Wild Horses, ukulele style

Here’s a great song by the Rolling Stones, which I heard recently on the very first night of America’s Got Talent 2019 Champions, sung by British runner-up contestant Susan Boyle. She was of course given the golden buzzer, so she’s strait on to the finalé, which I believe airs this month. (I’m sure you can Google it…)

Anyway, here is the ukulele version in the Key of C. I find it more suitable to sing in this key 😉 and it is the Stones’ version, not Susan Boyle’s. I included the Vevo vid for it as well, just to clear up any confusion, because for one thing, you might be surprised at how slow this song actually is. People in my group were actually telling me that the Official Vevo video for the song is wrong because they remember it at a much faster pace. I, myself, however, remember the song exactly the way it is in the Vevo vid, which is actually the original recording set to some images. No one slowed it down, or we wouldn’t be able to recognize Mick Jaggar’s voice. Ha! So there! NNNNh!

Anyway, to the nay-sayers I say, go do your own friggin research and stop criticizing me, all I’m trying to do is bring you a fun song: do you have to suck lemons about it? Sheesh!


Wild Horses in C


P.S. I think it’s in the Key of G. (Ha ha on you!)

We’re Here for a Good Time!

Related image

Truer words were never spoke!

It’s great when you get a couple of followers on your blog, totally shocking when one of them is in your ukulele group! So thank you LINDA for telling everyone about the website, I have gotten some nice compliments and great feedback. They seem to be enjoying downloading songs from here also, which was part of the game plan, LOL. The funny part for me was that I was so engrossed in the moment during uke group that I had a hard time figuring out what she was talking about, when suddenly it dawned on me and I was embarrassed. Why, I don’t know! I’m not tooting my own horn, I truly just want to share some great song arrangements with other ukulele enthusiasts.

That being said, here are 3 that I want to share. Moon Dance is a great song that Linda brought to our group. I have not rearranged it, I like it the way it is, there is a wonky part in the first chorus, but I haven’t listened to the song over the internet yet, so maybe that is the way the original goes and I just don’t remember – ha ha! The memory’s a funny thing, too!

The other two are We’re Here for a Good Time and Hallelujah, the alternate words. The arrangement is different from mine, too, because I never included the C/Am/C/Am at the end of the chorus. In my version I lean back on G7 before starting the next verse. Linda also brought us that song, and we are performing it Tuesday night at the Maple Manor in Tillsonburg for the residents there. We’re going to have Linda finger pick the Intro.

With respect, I wish each and every one of you a happy and safe Holiday, in case I don’t get back on here before New Year’s.


We’re Here For a Good Time

Hallelujah Alternate

A Song of the 50’s Progression

Today’s song is an iconic composition of the 50’s music genre. This song uses a version of the common chord progression now called “the 50’s progression”, which has been called the “Stand By Me’ changes” after the song.

50’s Chord Progression 

There are many iconic songs from this music time era, where the song moves rhythmically from the first chord, to the second, to the third, to the fourth and back to the first, always in the same order. These songs are strongly associated with the “Doo Wop” genre as well, and may be referred to as “Heart and Soul” chords. The first song known to have used this sequence extensively was Blue Moon written in 1933 by Richard Rodgers. The progression is represented in a  key as I, VI(m), IV, V(7). The sixth chord may/may not be minor depending on the key; the fifth chord may/may not be a 7th depending on the tone. When not played in the first to fourth sequence, the same four chords are used in a turn-around manner (see You Send Me, below).


A Teenager in Love (1959): (4/4 Timing) [C] Each time we [Am] have a quarrel, [F] it almost [G7] breaks my heart, [C] cause I am [Am] so afraid, [F] that we will [G7] have to part. [C] Each night I [Am] ask the [F] stars up a-[G7]bove, [C] why must I [Am] be a teen-[F]ager in [G7] love?….

This example shows only 2 strums per chord, whereas, to play A Teenager in Love you would play a full 4 strums per chord. 🙂 

You Send Me (1957): (2/4 Timing) Darling, [G] You -oo-[Em]oo, [Am7] send me [D7]. I know, [G] You -oo-[Em]oo, [Am7] send me [D7]. Darling, [G] You -oo-[Em]oo, [Am7] send me, [D7] honest you [G] do, honest you [Am7] do, honest you [G], [D7] Whoa-oh-oh-oh…. (Repeat, replacing “send me” with “thrill me”.)….

Stand By Me ~ Ben E. King 

Stand By Me was composed in 1959, recorded and released in 1960, by Ben E. King. In addition to the iconic 50’s chord progression in the Key of A, the song departed from the sound of the “doo wop” background singers and used a strong, low bass-line instead. Baaa baaa, ba-ba baa baa, ba-ba-ba baa baa, ba-ba baa baa, etc.

The arrangement I offer you today is presented in the ORIGINAL KEY OF A, which on a soprano ukulele is pretty much unattainable. It is best played on a tenor uke or a uke that is strung with a LOW G STRING. This way you can attain that perfect tone of pitch moving from the low chords to the higher chords.

If you want to transpose it to a higher Key, keep in mind that the second, third and fourth chords change depending on what sharps and flats are in each key, using the Key formula outlined in the paragraph above titled “50’s Chord Progression”. For example, if you truly don’t want to sing it in the original Key that Ben E. King recorded it in (no pressure), then the Key of F would be F, Dm, Bb and C7. (And don’t we all just looooove that Bb!) The Key of C sequence is C, Am, F and G7, which is easier to play but much higher to sing.

However, like I already stated, I have arranged it in the Key of A as originally recorded, and tried extremely hard to have the lyrics in the style that Ben E. King sang them. The only part I don’t have tabbed out for you is the Instrumental, but you can probably find that on the internet somewhere 🙂 and you will have to find someone willing to accompany you doing the “baa baa, ba-ba baa baa” bass-line.

Cheers! Stand By Me A

Below is a wonderful video of Ben E. King singing Stand By Me, with some of the cast members from the 1986 coming-of-age movie “Stand By Me”: Will Weaton and River Phoenix. You can play the chord progression from my arrangement along with this video if you are good at hearing chord changes. Enjoy!


A 50’s Medley

Elvis 1956 Dorsey Brothers stage
Elvis during his first television appearance on the Stage Show with the Dorsey Brothers, in New York, New York, January 1956.

Sometimes I like to play a few 50’s songs together, especially if they were written/composed by the same artist and sound alike, or if they have the same beat or shuffle. I like to alternate the verses and chorus’s for each song, and I have a great time, and everyone seems to know the words to at least the chorus’s, so nobody cares!

It’s when I type it out on paper and share it with someone, that’s when they point out the one glaringly obvious oversight. Yes, these two songs are from 2 different music styles. The first song is a strait up classic rock song, although it does not follow the classic 4-chord repetitive pattern, and the second song is a 12-bar blues song that was an R&B hit. However, they have the same shuffle strum and once you start playing them together you might agree with me.

I am no DJ, so my mixing is not proper, LOL. I actually go back to the first song for the ending, so maybe this is falls into the category of “mash-up”?? Although I know that term refers to a song created by blending two (or more) pre-recorded songs together, the argument was that a “medley” should consist of at least 3 songs played together in the same Key in a continuous manner.

So for that reason, I titled it Blue Suede Shoes/Flip Flop and Fly.


The first song was obviously an Elvis tune, but the second one is attributed to Joe Turner, 1955. This was his follow-up hit to Shake, Rattle & Roll of 1954. However, Elvis performed it on his first television appearance in 1956, as part of a medley that included Shake, Rattle & Roll and I Got a Woman. Other famous recordings of Flip, Flop & Fly were made by Bill Haley in 1956 on his album Rock Around the Clock, the Downchild Blues Band in 1973, and the Blues Brothers on Briefcase Full of Blues, 1978.

Blue Suede Flop Fly

Getting Lost in the Rock ‘n’ Roll

Hawaii-Drift Away is another song that epitomized my late childhood/early teen years.

An iconic 1970’s song, Drift Away was a chart topper when recorded by Dobie Gray in 1973.

According to Wikipedia, it was written by Mentor Williams and originally recorded by John Henry Kurtz in 1972. A newer version by Uncle Kracker became a major hit in 2003. And I just learned this, an artist by the name of Narvel Felts also recorded a version of the song which charted on the Country Hits list also in 1973. He changed the lyrics, “I want to get lost in your rock and roll” to “I want to get lost in your country song.” Other famous performers have covered this song, and I have the CD which has Michael Bolton’s version. It’s about an 8 out of 10 (Dobie Gray’s being a 10/10).

I was most interested in getting a good representation of the opening RIFF and the rendition of it that follows throughout the song. I have found it on the internet in various keys, but never with the RIFF in the key of C and the song in the key of F. It turns out this is the best key for my singing voice: that is all. I was very proud of yesterday’s post: I managed to produce a sheet of words and chords in the same key as the video I found to represent the melody of the song. That probably won’t be the case today, ha ha ha!

For your listening amusement, here is the video of the originally recorded version by John Henry Kurtz. There is little comparison to Dobie Gray’s version:

This is the best I could do, as the only “Official Video” of the song I could find had some wierd website plastered on it. So you’ll have to grin and bear the accompaniment of lyrics on this version by Dobie Gray:


RIFF:  │ C  Cm  G7sus2   Cm │ C–C5   G7   G7    C │

[F]  Day after day I’m more con-[C]fused

[F]  Still I look for the [G7] light in the pouring [C] rain

[F]  You know that’s a game that I hate to [C] lose

[Dm] I’m feeling the strain

[F//][F] Ain’t it a shame

Chorus:  Oh, [C] give me the beat boys and free my soul

I [G7] wanna get lost in your rock and roll and [F] Drift Away  (Repeat)


[F]  Beginning to think that I’m wasting [C] time

[F]  I don’t under-[G7]stand the things I [C] do

[F]  The world outside looks so un-[C]kind

[Dm]  Now I’m counting on you

[F//][F]  To carry me through


Bridge: [Dm] And when my mind is free, [F] you know a melody can [C] move me

[Dm] And when I’m feeling blue, [F] the guitar’s coming through to [G] soothe me

[F] Thanks for the joy you’re giving [C] me

[F] I want you to [G7] know I believe in your [C] song

[F] Your rhythm and rhyme and harmon-[C]y

[Dm] You’ve helped me along, [F] making me strong

Chorus X2 (Second time, first half is No Chords, just clapping the beat)

[F] Nah, nah, nah, nah, Oh

Won’t ya [C] take me, Oh [G7] take me, Oh [F] take me


Romance in 1976

It’s 1976, my favourite year: Grade 6!

This was the year of my first crush, first kiss, first fight with a best friend (over a boy). First school dance, first school graduation, first time in heels, first time with glasses (and a retainer?? hmm maybe that was Grade 7…). The music was something else. My sister had a transistor radio in her room and I routinely dialed it to the American station, Rock 104. They would play Steve Miller Band, the entire album, and then flip it over and play the entire other side! They also loved Meatloaf and Bat Out Of Hell. This exposure to the cutting edge of the top music of the time felt delicious to me.

Songs from the Grade 6 Graduation dance: Stairway to Heaven, Summertime Blues, lots of classic 50’s rock, Slow Dancin’ Swayin’ to the Music….Jerry Rafferty, Stever Miller and others. And Dr Hook. In particular, Only Sixteen, which they had recorded in 1972, but which was a hit in 1976. Funny how that works out! And oh, how we wished we were sixteen! I remember believing along with my girlfirends that this was one of thee most romantic songs, ever.

Flash forward to today, and I find out it was written and recorded by Sam Cooke in 1959. Huh. That’s Ok, I really like Sam Cooke’s songs, too!

Only Sixteen ~ Sam Cooke, 1959

She was [G] only six-[Em]teen, [C] only six-[D]teen,
[Am7][D7] I loved her [G] so.
But she was too [Em] young, to [C] fall in [D] love
And [Am7] I was too [D7] young to [G] know
We’d [G] laugh and we’d [Em] sing, and
[C] do the little [D] things
[Am7] That [D7] made our hearts [G] glow.
But she was too [Em] young, to [C] fall in [D] love

And [Am7] I was too [D7] young to [G] know
[Am7] Why did I [D7] give my [G] heart so [Em] fast?
It [Am7] never will [D7] happen a-[G]gain!
But [Am7] I was a [D7] mere [G] lad of six-[Em]teen –
[A7] I’ve aged a year since [D7] then!

She was [G] only six-[Em]teen, [C] only six-[D]teen,
[Am7]With [D7] eyes that would [G] glow.
But she was too [Em] young, to [C] fall in [D] love
And [Am7] I was too [D7] young to [G] know.

(Then [Am7] Why did you [D7] give your [G] heart so [Em] fast?)
Whoa, it [Am7] never will [D7] happen a-[G]gain!
([Am7] You were a [D7] mere [G] lad of six-[Em]teen -)
[A7] I’ve aged a year since [D7] then!

She was [G] only six-[Em]teen, [C] only six-[D]teen,
[Am7] With [D7] eyes that would [G] glow.
But she was too [Em] young, to [C] fall in [D] love
And [Am7] I was too [D7] young to [G] know.

She was too [Em] young, to [C] fall in [D] love
And [Am7] I was too [D7] young to [G] know.

She was too [Em] young, to [C] fall in [D] love…….
And [Am7] I was too [D7] young to [G] know.

The Roller Skates Song

Actually referring to the hit 1972 song Brand New Key written by Melanie Safka of New York, New York.

Melanie Safka was a beloved hippie performer from the 60’s. She was an American Singer-songwriter known professionally as Melanie. She is best known for her hits, Brand New Key, Ruby Tuesday, Look What They’ve Done to My Song Ma, and her song about performing at Woodstock, Lay Down (Candles in the Rain). She was discovered while singing in the folk clubs in Greenwich Village during her college years. Her first hit was Beautiful People in 1969.

She also had a rebellionist streak. In 1970 she was the only artist to ignore a court injunction banning The Powder Ridge Rock Festival.Shortly after that she played a concert at Mosport Park in Ontario and played for a huge following in Britain where she received standing ovations. She left Buddah Records when they insisted she produce records on demand, and formed a recording company with her husband instead. When she became an official UNICEF ambassador in 1972 she agreed to forgo her world tour in favour of raising money for this organization instead.

When Brand New Key was first released in 1972 many radio stations banned it due to the sexual double-entendres of the song lyrics. Melanie claimed she wrote the song in 15 minutes and intended it to be light-hearted. The follow-up song was “Ring the Living Bell”. To compete with that, her previous record label released “the Nickel Song”. Both songs were simultaneous Top 40 hits while Brand New Key was still in the charts, setting a record for the first female performer to have three Top 40 hits concurrently. Melanie was also awarded Billboard’s #1 Top Female Vocalist Award for 1972.

I was a child in 1972 and started high school in 1979. I think this song was a standard on the radio almost the entire time. My favourite line in the song was always, “some people say I’ve done all right for a girl, oh, yeah!” Needless to say one of my favourite passtimes was rollerskating in our unfinished basement with my best friend. I also never sing the “la la la” part to the last chorus in the song. When singing it with my ukulele I just feel like singing “la la la” wastes my effort, so I prefer to sing the words there instead. Also, the song ends abruptly after the last word, “key”, and I prefer to come in for a gentle landing with 2 beats each of F and G7 and a single down strum on C. So at the bottom you will see *Original version with the La la la’s, followed by *Cat’s version with words and my ending instead. Your choice! Enjoy!

Brand New Key  ~  Melanie Saftka

[C] I rode my bicycle past your window last night

[G7] I roller skated to your door at daylight

Oh, [C] it almost seems, like you’re avoiding me

[F] I’m OK alone but you’ve got [G7] something I need


[C] I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key

I think that we should get together and try them on to see

[F] I’ve been lookin’ around a while, you got something for me

[G7] Oh, [C] I got a brand new pair of roller skates

[G7] You got a brand new [C] key


[C] I ride my bike, I roller skate, don’t drive no car

[G7] Don’t go too fast, but I go pretty far

[C] For somebody who don’t drive I’ve been all around the world

[F] Some people say I’ve done all [G7] right for a girl

Oh, [C] yeah! Oh yeah, yeah, yeah!

Oh, yeah, yeah, [F] yeah! Oh [G7] yeah, yeah [C] yeah…..


[C] I asked your mother if you were  at home

[G7] She said yes, but you weren’t alone

Oh, [C] sometimes I think, that you’re avoiding me

[F] I’m OK alone but you got [G7] something I need


[C] I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key

I think that we should get together and try them on to see

*Original version:

[F] La la la la-la, la la la la-la, la la la la-la la)

[G7] Oh, …… brand new [C] key 

*Cat’s version:

[F] I’ve been lookin’ around a while, you got something for me

[G7] Oh, [C] I got a brand new pair of roller skates

[G7] You got a brand new [C] key [F-2, G7-2, C-1]

Listen to the song below:

3 Love Songs

February is the month of love, and I was remiss in not posting a song or two in honour of St. Valentine’s Day.

So I am making up for that by posting some songs that I enjoy playing, Kaempfert’s L-O-V-E and Hey, Baby by Bruce Channel. And the other one is You Send Me, the debut single by American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke.

Hey, Baby was written by Margaret Cobb and Bruce Channel and was recorded by Bruce Channel in 1961. The song features a prominent riff from well-known harmonica player Delbert McClinton and was a #1 hit in 1962. Hey, Baby actually enjoyed a massive re-popularization when it was used in the movie Dirty Dancing in 1987. The movie’s soundtrack album became a huge commercial success. Wikipedia says it sold 32 million copies world-wide and is considered one of the best-selling albums of all time. In 2000, Austrian artist “DJ Ötzi” recorded a cover version for dance clubs. In 2002 it became the unofficial theme song for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. His version reached number 1 in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Japan.

Here is the song: HEY BABY

Classic Bruce Channel recording of the song:

DJ Otzi dance version:

Bert Kaempfert was a German orchestra leader and songwriter. He made easy-listening and jazz records and composed the music for a number of well-known songs. Many of his tunes became huge successes for famous recording artists. Wooden Heart, sung by Elvis Presley in the film G.I. Blues was a hit in 1961. Strangers in the Night became a huge hit for Frank Sinatra in 1966. Danke Schoen, with words added by Milt Gabler, became Wayne Newton’s signature song. Milt Gabler also wrote the lyrics for L-O-V-E in 1964 which became a hit song for Nat King Cole in 1965.

Here is the song: L.O.V.E

L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole:

You Send Me was Sam Cooke’s debut single released in 1957 as the B-side recording of Summertime. It was a massive commercial success, becoming a number one hit on both the Rhythm and Blues and Pop song charts. This was one of the first songs outside the realm of Gospel recordings for Cooke. Although the intended A-side was Summertime, radio disc jockeys preferred You Send Me. Over the years, it has become the landmark song of the “soul genre” which Cooke helped create.

Here is the song: You Send Me You can add the extra singing bits he does, ie. “I know, I know, I know, I know” etc. at the end, and he sings “you send me” about 4 times over at the end. Basically, if you aim for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes length of time you will have the song covered.  🙂

You Send Me video of Sam Cooke:

Sway With Me

“Sway” is the English version of the Spanish song “Quien sera” which was a 1953 instrumental mambo song by Mexican composers Luis Demetrio and Pablo Beltran Ruiz. The most popular English recording is by Dean Martin in 1954. The English lyrics are credited to Norman Gimbel. “Sway” was also recorded by Michael Bublé and released in 2003. Even though this is considered a big band song, it translates to the ukulele flavourfully with a roll strum: D roll uDuDu.


Strum Pattern: D D-rol up  uDu  ,  also known as the Calypso strum or the Roll strum

First notes is the open E string.

Intro: Dm E7 Am Am Dm E7 Am (stop)

When marimba rhythms [Dm] start to play,

[E7] Dance with me, [Am] make me sway.

Like a lazy ocean [Dm] hugs the shore,

[E7] Hold me close, [Am] sway me more. (stop)

Like a flower bending [Dm] in the breeze,

[E7] Bend with me, [Am] sway with ease.

When we dance you have a [Dm] way with me,

[E7] Stay with me, [Am] sway with me. (stop)


Other dancers may [G7] be on the floor,

Dear, but my eyes will [C] see only you.

Only you have that [E7] magic technique,

When we sway I go [Am] weak. (stop)

I can hear the sound of [Dm] violins,

[E7] Long before, [Am] it begins.

Make me thrill as only [Dm] you know how,

[E7] Sway me smooth, [Am] sway me now. (stop)


Other dancers may [G7] be on the floor,

Dear, but my eyes will [C] see only you.

Only you have that [E7] magic technique,

When we sway I go [Am] weak. (stop)

I can hear the sound of [Dm] violins,

[E7] Long before, [Am] it begins.

Make me thrill as only [Dm] you know how,

[E7] Sway me smooth, [Am] sway me now.

Make me thrill as only [Dm] you know how,

[E7] Sway me smooth, [Am] sway me now. (stop)

Groovin’… on a Tuesday Even-ing

Well boys and girls, tonight is the fall start for the ukulele club I belong to, called the Dover Uke Heads. We meet weekly at the Grace United Church on Chapman Street in Port Dover.

This is a song for the group that I have been playing for the past 2 weeks. I hope they like it!

GROOVIN’    Young Rascals, 1967

[F] Groovin’…….[Gm7] on a Sunday after[F]noon [Gm7]

[F] Really….[Gm7] couldn’t get away too [F] soon [Gm7]

[Am] I can’t imagine any[Gm7] thing that’s better

[Am] The world is ours whenever [Gm7] we’re together

[Am] There ain’t a place I’d like to [Gm7] be in-[C7]stead of…..

[F] Groovin’…….[Gm7] down a crowded aven-[F]ue [Gm7]

[F] Doin’…… [Gm7]anything we like to [F] do [Gm7]

[Am] There’s always lots of things that [Gm7] we can see

[Am] We can be anyone we [Gm7] want to be

[Am] And all those happy people [Gm7] we could [C7] meet just

[F] Groovin’…….[Gm7] on a Sunday after[F]noon [Gm7]

[F] Really….[Gm7] couldn’t get away too [F] soon (No, no, no, no!) [Gm7]

[F] Ah ah [Gm7] ah       [F] Ah ah [Gm7] ah       [F] Ah ah [Gm7] ah

[Am] We’ll keep on spending sunny [Gm7] days this way

[Am] We’re gonna talk and laugh our [Gm7] time away

[Am] I feel it comin’ closer [Gm7] day by day

[Bb] Life would be [Am] ecstasy [Gm7] you and me end-[C]lessly

[F] Groovin’…….[Gm7] on a Sunday after[F]noon [Gm7]

[F] Really….[Gm7] couldn’t get away too [F] soon (No, no, no, no!) [Gm7]

[F] Ah ah [Gm7] ah       [F] Ah ah [Gm7] ah       [F] Ah ah [Gm7] ah

Fade out:

[F] Groovin’ [Gm7] ………uh huh [F] huh   [Gm7]

[F] Groovin’ [Gm7] ………uh huh [F] huh   [Gm7]