Solidarity Notes Labour Choir is a group of activists who know that music is more than pleasurable sound. It’s a powerful language to educate and connect us and remind us of our strength and history. Throughout history, struggles for labour and human rights have produced music that inspires and reconnects us to hope and possibility.

Our repertoire consists of labour songs and songs of social justice. The songs balances a sense of history with a desire to sing and inspire the movements of today. We sing songs from past centuries to the present. We look around the world for inspiration. Usually we sing in English, but we also sing in French, Spanish, Yiddish, Arabic, Mandarin, Zulu and Tagalog.

We perform on picket lines, at rallies, conventions, conferences, memorials, and benefits – wherever our music can contribute to social progress.

We have sung with Utah Phillips at the Vancouver International Folk Festival, with the Seattle Labour Chorus at the Paul Robeson Memorial Concert, for Fidel Castro in Cuba, at the Western Workers Heritage Labour Festival in San Francisco, at the Pacific Northwest Labor History’s Association’s Wobbly Festival in Seattle, at the Princeton Traditional Music Festival in Princeton, BC and at Miners’ Memorial Day in Cumberland, BC. However, we are most commonly found singing in Vancouver, on picket lines, at peace marches, demonstrations, memorials and social justice benefits.

We are ordinary people who like to sing and contribute to social change.

***************************************************************************************************************************

RAISING OUR VOICES: TWENTY YEARS OF MUSICAL RESISTANCE

You can watch a video of our twenty year celebration that was on zoom on January 30, 2021 at:
Solidarity Notes 20th Anniversary video

 

SOLIDARITY NOTES QUARANTUNES

“We Shall Not Give Up the Fight”

Water is Life – Mní Wičóni

From the songwriter, Sara Thomsen: This song is inspired by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all the tribes, nations, native and non-native people coming together to protect the land and water threatened by the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The song came to me on my return from Standing Rock. The morning before leaving, a meadowlark was singing right outside my tent.  “Be a lark from the meadow. Be a lark from this meadow,” I heard it sing. We, too, can be larks from the meadow. We too can sing in the new day.

The chorus contains two phrases in Lakota: “Mní Wičóni (mini-we cho-nee) — “Water is Life” and Mitakuye Oyasin (mee-dah-koo-yeh-o-yah-seen) — “All My Relations.”

Women of the BUA (Shull Lumber Mine)

Women of the BUA is based on an actual event which took place in Burnaby in the early 1930’s, during a strike at the Shull Lumber Mill.  A group of women who were members of the Burnaby Unemployed Association showed up in automobiles during a fight between strikers, scabs and police at the mill’s gates.  They were so fierce that the opposition beat a hasty retreat. The story comes from Ronald Liversedge’s Recollections of the On to Ottawa Trek booklet

          Kinder Morgan demonstration – Westridge Terminal, Burnaby.
          January 2018

“In the dark times

Will there also be singing?

Yes, there will also be singing

About the dark times.”

— Bertold Brecht