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The Australian Union and Solidarity Choir is a collaboration by trade union choir members from around Australia and the Solidarity Choir from Sydney.

Brisbane started  it all by organising a trip to Cuba in 2009 to take part in an international festival of choirs in Santiago de Cuba. The Sydney Trade Union Choir organised another such trip in 2013. There is another trip being organised in August 2018, this time to Timor-Leste.

For enquiries contact australianunionchoir@gmail.com or phone Fran on 0466-287-230.

Our souvenir labelled wine is available from http://www.thewinepoint.com.au/shop/fundraisingwines/AUSC/

We have a crowd funding site at https://chuffed.org/project/australian-union-and-solidarity-choir-2018-tour-to-timor-leste for our Timor trip to reimburse some expenses and to pay for translations and a booklet of song notes in Tetum.

Upcoming events:

  • Practice session at the Addison Road Community Centre on the 21-22nd of April 2018
  • Practice session in Canberra on the 19-20th of May 2018
  • Sing at a community celebration of the Restoration of Independence in Timor-Leste in Canberra on the 20th of May
  • Practice session at the Addison Road Community Centre on the 16-17th of June 2018
  • Practice session at the Addison Road Community Centre on the 14-15th of July 2018
  • Practice session at the Addison Road Community Centre on the 11-12th of August 2018

Recent history:

  • Practice session at the Addison Road Community Centre on the 17-18th of March 2018
  • Practice session at the Addison Road Community Centre on the 10-11th of February 2018
  • Practice session in the Illawarra Diggers Club on the 25th of November 2017
  • Practice session at Geraldine’s place in Illawarra on the 26th of November 2017
  • Practice session at Kate’s place in Katoomba on the 25-26th of August 2017

 

Website for our 2020 choir trip to Timor-Leste

We have built a website at

 

ausctimor2020.wixsite.com/home

 

IMG_20180908_072016967_HDR-ANIMATION.gif 

It’s our newest information site.

What’s there?

Australian Union and Solidarity Choir (ausc) are restarting rehearsals and activities to support our 2020 Timor adventure. New members and friends welcome…

Please visit ausctimor2020.wixsite.com/home for info about our itinerary, repertoire and practice schedule.   ps ensure the /home is included in the url aka the go-to line

 

https://www.facebook.com/timorlestetour2020/?modal=admin_todo_tour…

Let’s go again in 2020

  • We’re returning to Timor-Leste as a choir for August 2020.
  • We’ll arrive in Dili in time for August 30, 2020, a public holiday called Popular Consultation Day.
  • We’ll add a trip across to Balibo and Maliana in western Timor-Leste. Depending on choir strength we’ll also travel to Baucau in eastern Timor-Leste.
  • Planning and rehearsals will commence in August and September 2019.

 

 

Bring out the Banners

Words: John Warner
Melody: adapted from “Oxford” by John Goss
Arrangement: Tom Bridges

Written by John Warner and arranged by Tom Bridges, this song was originally written for a May Day march, but applies equally to other union gatherings.

The song evokes the colourful vista of a line of passionate people standing up for a cause. Their multi-coloured banners are raised high to illustrate the losses, the victories, the pain and the joy of union struggles over the centuries.

These beautiful banners hang on the walls of union halls and buildings. The banners are most powerful when taken out in public, marched in the street and held high at rallies. They portray the values and the goals of the union movement. The banners symbolise the determination of the union movement across geographical regions and historical periods, to improve the conditions of working people. Trade unions want to improve the quality of the lives of individuals, families and communities.

We love to sing this song at marches and rallies where the banners speak more than a thousand words, of power in unity.

Lyrics

In faded photo, like a dream,
A locomotive under steam
Rolls with the ranks of marching feet
And union banners on the street.

[Chorus]
Bring out the banners once again,
You union women, union men,
That all around may plainly see
The power of our unity.

I’ve seen those banners richly made
With symbols fair of craft and trade,
The unions’ names in red and gold,
Their aspirations printed bold.

Boilermakers, smiths and cooks,
Stevedores with cargo hooks,
Declare their union strong and proud,
Rank on rank before the crowd.

They won the eight-hour working day,
They won our right to honest pay,
Victorious their banners shone,
How dare we lose what they have won?

Today, when those who rule divide,
We must be standing side by side,
Our rights were bought with tears and pain,
Bring out the banners once again.

Let There Be Peace

Words, Melody & Arrangement: Christina Mimmocchi, 2015
Portuguese & Tetum Arrangement: Deb Jones, 2018

This song was written by a former member of the Solidarity Choir. She said: “I wanted to bring something to choir that week that was positive, uplifting and easy to learn. I think of it as a secular prayer – a longing for peace.”

English Lyrics

Let there be peace
Let there be peaceful times
And let peace surround us all
Yes in times like these
That bring us to our knees
Let there be peace.

Let there be joy
Let there be joyful times
And let joy surround us all
Yes in times like these
That bring us to our knees
Let there be joy.

Let there be calm
Let there be quiet times
And let calm surround us all
Yes in times like these
That bring us to our knees
Let there be calm.

Let there be songs
Let there be rousing times
And let songs surround us all
Yes in times like these
That bring us to our knees
Let there be songs.

Tetum Lyrics

Husik ne’ebá sai dame
Husik ne’ebá sai tempu hakmatek nian
No husik dame hale’u ita hotu
Sim iha tempu hanesan ne’e
Ne’ebé lori ita monu ba rai
Husik ne’ebá sai dame

Husik ne’ebá sai ksolok
Husik ne’ebá sai tempu alegre nian
No husik ksolok hale’u ita hotu
Sim iha tempu hanesan ne’e
Ne’ebé lori ita monu ba rai
Husik ne’ebá sai ksolok

Husik ne’ebá sai kalma
Husik ne’ebá sai tempu silénsiu nian
No husik kalma hale’u ita hotu
Sim iha tempu hanesan ne’e
Ne’ebé lori ita monu ba rai
Husik ne’ebá sai kalma

Husik ne’ebá sai kantiga
Husik ne’ebá sai tempu hafanun nian
No husik kantiga hale’u ita hotu
Sim iha tempu hanesan ne’e
Ne’ebé lori ita monu ba rai
Husik ne’ebá sai kantiga

Portuguese Lyrics

Que haja paz
Que hajam tempos de paz
Que esta paz nos possa envolver
Sim em tempos como estes
Que nos fazem ceder
Que haja paz

Que haja jubilo
E tempos felizes
Que este jubilo nos possa envolver
Sim em tempos como estes
Que nos fazem ceder
Que haja jubilo

Que haja calma
E tempos de brandura
Que esta calma nos possa envolver
Sim em tempos como estes
Que nos fazem ceder
Que haja calma

Que haja canto
E tempos de folia
E que o canto nos possa envolver
Sim em tempos como estes
Que nos fazem ceder
Que haja canto

Unity

Words and Music: John Tams, 1984
Arrangement: Miguel Heatwole, 2016

Unity was written for a play ‘Six Men of Dorset’. It was about some early English trade unionists – the Tolpuddle Martyrs. They were transported as convicts to Australia in 1834. After massive protests throughout England the six men were pardoned and returned home two years later.

This song was picked up by striking English miners who sang it on picket lines. Today we enjoy singing it wherever people are standing together against injustice.

Lyrics

Bound together through the land
Keep the spirit – keep the way
Brothers, sisters make a stand
Unity will win the day

[Chorus]
Raise your banners high
Strength to strength and line by line
Unity must never die
Raise your banners high

Those who stand against all strife
Those who stand for liberty
Fight to win a better life
Fight to keep the future free

Chorus

Though the struggle brings you pain
Though the struggle brings you tears
Ours will be the final gain
We shall will hear the victory cheers

Chorus

O Hele Ho (Kdadalak)

Words: Francisco Borja da Costa, 1974
Melody: Abilio Araujo
Arrangement: Chrissie Shaw
Language: Tetum

Kdadalak is a powerful call for unity and resistance to colonialism in Timor Leste. Streams flowing together to become rivers are the people, uniting against the wind, the forces that would keep them oppressed, scattered and weak.

Lyrics

Kdadalak suli mutuk fila wee inan,
Wee inan tahan malu sa bele tahan
Beedalan hamutuk, fila bee inan
Bee inan tahan malu sa bele tahan

Nune’e Timor oan sei hamutuk
Hamutuk atu tahan anin sut tasi
Nune’e Timor oan sei hamutuk
Hamutuk atu tahan anin hu hosi tasi

Anin sut sut tasi sut kabala
Sut ita matan laran ita kotuk laran
Batuk ita matan ben turu ita kosar turu
Susu ita rain bokur ita isin bokur

Kdadalak suli mutuk fila wee inan
Timor oan hamutuk tane ita rain
Bee dalan hamutuk fila bee inan
Timor oan hamutuk tane ita rain

Translation

Streams flowing together become rivers
When rivers unite, what can oppose them?

So must the Timorese unite
Unite to resist the wind that blows from the sea

The wind that blows from the sea whips the kabala
Whips inside our eyes, whips inside our backs

Makes our tears roll down, our sweat flows
Sucks the fat from our land, the fat from our own bodies

Streams flowing together become rivers
Timorese unite, let us sustain our homeland.

Patria! Patria!

Words: Francisco Borja da Costa, 1975
Melody: Alfonso de Araujo
Arrangement: Chrissie Shaw

This anthem was written by Francisco Borja da Costa with music by Alfonso de Araujo for the declaration of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (Republica Democratica de Timor Leste, RDTL) on 28 November 1975. At that time East Timor was still formally under Portuguese rule, but Indonesian soldiers had been infiltrating for several months. Indonesia launched a full scale invasion on 7 December 1975, and on that day Francisco Borja da Costa and many other Timorese leaders were killed. Patria! Patria! has been the national anthem since the Restoration of Independence in 2002.

Lyrics

Pátria! Pátria!
Timor-Leste nossa naçâo!
Gloria ao povo è aos heróis
da Nossa Libertaçâo!

Vencemos a colonialismo
Gritamos: abaixo o imperialismo
Terra livre, povo livre,
Nâo, nâo â exploraçâo

Avante, unidos,
firmes e decididos.
Na luta contra o imperialismo,
O inimigo dos povos,
atè â vitória final,
pelo caminho da revoluçâo!

Translation

Fatherland, fatherland,
East Timor our Nation
Glory to the people and to the heroes
of our liberation

We vanquish colonialism,
We cry: down with imperialism!
Free land, free people,
No, no to exploitation

Let us go forward,
united, firm and determined
In the struggle against imperialism,
The enemy of people,
Until final victory,
Onward to revolution.

Solidarity Forever

Words: Ralph Chaplin, 1915
Melody: Traditional American song “John Brown’s Body”

This is one of the best known of all the English language songs sung by trade unionists. Workers fighting for a better standard of living have sung it for over a hundred years. In 1912 the workers in coal mines in West Virginia, in the United States, joined together in trade unions. They went on strike for better conditions and higher pay. The International Workers of the World formed to fight for one single united union to which all workers could belong in the struggle for a fairer share of the profits of industry.

Lyrics

When the union’s inspiration through the workers blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun.
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
But the union makes us strong!

[chorus]
Solidarity forever! Solidarity forever!
Solidarity forever! For the union makes us strong!

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left for us to do but organise and fight?
For the union makes us strong!

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn,
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn.
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom, when we learn
That the union makes us strong!

In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand fold!
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old,
For the union makes us strong!

We Shall Not Give Up The Fight

This traditional song came from the freedom movement of South Africa against apartheid. It expresses the determination to stay united in the struggle for freedom and the belief in final victory. We sing an additional verse in Australia that says “Refugees are welcome here, let’s be openhearted”, to express our support for refugees who suffer lives of great difficulty.

Lyrics

We shall not give up the fight
We have only started
We have only started
We have only started

Refugees are welcome here
Let’s be open-hearted
Let’s be open-hearted
Let’s be open-hearted

Together we’ll have victory
Hand holding hand
Hand holding hand
Hand holding hand