this tune was an edgy pop hit in Germany. The words are printed, uh, really close to the page on this one. . . .

Now Is the Hour

Bank Street competed with this moving piece, which David Leeder turned into a poignant World War I song by writing a new verse. Now a second version is available, one in which the Musical Island Boys celebrated the Maori connection with the song and won gold doing so.

No No Never

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.

My Golden Baby

This unique love song is a mix of German and English. Have fun lilting along with this tune.

Mexicali Rose

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.

Learning tracks available from:
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Männer

A pounding German rock song about men, this piece lists pluses and minuses of the male gender in pretty straightforward fashion. It could be translated into English.

Lilli Marlene

This love song, in German, was a hit with every soldier.  It can be sung in English as well.

Kriminal Tango

Melodramatic novelty song, in German. Have great fun with this “Krimi.”

Komm trink aus, Jack

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.

Jamaican Noel

Every voice part gets a solo in this lively, happy Christmas tune. Well-known composer and arranger Kirby Shaw has penned a winner here!

Learning tracks available from:
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Ich will keine Schokolade

This cute German song tells of a woman who wants love, not just chocolate. The original song in English was most likely “I Don’t Want Another Teddy.” Anyone know anything about this tune?

Harmonisch im Abgang

This song was written as an opener for a BinG (German) quartet by the same name. You would be quite foolish to sing it.

Granada

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.

French Medley

Here are two clever WWI novelty numbers, as sung by the great 139th St. Quartet. The first is “When Yankee Doodle Learns to Parlez Vous Francais,” followed by—take a really deep breath now—”Would You Rather Be a Colonel with an Eagle on Your Shoulder, or a Private with a Chicken…

Du Gamla, Du Fria

This is the Swedish national anthem. Hey, you just never know when you might need it. . . .

Eleanor Rigby

Plenty unique and maybe even strange, this Beatles’ tune has lots of key changes and melody swaps.

Capri-Fischer

A German pop standard from a bygone era, this song is most evocative. German-speaking audiences love this tune, which was written back in 1943.

Bon Soir, Herr Kommissar

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.

Bye, Bye My 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…

Bourke Street on Saturday Night

Bourke Street is one of the main thoroughfares in Melbourne, Australia. It has traditionally been a downtown entertainment hub and is now also a popular tourist destination. Go out on the town with this contestable Aussie song.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

Mix of classical music and fun lyrics, a real kick; lyrics have a soap-opera theme, which could be changed.

Learning tracks available from:
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