Ukulele Songs for Women: Celebrating International Women’s Day

March 8 is International Women’s Day (website:, which is a good time to recognise the value and importance of women in all walks of life. What better way than to celebrate with song and there are many great examples that have been adapted for the ukulele.

Women have long struggled for independence and to be taken seriously by the opposite sex. Back in 1963 Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me, was such a plea that was eagerly welcomed by her young female audience. A more recent ukulele version by Peppermint Ollie demonstrates that the song still resonates with young women.

In 1972 Helen Reddy wrote what has become the anthem of the Women’s movement, I Am Woman. It is still a powerful song and Jaq Payne does it justice on the ukulele.

Working women have long struggled for equality in pay and promotions. The 1980 movie comedy, 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton dealt with the difficulties of being a woman in corporate America in a humorous manner, but there were definitely serious undertones. Dolly Parton’s excellent theme song says it all. Azalea Grace performs it wonderfully on ukulele.

A lesser known song is the 1999 electronic dance number, Don’t Call Me Baby by Australian duo Madison Avenue, which stresses the continued need for women to stand up for themselves. Julie Chow does a slow, memerising take on this song with ukulele and electronic accompaniment.

It’s good to celebrate being a woman and enjoy life on your own terms without being defined by others. Cindy Lauper’s version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, is a terrific reminder. Jemma Johnson does a beautiful ukulele cover.

Here are some links to a couple of ukulele songs that are only available to watch on YouTube:

A play along of what every woman wants – RESPECT, sung by Aretha Franklin (

A tutorial and play along of Shania Twain’s gutsy Man I Feel Like a Woman (

I’m sure that you can think of many other women’s songs to play on the ukulele.

Have a wonderful International Women’s Day. Remember to celebrate being a woman, as well as all the women in your life and try to make a difference, so that it is a better world for everyone.

Happy strumming,



For The Love of Dogs: A Ukulele Tribute For Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s day we remember the bonds we share with our family and friends, including our four legged variety. As we journey through life, dogs comfort and make us laugh during the bad times and help us to celebrate our successes. While people may come and go, our dogs are constant companions giving us their unconditional love. Life is is so much better when you share it with one or more dogs.

That is why there are so many great songs about dogs and the love we have for our furry friends. To celebrate this bond on Valentine’s day, here are a few well known songs performed on Ukulele by obvious dog lovers.

I Love My Dog by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) performed by Pabrizzer, with inspiration from his dog.

Play along with the classic Me and You and a Dog Named Boo by Lobo performed by The Fivey Ukulele.

It’s never too late to bring a dog into your life. The Monkee’s Gonna Buy Me a Dog played by Jazzbanjoex, might provide you with the incentive to go looking for a new friend.

l lost my beloved dog late last year after a long illness. Although I was devastated by this loss, I could not bear to live without a dog so have welcomed a new puppy into my world. Puppies are a delight and The Puppy Song by Harry Nilsson expresses the joy of having a puppy. Here it is performed with feeling by Sage Harrington.

This Valentine’s day make some time to give your dog with lot’s of treats and attention. They are with us for such a short time, but we should never forget the love and devotion each one brings to our lives over the years.

Play your dog a song on the ukulele. (I’m still trying to convince my puppy that the ukulele is not scary and he doesn’t need to flee. It might take some time.) Don’t discourage them if they sing along and want to join in the fun.

Have a happy Valentine’s day.

Keep on strumming,


Classic Songs for Peace to Play on your Ukulele

We are now living in very uncertain times and it is difficult not to feel helpless and distressed by the terrible conflict that has erupted in Ukraine. For most of us playing the ukulele has always been an escape from our day to day troubles because it makes us feel better. However in difficult times we sometimes need to confront these harsh realities. The ukulele has always been an instrument for the people, not for politicians, and is at its most powerful when used to give comfort and hope.

A single human voice paired with a ukulele can be a simple and effective tool to convey the message of a Peace or Anti-War song, whether sung alone, with friends or in public. Many of these songs that were written in the mid twentieth century have stood the test of time and are simple to play on the ukulele.

The following examples are just a small selection that I was able to find on YouTube, each performed by a dedicated ukulele player. They are well known songs with easily available chord music that can be found online. Look for a version that suits your playing ability or challenge yourself to find a more difficult example.

Firstly is Pete Seeger’s classic Where Have All The Flowers Gone written in 1955 performed by Ms McBride.

Secondly Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall from 1962 performed by Boozelele.

Thirdly is One Tin Soldier by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter originally performed by Canadian Pop Group The Original Caste in 1969 and played by Kelly Deacon.

Finally we have Yusuf/Cat Steven’s 1971 Peace Train performed by Stephen Norwood and Justin.

Of course there are many more recent anti-war songs that you might prefer to play but these are a good start and all have a universal message that is still relevant and needed today. Let us all use our voices and instruments to try and make a difference no matter how small.

Keep playing your ukuleles.

Peace, Kat.

Holiday Fun On The Ukulele: Seasonal Songs with Silly Alternative Lyrics

The Holiday Season in Melbourne is nearly upon us. It might be beach weather but there’s no shortage of snow related decorations and evergreen pine trees in people’s homes. 


While it is summer here, Australians still love to sing and play winter songs on the ukulele. An old favourite is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, probably because it tells a fun story that we all loved to hear as children. It is also easy to play on the ukulele and for those who want a simple version, the following lesson by the talented Elise Ecklund is a good one.

However for those who prefer very silly lyrics you could also substitute the original with the lyrics of Robert the Red Nosed Reindeer by Aussie legends Bucko and Champs of Aussie Jingle Bells fame. It’s probably not suitable for little children so save it till later when the adults need a laugh.

If you want to go down a really controversial path and risk insulting some of your relatives at family celebrations, there’s always Bucko and Champs Completely Useless Gifts to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. But maybe don’t play this if you want to see them again next holiday season.

Whatever you play on your ukulele have a Wonderful Festive Season and a very Happy New Year.

Keep on Strumming,


Bayside Ukes: Changes for 2022

Due to the difficulties of running a Ukulele Group during the Covid-19 Pandemic, Bayside Ukes will no longer be run as a public group at the Hampton Community Centre.

Thank you to everyone who has come to these sessions over the years and made them so much fun.

This website will continue to celebrate ukulele music.

Keep on strumming,


Here is the wonderful Ukulele Death Squad with a live performance, something we have been missing in Melbourne with our endless lockdowns.

Ukulele under Lockdown

Melbourne is still in Stage 4 Lockdown and because of the now accepted aerosol risk of contracting Covid-19 when singing, it looks like Bayside Ukes will not be able to meet at the Hampton Community Centre for some time.

It would also be difficult to sing when wearing a mask so we will continue with our Zoom sessions for regular members until it is safe to get together in the real world.

Keep on strumming,


To cheer us all up here is a fun video featuring the delightful Olivia Colman recording a song with accompanying ukuleles.

When can Ukulele Groups Resume Sessions During Covid-19?

Version 2

The Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne is now easing and soon many activities will begin again. While this will be great for community groups, we at Bayside Ukes think that there is a need to proceed with caution before starting back at the Hampton Community Centre due to the increased hazard of contracting Covid-19 from the mechanics of group singing. There is a higher risk of contracting the virus in an enclosed space. 

For those who are unaware of these health risks, the following video gives detailed health and scientific advice from experts with regard to group singing in an Australian context. This information is also applicable to anyone singing in a group during this pandemic. The video takes about an hour but it is worth viewing for health and safety reasons.

The main recommendation is that singing groups should not get together inside until there have been no new local cases of Covid-19 for at least one month. Bayside Ukes will be following the advice of these experts and we look forward to such a time when we will be able to play together in the real world.

We will update the calendar on this blog before we resume our sessions depending on the rate of transmission of the virus in Melbourne.

In the meantime, here is a fun video by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain of Kraftwerk’s The Model (RIP Florian Schneider).

Stay safe and keep on strumming.


Anzac Day Under Lockdown: There is always Your Ukulele


Tomorrow Australians and New Zealanders remember our service men and women on Anzac Day. This year it will be very strange without the usual marches and dawn ceremonies held in our countries and at war memorials overseas, but these are challenging times.

With everyone under Pandemic lockdown we are being encouraged to commemorate the dawn service in our driveways this year.  Those who are able to play brass instruments are being asked to perform the Last Post for their neighbours. Here is a link to the ABC News website which gives ideas on how to participate in this historic event from your home.

While the ukulele is not suitable for the Last Post, you can still play some songs for the occasion in your home or backyard later in the day and have a sing-a-long with your family or house mates. This website has suggestions in previous posts about war songs made for past Anzac or Remembrance Day commemorations. Just look in the archives for posts in April or November.

One of the most powerful Australian songs about war is Redgum’s I Was Only 19, which is about an Australian soldier’s experiences in the Vietnam War. If you have never heard this song before, the following video features Redgum’s original version played over contemporary war footage of the Australian troops in Vietnam.

I have been unable to find a ukulele cover but here is a link to the ukulele chords, so you can play this song tomorrow.

I Was Only 19

However you commemorate the day, wishing everyone a safe Anzac Day.

Keep on Strumming,


Songs for Social Distancing on Ukulele


In these days of covid-19  songs played on the ukulele can help us cope with the unfamiliar practice of social distancing. It is fun to find those with a related theme and here are a couple of my favourites.

A good up-tempo song is The Police’s Don’t Stand So Close to Me. Here is link to the music which is followed by a video of the Police’s version. You will need to allow for the instrumental interlude.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me

Here’s another 80s hit, So Far Away by Dire Straits with the accompanying music for you to enjoy. This one is a bit harder with the riff.

So Far Away

The song music links in this post are in different keys from the original versions, so you won’t be able to play along with the videos, which are included to demonstrate the arrangements of these songs (and because they are so good). You might have to practice for a while to get the right feel, but I’m sure that you are all up for the challenge.

Have fun, stay well and keep on strumming.


We Will Survive: Ukulele Play-Along Song


Bayside Ukes regret to announce that, given the seriousness of the Covid-19 virus Emergency in Victoria, we will not be running sessions until further notice, out of respect for the health of our older members and those with chronic health conditions.

This has been a difficult decision, but we are not the only ukulele group in Melbourne to take this step and it will be hard on us all to temporarily give up our group sessions, which we really enjoy.

We must not let this get us down and everyone should carry on with ukulele practice at home to stay sane during this crisis. With that in mind here is a fun ukulele play-along challenge to help you stay strong and give that virus the boot!

If you find some of these chords difficult try to search for an easier version through google.

I will continue with this blog to share any ukulele songs and tips.

Wishing everyone in the ukulele community the very best and hope you all stay well.

Keep on Strumming.