Work to Be Done

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Work to Be Done

This song is such an uplifting delight! It’s an easy one to get going with any group and can be simplified by teaching just 2 or 3 of the parts. NOTE: This recording has been updated as of mid-June 2018 with personally corrected parts by Sarah and a new arrangement for Wholehearted Chorus.

Composer & Copyright

Original song by Sarah Nutting of MaMuse. Work to Be Done is included in this song library with permission for the purposes of oral tradition singing and teaching. If singing this song for performance or recording for profit, you must get permission from and pay royalties to the composer.


Recording by Lisa G. Littlebird.


Part 1 (Tenor – These Hands are Strong):
These hands are strong, this heart is wide,
This mind, this mind is wise
These hands are strong, this heart is wide,
I am on, on your side

Part 2 (Alto – Work to Be Done):
There is work to be done, there is work to be done
With these hands, this heart, this mind
There is work to be done, there is work to be done
I am on, on your side

Part 3 (Bass – Steady On):
Steady on, steady on, steady on, steady on, steady on, steady on
Steady on, on your side

Part 4 (Soprano):
Joyfully, joyfullly, joyfully, joyfully, joyfully, joyfully
Joy I’m on your side

Teaching Notes

The song parts can be taught in any order but I prefer this one because the first part tends to take the longest to teach, then getting easier from there. I often teach the whole group parts 1 and 2, then get both of those going together for awhile before bringing in parts 3 and/or 4. I often skip teaching the 3rd part to simplify the arrangement.

This recording is in G but the song is versatile and can be moved up or down.


Level of teaching speed/ difficulty (1 = very easy, 10 = very challenging)


  • Grateful for this song! We sing it to teens as we wander the homestead waking young people for morning chores at Maine Local Living School. Thank you!

  • Youn Hwang

    Beautiful song!
    I’d love to teach to my students.
    Is there any score available?
    Couldn’t find anything on Google. 🙁

    • Lisa G.

      Hi Youn, I’m sorry I don’t have scores for any of the songs on my site at this time.

  • We learned this wonderful song this past week (August 2019) at Art of Mentoring in Vermont, and sang it (through some tears and smiles) at our closing of this year’s Village community.

  • Keithlee

    I learned this song today and it’s so beautiful, uplifting, and generous!

  • Michael Lojkovic

    Liz, you are so correct! A gathering of voices!

  • I LOVE this song! It is uplifting and motivating weather we are refering to the garden, building a barn or a polictical movement across the country and globe.

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