Street Musicians Carl Scott and Eddie Thomas

Simple instruments yet complex rhythms from two street performers of the late 1920s.  Carl Scott and Eddie Thomas demonstrate that all you need is a ukulele and some household items to make exciting music.  Bit hard to do this with a modern coffee pot and washboards are not easy to find these days.  But with a bit of imagination you can make music using all kinds of ordinary items without lot’s of expensive technology.

Ukulele Songs About Ukuleles

Ukulele songs about ukuleles.  This is a great genre for groups so I thought I’d have a look on the net to see how many I could find.  There are a number of songs from the 1920’s and 30s but not so many from later periods, unless they are just unrecorded, unavailable on the net or only found in ukulele music books.

From the early days of the uke, some of the songs mentioned on the Ukulele Hunt website (Ukulele Songs) are Ukulele Moon and Ukulele Island, but I could not find them in cyberspace.  Pity, they sounded interesting.

One of the most famous songs from the early period that is still madly popular is of course Ukulele Lady.  A great live version by Bette Midler (not the distorted video version) has disappeared from YouTube but here is a fun one by the Muppets.

Amusing songs about the ukulele were performed by those stalwarts of the 30s and 40s, George Formby and Cliff Edwards.

Here’s  George doing With My Little Ukulele In My Hand from the movie Off The Dole (1935)

Another funny song is I Did It With My Little Ukulele sung be Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards in the 1933 movie Take A Chance.  It contains a typical flash back sequence of the period with stereotypical cannibals and hula dancers.

Other songs that I found on YouTube are I Love A Ukulele performed by Annette Hanshaw (1930) and I Love To Play My Ukulele  by Max Bygraves (1958).

Recent songs about the ukulele are harder to find.  There are plenty of new songs written for the ukulele, like Charlie Roe’s Ukulele Song and Vance Joy’s Riptide, but these do not refer to the ukulele in the lyrics.

A good one I did find is Ukulele Central written and performed by Fairport Convention in 2010.  It gives a short hilarious history of the ukulele.

Most ukulele players by now would have heard the fabulous Amanda Palmer’s Ukulele Anthem, but here is a great version of her performing the song in 2014 while battling the winds around the Sydney Opera house.  (For those with delicate sensibilities, the song contains strong language).

Another fairly recent song is A Ukulele and You by Jim Berloff (2005), one of the compilers of The Daily Ukulele and other song books.  Here is a version performed by Ukester Brown:

A Ukulele and You

Some ukulele groups adapt existing popular songs so that they are about ukuleles and can be played on the uke.  Here is an example:

Blame It On The Ukulele 

If you wanted, it would be relatively easy to adapt a song yourself or you could write an original song about ukuleles.

I am sure that there must be more ukulele songs about the ukulele out there so have a look around.  It really does take you on a small journey into the history of the uke.

Kat

Bayside Ukes Member

Ten Good Reasons for Playing the Ukulele

  1. The Uke makes even a sad song sound cheerful
  2. You can own many Ukes and they won’t take up a lot of space
  3. Because it is so light, you can play the Uke for hours without getting backache
  4. You can play the Uke in the middle of the night without disturbing your neighbors
  5. You can take a Uke on a plane without needing to book an extra seat
  6. A Uke is easy to hide before playing in a Flash Mob and while fleeing the scene
  7. You can play a Uke anywhere: up a tree; on a raft; while dancing; even in Space

8. If you are bopping to the music you won’t whack the person next to you in the face because the Uke has a short neck

9. You can do a speech as a Uke song.  It makes this less painful for both you and the audience

10. If you play the Uke you belong to a worldwide community of fellow ukers and you need never play alone

So make the most of your Uke. It is such a versatile instrument

Kat

Bayside Ukes member