The number is a reference to the names on the Vietnam Memorial wall. The Brothers in Harmony took the place by storm when they placed high with this song and “Goodnight, Saigon” in International competition. Continue reading 50,000 Names
Brothers and sisters, are you ready to eliminate the negative? Then just latch on to this lively tune and help spread the word!
This may be the best song ever written, period. Couldn’t all of us fallible mortals use a little grace? Continue reading Amazing Grace
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.
If you have a lead singer inclined toward sacred music, this solo is for you.
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.
Joseph sang this moving song to God in the animated film Joseph: King of Dreams. This arrangement has been a hit for quartet champions Power Play and Crossroads.
Pop/country hit about a father and daughter that is sure to go over big at weddings.
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.
A gentle, mellow piece, this song expresses devotion to God.
A folky song written by Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul & Mary), this piece warms the heart during a cold time of year.
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.
Songs do not come any more powerful than this classic. International quartet champion Musical Island Boys did a bang-up job on it in competition.
High energy is the name of the game with this lively number. The BHS publishes the men’s version.
This is the Swedish national anthem. Hey, you just never know when you might need it. . . .
One of the loveliest pieces you will ever hear, this song has a message that reaches well beyond the avian kingdom. It pairs very well with the “Mary Poppins Medley.”
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)
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.
A timeless song that has been redone to be contestable, this piece is purely wonderful. Do check out this gentle, deep journey.
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 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.
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.
The powerful message of this tune makes it just right to stir your audiences’ emotions. With Him, all things are possible, eh?
What Is America to me? This song lists many everyday things in heart-warming, inspiring fashion. Give this tune a listen.
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!
With a powerful anti-war sentiment, this song beautifully equates motherhood with solving disputes peacefully. The Sweet Adelines champion San Diego Chorus sang this moving tune.
This country-flavored patriotic number is no longer exclusive to Accent. It speaks of pledging your allegiance to that “grand old flag.”
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!
If you are not familiar with this song, do yourself a favor and find a clip of Elvis Presley singing it. This plaintive plea drives and drives and drives, as 2014 international champ Musical Island Boys showed us so well. In 2017 this song became a LABBS “polecat” number, sung by all of these British ladies.
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?
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.
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 hatred, let me bring love” show that one person can make a difference in this sometimes perilous world. Right now this chart is exclusive to the Scotianaires, but it will shake loose in a couple of years, so do keep a lookout for it—peacefully, of course. . . .
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.
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
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.
A little child prays for her Daddy, who is off to war. This song will bring a tear to your eye. Continue reading Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight
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. Now available for mixed voices.
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
Written by barbershopper Stewart Girlock, this gospel song is of professional quality. Yes, there are angels among us.
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.
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. . . .
A wonderful sisterhood song for women, this tune is from the fine film “The Color Purple.”
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.
Stirring but rather specialized, this piece may or may not be for you.
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 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.
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
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.
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 arrangements.
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.
This stirring Jewish religious piece is right for believers of all faiths.
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.
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!”
You don’t have to be a Baptist to sing this song, which somehow manages to be both lively and majestic.
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. . . .
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.
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
It is just about impossible to go wrong with this beautiful tribute to the USA. Do give it a listen.
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
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.
What could be more inspiring than singing about our music? This uplifting arrangement is no longer exclusive. Continue reading Thank You for the Music
A great Statler Brothers’ tune honoring music, this song is heavy on old-fashioned values and references.
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.
Songs don’t come much prettier than this one. Do you want to take pleasure in all the beautiful things in life, large and small? I’ll bet you do, and so will your audiences. . . .
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.
Written by barbershopper Gary Scalise, this song expresses religious humility.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
A beautiful, heartfelt song, this is a pure joy to sing and listen to. Power Play debuted it, and it has since become a barbershop staple. Continue reading When There’s Love at Home
Here is Brahms Lullaby, in German. It could be translated into English, of course.
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
TV evangelists are pointedly spotlighted in this delightful tune. No longer exclusive to Buckeye Blend.
This moving ode to the flag is a sure winner nowadays.
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.
This beautiful tempo ballad comes from the Broadway musical version of The Full Monty. At first hearing, I assumed it was a religious piece. While “You Walk with Me” certainly can be sung that way, in the musical it is sung by two people who love each other. Do yourself a favor and look this song up, whether through a preview from me or simply online.
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