HAMMER SONG, THE

Latest update on 22/03/2017

Artist: Weavers
Author: Pete Seeger/Lee Hays
Label: Hootenanny
Year: 1950

Agit-folk offspring of the Almanac Singers (see: Union Maid) with Pete Seeger, Gordon Jenkins and Lee Hays. Ended up on Senator McCarthy's blacklist in 1952. Singing about hammers was like begging for a Communist label. Earlier version for the Charter label was saved up for Bear Family album Songs For Political Action.

Covers:

1952:

Libby Frank [the first to sing: "my brothers and my sisters" instead of "all of my brothers"]

1956:

Pete Seeger [coauthor as If I Had A Hammer]

1957:

Vipers Skiffle Group [idem]

1960:

Limeliters

1961:

Odetta

1962:

Peter, Paul & Mary [top 10 US]

1963:

Trini Lopez [n°1 B & NL]

1963:

Seekers

1963:

Brothers Four [all as If I Had A Hammer]

1963:

Claude François [as Si j'avais un marteau n°1 Fr]

1963:

Surfs [idem and as Datemi Un Martello]

1963:

Rita Pavone [as Datemi Un Martello n°1 It]

1963:

Rob De Nijs [as Oh Had Ik Een Hamer]

1963:

Bobby Darin

1963:

Martha & The Vandellas

1964:

Sam Cooke

1964:

Percy Faith

1964:

Bobby Rydell

1964:

Brian Hyland

1964:

Freddie Scott

1965:

Johnny Rivers

1965:

Aretha Franklin

1965:

Billy Preston

1965:

Jackie DeShannon

1966:

Mel Tormé

1967:

Four Tops

1969:

Wanda Jackson

1969:

Victor Jara [as El Martillo]

1969:

Ace Cannon [all as If I Had A Hammer]

1969:

Ed Ames

1970:

Les Humphries Singers

1971:

Nicky Thomas [reggae version]

1971:

Tennessee Ernie Ford

1972:

Johnny Cash [with June Carter]

1976:

Billy Preston

1981:

Will Tura [as Had Ik Een Hamer]

1983:

Franck Olivier [as Si j'avais un marteau]

1993:

Neville Brothers

1997:

Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi

1998:

Nanci Griffith [with everyone involved on her album Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back To Bountiful)]

2001:

Billy Bragg & Eliza Carthy

2003:

Aaron Neville

2012:

Ruthie Foster

Sing Out! magazine's title was inspired by the third verse.

Contact


If you noticed blunt omissions, mis-interpretations or even out-and-out errors, please let us know by contacting us:

Arnold Rypens
Rozenlaan 65
B-2840 Reet (Rumst)

info@originals.be

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