|"The Hammer Song"|
Original 1950 release by The Weavers on Hootenanny Records, 101-A.
|Single by The Weavers|
|"Banks of Marble"|
|"If I Had a Hammer"|
Single by Peter, Paul and Mary
|Single by Peter, Paul and Mary|
|from the album Peter, Paul and Mary|
|"Gone the Rainbow"|
|Peter, Paul and Mary singles chronology|
|"If I Had a Hammer"|
Single by Trini Lopez
|Single by Trini Lopez|
|from the album Trini Lopez at PJ's|
|"Unchain My Heart"|
|Trini Lopez singles chronology|
"If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)" is a song written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays. It was written in 1949 in support of the progressive movement, and was first recorded by The Weavers, a folk music quartet composed of Seeger, Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, and Fred Hellerman. It was a number 10 hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962 and then went to number three a year later when recorded by Trini Lopez.
The Weavers released the song under the title "The Hammer Song" as a 78 single in March 1950 on Hootenanny Records, 101-A, backed with "Banks of Marble".
The song was first performed publicly by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays on June 3, 1949, at St. Nicholas Arena in New York City at a testimonial dinner for the leaders of the Communist Party of the United States, who were then on trial in federal court, charged with violating the Smith Act by advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government. It was not particularly successful in commercial terms when it was first released. It was part of the three songs Seeger played as the warm-up act for Paul Robeson's September 4 concert near Peekskill, New York, which subsequently erupted into a riot.
It fared notably better in commercial terms when it was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary a dozen years later. Their cover of the song, released in July 1962 off the group's debut self-titled album, became a Top 10 hit, and won the Grammy Awards for Best Folk Recording and Best Performance by a Vocal Group. Trini Lopez's 1963 single went to number three on the same Billboard chart. It was included on his album, Trini Lopez at PJ's (Reprise R/RS 6093).
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||4|
|US Billboard Hot 100||3|