If I Had a Hammer

If I Had A Hammer

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If I Had a Hammer

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"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, and then by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Early versions

The song was not particularly successful when it was first released, likely due in part to the political climate of the time. It fared notably better when it was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary more than a decade later. Their cover of the song, released in August 1962, became a Top 10 hit.

Other versions

The song has since been recorded by dozens of major artists, including a version by Trini Lopez on his 1963 album Trini Lopez at PJ's (Reprise R/RS 6093), which reached No. 3 in the USA, as well as one by Leonard Nimoy, which appeared on his 1968 release The Way I Feel. Australian folk group The Seekers also performed the song, and recorded it in 1963.

A more recent example is the reggae-style cover released by BBC personality Handy Andy, which was not particularly well received.

French popstar Claude Fran├žois released his cover "Si j'avais un marteau" ("If I had a Hammer") in November 1963.

The French vocal group Les Surfs released another cover "Si j'avais un marteau" in a version faithful to that of Trini Lopez

Italian popstar Rita Pavone sang "Datemi un martello" ("Give me a hammer") in...
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