Arrangements

Made You Look

The lyrics to this fluffy yet sexy Meghan Trainor hit have been toned down a bit for younger singers; for example, “even with nothing on” is now “even with my blue jeans on.” Arranged for the delightful Cleveland Heights High School Women Barbershoppers, this tune would be great fun for…

I Wish You Love

Songs don’t get much prettier than this tempo ballad. The arrangement is patterned after Natalie Cole’s rendition, so it is bittersweet—more sweet than bitter—and heartfelt rather than being just energetic, as some barbershop renditions are. Do yourself a favor and check out this lush gem!

Learning tracks available from:
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Something

There are not many prettier or more heartfelt songs than this Beatles’ love ballad. While most of the group’s tunes were written by the duo of Lennon and McCartney, this song was penned by lead guitarist George Harrison. This arrangement is probably good for contest but could possibly incur a…

Instrument of Peace

Patterned after the inspirational version sung by the Canadian Tenors, this song is purely beautiful. One might think of it as being similar to “Let There Be Peace on Earth” but with more specifics included. Such lyrics as “Where there is darkness, let me bring light” and “Where there Is…

I Believe in You

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…

We Are a Gentle, Loving People

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…

Peel Me a Grape

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.

Lovesick Blues

Her sweetie has left her, and the woman is feeling a deep, dark shade of blue. Despite that, the melody and rhythm lilt along nicely, so give this lively tune from 1922 a try.

Little Baby on My Shoulder

This lovely tune was written by barbershopper Peggy Hill. Though a mother pleads with her infant son not to grow older, he of course does and eventually marries. Then he begs his child, “Don’t grow older.” Give this heartfelt, well-written song a try.

I Will Never Pass This Way Again

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.

I Don’t Care

The young woman in question is clearly going to live life her way, no matter what. And her way includes making it big on Broadway. Popularized by Harmony Inc. queen quartet Taken 4 Granite, this tune is lively, saucy and just plain fun!

Fun, Fun, Fun

This Beach Boys’ classic is in women’s voicing right now—darned if I can remember why—but it could easily be redone for men. And for another unknown reason the melody is in the bari part rather than the lead. Of course, the two singers could just swap. Anyhow, this pop hit…

All Night Long

The wonderful Chilton Price wrote this spicy song. Though no more than R rated, the song makes its meaning clear. Ms. Price’s biggest hit was “You Belong to Me.” She composed the latter song alone, though a couple of the band members who introduced the piece wangled their way into…

Alarm Clock Blues

Do you hate to get up in the morning? Are you sometimes tempted to smash your alarm clock into a thousand tiny little bits? If so, this is the song for you—even in contest.

We Rise Again

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…

Learning tracks available from:
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Steam Heat

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…

Perfect Story

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.

I Say a Little Prayer

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,…

Taylor, the Latte Boy

A scaled-down version of Steve Tramack’s marvelous arrangement for Harmony Inc. queens Taken 4 Granite, this piece is sweet fun — even with no sugar added! It is in young women’s key right now, having been edited for the Cleveland Heights High School  Women’s Barbeshoppers. Best to get the longer,…

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…

River of Song

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.

Precious Lord, Take My Hand

The lyrics to this timeless hymn were written by the grieving Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey after the death of his wife and infant son in childbirth. Dorsey based the tune heavily on the 1844 hymn “Maitland,” composed by George N. Allen.  This moving piece is available in men’s, women’s and mixed…

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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Old Lamplighter, The

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. . . .

Let’s Go to the Movies

Tickets: check! Popcorn: check! Candy: check! Drinks: check! Come on in and grab the best seat in the house. The lights have been dimmed, the commercials and trailers are done, and now it is time for the main feature. Roll ’em! And you will be able to roll ’em too—as…

Learning tracks available from:
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Bewitched

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. . . .

Mein Bruder macht im Tonfilm die Geräusche

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…

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…

In My Album of Memories

This heartfelt ballad was written by barbershop patriarch Hal Purdy. Hal started the famous Purdy Corral, an institution at International conventions for years.

White Christmas

This classic is a good candidate for the best popular song of all time. “And may all your Christmases be white!”

Learning tracks available from:
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Hey, Good Lookin’

This country classic is as lively and cheery as they come. I promise you this will be extra fun for you to sing, and for your audiences to hear.

Learning tracks available from:
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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.

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Going Home

A timeless song that has been redone to be contestable, this piece is purely wonderful. Do check out this gentle, deep journey.

Amazing Grace

This may be the best song ever written, period. Couldn’t all of us fallible mortals use a little grace?

Blue Bayou

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.

Learning tracks available from:
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