New album of contemporary trade union and solidarity songs featuring one song dedicated to each union.
This album came to life on two picket lines. The first at the Brisbane waterfront. The shipping giant Hutchison fired half its workforce by text message. One More Day than Them is inspired by the Maritime Union’s fight for the workers. After 100 days of picketing they defiantly walked back through the gates!
The second picket line at a children’s hospital – brave medical workers refused to discharge injured refugee child Asha into Australia’s infamous offshore detention prisons. Let Them Stay was written then. In a small victory, baby Asha and her family were allowed to remain, all be it, in community detention.
This album reflects this trade union resistance, with a song dedicated to each participating union. For a year I met with them and wrote songs to capture their defiant spirit. Themes often overlapped: the fight for safe and fair conditions, decent wages, secure jobs and respect. I hope this collection can play a part, however small, in the fight for justice.
Participating unions include the Maritime Union of Australia, the Electrical Trades Union, the Queensland Teachers’ Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union, United Voice and the Queensland Council of Unions.
Recorded by Joe Panetta Mixed and mastered by Joe Panetta Produced by Joe Panetta and Phil Monsour Wavelength Recording Brisbane 2012
hil Monsour: Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars. Joe Panetta: Drums, Percussion, Bass, and Electric Guitar. Graham Perrett: Keyboards. Eddie Claxton and Ian Stenning: Trumpet and Flugelhorn. Kevin Skues: Trombone. Backing Vocals: Simon Monsour, Joe Panetta, Members of the Brisbane Combined Unions Choir: Kay Byrne, Marya McDonald, Annie Cowling, Denis Humes, Brian Prideaux, Denis Peel, David Tulip. Vicki Smyth, Janet Bailie, Annie Cowling (Better Work Better Life). Anna Dart, Ella Duncombe, Megan Thomson (Stand Together). Brass arrangements by Bryan Pearson and Graham Perrett.Insert photographs: Michael Oliver.Recorded by Joe Panetta. Additional recording Phil Monsour. Mixed and Mastered by Joe Panetta. Produced by Phil Monsour and Joe Panetta.
The One Song One Union album of songs began on two picket lines. The first was at the Brisbane waterfront where the shipping giant Hutchison had sacked half its workforce by text message in the middle of the night. The song One More Day than Them was written after listening to the great socialist trade union leader Bob Carnegie speak about the Maritime Union’s determined fight for the reinstatement of the sacked workers. After 100 days of picketing and protesting the sacked workers walked back through the gates.
The second picket line was outside a children’s hospital in Brisbane from which medical workers were refusing to discharge an injured refugee child back into one of Australia’s infamous offshore immigration detention prisons. During the more-than 10 day, around-the-clock picket we sang songs like Solidarity Forever as hundreds of workers from 16 or so unions gathered to support the action of the staff inside. The song Let Them Stay was written at this time. In a small victory, baby Asha and her family were allowed to remain in community detention in Australia.
The idea then developed to write one new song for each union. I met with unionists, gathering inspiration and writing songs that attempted to capture the spirit of their union in 2017. All the songs were recorded with a seven piece band and many include union members singing their unions song. Members of the Brisbane Combined Union Choir have also sung on a number of tracks.
The themes often overlapped: the fight for safe and fair conditions, decent wages, secure jobs and respect. The lyrics attempt to capture something of the universal flavour of labour struggles, while also expressing the particular ideas and concerns of the workers who inspired the songs. I hope the collection can play a part, however small, in the continuing fight for freedom, justice and equality for all, and help give voice to the coming struggles of working people.
Participating unions include the Maritime Union of Australia, the Electrical Trades Union, the Queensland Teachers’ Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, the Queensland Nurses’ Union, United Voice and the Queensland Council of Unions.
One Song One Union – Solidarity Forever
Please share this project with anyone who would be interested
Christchurch – Friday 7 April, 7PM
Knox Church Hall, 28 Bealey Ave, Christchurch Central.
Wellington – April 8th 6.30pm
Old St Pauls, 34 Mulgrave St, Thorndon Wellington 6011
Auckland – Sunday April 9 6PM
Dorothy Winston Centre, 16 Howe street Freemans Bay
Excited to be joining Rafeef Ziadah for multiple dates in Europe to promote the We Teach Life CD this spring. Including the International Literature Festival Dublin on 22 May.
See you there!
Saturday May 14 – 7.30pm
Venue: Coventry Ego Arts Cook Street Coventry, CV1 1JN
Sunday May 15 – 6pm
Venue: Birmingham Midlands Arts Theatre Cannon Hill Park Birmigham B12 9QH
Wednesday May 18 – 8pm
Venue: Cork An Spailpin Fanach – 27 – 29 South Main Street Cork.
Friday May 20 – 8pm
Venue: Sligo Hawk’s Well Theatre Temple Street, Sligo.
Saturday May 21 – 8pm
Venue: Limerick Belltable Arts Centre, 69 O’Connell St, Limerick.
Sunday May 22 – 8pm
Venue: Dublin, The Peacock, The Abbey Theatre, Dublin 1
Thursday May 26 – 8:00 pm
Venue: The Brighton Synergy Centre, West Street Brighton Tickets: http://thesynergycentre.org/shop/
Friday May 27 – 7:30
Venue: Bristol Palestine Museum 27 Broad Street, BS1 2HG Bristol
Saturday May 28 – 7:30pm
Geneva Literary Aid Society
Venue: Geveva 20 Rue Verdaine, 1204 Geneva (at Place du Bourg-de-Four)
Sunday May 29 – 7:30pm
Venue: Newcastle – The Cluny 1 36 Lime Street NE1 2PQ Newcastle upon Tyne