People who love peace and who are actively involved in demonstrations and activities supporting peace, may also love singing. The WMA Peace Song Book in its second edition, contains a selection of songs with the peace theme, which with its ring binding
sits easily into a pocket, and on a music stand, and is a wonderful collection of musical moments.
These songs are not new, in fact some of them deserve the rank
of historical, and tell the story of struggle and war, of sorrow and joy. They tell of the challenge facing people of all countries today.
Edited by John
Jordan, former President of the WMA, there are 120 songs in this collection, some from the 17th century, while others relate to the political activities of the late twentieth century, annotated with the melody line and chord symbols. Some religious, some from
Ireland, some from Scotland, folk songs and protest songs, anon and attributed. Alan Bush, founder of the WMA is among the composers, as is John Jordon, who, after working in various areas of the engineering industry, went on to teach music and mathematics.
A noted composer of vocal, chamber and orchestral music, and his opera, Dic Penderyn was performed in Cardiff in 1983. He has written numerous folk song arrangements for solo singers and choirs. in 1978 he obtained a B. Mus. at Goldsmith's College,
University of London, and in 1988 an M. Mus. from Leeds University.
Among the titles are some which may be familiar, the Les Hays and Pete Seeger "If I had
a hammer", written in 1950, and to the tune of Hard Travelling by Woody Guthrie, words by Irwin Wilber "Put my name down," (brother, where do I sign?) and representing the international flavour, to a traditional middle Eastern
tune, Zum Gali Gali, and all these have peace or anti-war as their theme.
Priced at £7.00, this collection is a must have, with 'classics' of the
peace movement, 17 rounds, easily learned and an effective method of achieving instant harmony on the march. Although all the songs are based on the one subject of peace, it is remarkable that each contains within it a different idea. Published
by Kahn & Averill, London, for the Workers' Music Association and dedicated to the memory of Alfred Balch, first edition 1989.