Sloop John B – Resource Pack (Jake Alexander)

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A popular Bahamanian folk song from Nassau. This arrangement is somewhat influenced by the 1966 version by The Beach Boys, but is entirely a cappella. A real crowd-pleaser!

As with many arrangements I write, this song can be done using virtually any combination of singers. As indicated in the score, the parts can be taken down an octave if necessary. Directors of mixed choirs might also wish to create mixed voice parts that span an octave. Choir leaders know their choirs’ voices far better than arrangers, so it down to your discretion as to how you would like to organise your choir to sing this song. However, in an ideal world this is the configuration I would suggest, depending on the make up of your choir…

All women: voice 1 – soprano, voice 2 – soprano, voice 3 – alto
Women with a small number of men: voice 1 – soprano, voice 2 – alto, voice 3 – alto and bass (an octave lower)
Two thirds women / One third men: voice 1 – soprano, voice 2 – alto, voice 3 – bass (an octave lower)
An equal number of men and women: voice 1 – soprano and tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – soprano and baritone (an octave lower), voice 3 – alto and bass (an octave lower)
Two thirds men / One third women: voice 1 – tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – soprano, voice 3 – bass (an octave lower)
Men with a small number of women: voice 1 – tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – soprano and baritone (an octave lower), voice 3 – bass (an octave lower)
All men: voice 1 – tenor (an octave lower), voice 2 – baritone (an octave lower), voice 3 – bass (an octave lower)

Rehearsal tracks performed by Eleanor Rastall (www.eleanorrastall.co.uk).

This Resource Pack contains the full score and audio learning tracks for all parts as well as the ensemble recording.

Update 26-04-23:  We’ve added an optional, extended version of the score, which features an extra verse, and an alternative chorus at the end. These additional elements provide a somewhat happy ending to the song, which admittedly may not be to everyone’s taste!

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  • Great arrangement

    We love this arrangement of the Bahamian folk song, sung by the Beach Boys back in the day.

    We did add a key change for a bit more interest and changed the last chord to make it a bit more “final”

  • Upbeat

    I often throw this one into a rehearsal to lift the energy – it’s such an upbeat song and very accessible to more inexperienced singers.

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