Ukulele Songs

Time to hurt some feelings – Portland Man by Ukulele Guy

Posted in Ukulele Songs, Ukulele Videos on September 15th, 2011 by Uke Guy – 1 Comment

I'd like to consider myself as a fairly nice guy.  I mean, I'm not a totally sociopath at least.  I honestly want other people to be happy and whatnot.  But, all that said, I can definitely tell you that as I age (poorly) I find that I have less and less tolerance for douchebaggery.  Odd... for some reason my spellcheck is telling me that douchebaggery isn't a word.  Clearly this thing is faulty.

Anyway, despite all of my best intentions.  I often find myself writing "mean" songs.  Some of the oldest Volumen songs (and nearly all the PWT songs) are mean to some person or other.  I guess I just can't help being an asshole.  But, on the opposite side of it.  It never hurts to take yourself less seriously, right?  I mean, I'm more than willing to have it thrown right back in my face.

So, why all the setup?  Well, being a "weirdo" into "weird music" I have lots of "weird" friends (surprisingly enough).  Well, I love all of those weirdos and the weirdos that they introduce me into in other town. But, in my journeys and tours (especially in Seattle and Portland) I've noticed a particular kind of (slightly disingenuous) weirdo.  So, I attempted to document this character in song.  I probably should have written another verse or two, but you know how I roll.  I'd rather just blast a song out and then never look back.  So, let's blast away, shall we?

If you feel like playing along.  Here's the tabs.  NOTE:  In my head the parentheses are a call and response type of thing.  So, I'm hoping my brother will sing those parts for me if we manage to play this live ever.

 

Portland Man by Ukulele Guy

A
He got tight pants (high waters)
C
white belt (doesn't matter)
D
He got a squiggly design on his v-neck shirt
C                         D7
5 o'clock shadow and his feelings are hurt

A
He's got principles (I believe him)
C
LAST YEAR HE WAS ALMOST TOTALLY VEGAN
D
He heard about your favorite band before you did
C D7
you read it in mojo (he already knew it)

twirly C             A
He's a..... Portland man
twirly C   F G
Portland man
He's a..... Portland man

twirly C D7
A
He's got lady friends (ad infinitim)
C
longboards (oh, he'll ride 'em)
D
he knows a little place that has the best soy latte
C                          D7
he's got perfect hair, and glitter on his body

He rocks facial hair (with irony)
he digs mp3 piracy
his cigarette brand? (american spirits)
you like his messenger bag? don't get near it

chorus

He's a...
C                                  E7
adorable hipster, but he's gaining weight
F                           G
because that pabst blue ribbon tastes so great

Video: Brian Eno’s Needles in the Camel’s Eye on 6-string Uke

Posted in Ukulele Songs, Ukulele Videos on July 29th, 2011 by Uke Guy – Be the first to comment

So, I was so freaking excited after getting my new Oscar Schmidt OU-26T Tenor 6-String ukulele that I was pretty much making up reasons for putting it in a video.  Case in point, last Friday night I went to a get-together at my brother's house.  Beers and ribs were enjoyed by all and then I made my way on home with no definite plans.  Hrm.  What to do?  How bouts a hop on my old friend and enemy, Facebook.  Next thing I knew, it was 4:30am.  You see, here's the thing.  Colin, my brother, does this thing on Facebook that he calls CTV.  Basically, he drinks beer and posts Youtube videos and pretends that a) he's a DJ (which, in reality, he is) and b) that we are listening (well, sometimes we are).  Well, on Friday me posted something like "CTV is about to start!".  So, I thought it would be hilarious if I suddenly "invented" something called STV and if I pretended that I didn't know what CTV was.  Thus began a mighty Youtube DJ Battle on Facebook and my sobriety was the main casualty.

So, anyway, during the back and forth video attacks between CTV and STV, Colin's CTV posted this video.

Wherein I responded and said that I liked that song when it was called Needles in the Camel's Eye.

I considered that my checkmate.

So, why am I going on and on about this?  Hmm... good question.  Oh yeah, I remember.  You see when I picked up my new 6-string ukulele and heard those octave A strings (slightly out of tune) it popped Needles in the Camel's Eye right into my brain.  That's all the excuse I needed to make a uke video for it.  And, here it is.

This song is real easy to learn, it only has 4 chords.  Here's a quick tab for it.

Needles in the Camel's Eye - Brian Eno

E         A
Those who know
E                 A
They don't let it show
E                  B
They just give you one long life
D          A
And you go, oh oh, oh oh

Goes to show
How winds blow
The weather's fine
And I feel so so-so, so

Birds of prey
With too much to say
Oh what could be my destiny
Another rainy day

Why ask why?
For by the by and by
All mysteries are just more
Needles in the camel's eye

Those who know
They don't let it show
They just give you one long life
And you go, oh oh, oh oh

Why ask why?
For by the by and by
All mysteries are just more
Needles in the camel's eye

Oodles of Mahalo Ukuleles (Ya know, for kids!)

Posted in Ukulele News, Ukulele Songs on June 27th, 2011 by Uke Guy – 3 Comments

So, I'm not sure my office has ever looked this fun before.  Dig it:

Mahalo Ukuleles for Kids

Mahalo Ukuleles for Kids

Did I really buy 8 Mahalo Ukuleles?  Yup.

Did I get a discount?  Nope.

Are all of these Ukuleles for me?  Sadly, nope.

I'm teaching a ukulele class for the kid's of our local Flagship program.  I asked them how many ukuleles they had and I think they only have like 2-3 to work with but there are going to be like 13 kids or something?  So, scrounging together my own ukuleles, I realized that I needed to buy some more.

That's what led me to 8 shiny new Mahalo ukuleles on my office floor.  I'm going to be donating these to the flagship program in the hopes that they can use them over and over again.  And, I'm going to have to admit, I'm going to be sad to see these little babies go.  They've been making me smile all dang day.

My plan for the kids is to show them a few chords and talk about having fun with music and then teach them Big Rock Candy Mountain and/or Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, by the Flaming Lips.  Hopefully we can get through both.  I really wanted to tackle Livin' Thing by ELO, but there are a fair amount of tricky chords in there.

Here is the modified version of Big Rock Candy Mountain that I'm going to be using:
C - 0003
F - 2010
G7 - 0212

"Big Rock Candy Mountain" (Modified by Ukulele Guy)

Introduction:
One [C]evening as the sun went down
And the campfires all were burning,
Down the track came a hobo hikin',
And he said, "Boys, I'm not a-turning.
I'm [F]headed for a [C]land that's [F]far a[C]way,
Be[F]side the crystal [G7]fountains,
So [C]come with me, we'll go and see,
The Big Rock [G7]Candy [C]Mountains.

Verse 1:
"[C]In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
There's a [F]land that's fair and [C]bright,
Where the [F]french fries grow on [C]bushes,
And you [F]sleep out every [G7]night,
Well [C]all the schools are empty,
And the [F]sun shines every [C]day,
On the [F]birds and the [C]bees
And the [F]candy bar [C]trees,
The [F]lemonade [C]springs
Where the [F]bluebird [C]sings,
In the [G7]Big Rock Candy [C]Mountains.

Verse 2:
"[C]In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You [F]never change your [C]socks,
And the [F]little streams of [C]chocolate milk
Come a-[F]tricklin' down the [G7]rocks,
The [C] teachers do your homework
And your [F]parents clean your [C]room.
There's a [F]lake of [C]stew,
And of [F]soda [C]too,
You can [F]paddle all a[C]round 'em
In a [F]big ca[C]noe,
In the [G7]Big Rock Candy [C]Mountains.
In the [G7]Big Rock Candy [C]Mountains.

Original Song: 8th Anniversary for Erika

Posted in Ukulele Songs, Ukulele Videos on June 9th, 2011 by Uke Guy – 1 Comment

So, here is how this happened.

Monday Night: I mention to my wife, Erika, that I'm thinking about playing some Call of Duty: United Offensive tomorrow night with the boys.  She asks, "Are we doing anything tomorrow?"  Instantly I get my sinking feeling in my gut.  What have I forgotten now?  Is tomorrow Valentine's day?  No, that doesn't make sense.... this is June.  Hrm.  So, I go ahead and hang myself by asking, "What's tomorrow?"   Yup.  You guessed it.  It was our 8th wedding anniversary.

Tuesday Afternoon: During an insanely busy day at work, I keep playing Ukulele between stabs of productivity at the keyboard.  It's time for the hail Mary pass.  It's time for an authentic anniversary love song for my baby doll.  But, more than that, it's time to deliver it on our actual wedding anniversary.  As you've seen in the past, I normally deliver these a day or so after the special event.  Come hell or high water, that was not happening this time!

So, here it is.  Four verses even!  Of course, there isn't a bridge yet, but I can work on that down the road.

If you are interested in the chords and words (Hay, maybe your life is exactly like mine so you can re-use the song for your wife?):

F# C#7 F# A# B C#

8 years ago, we got joined, in holy matrimony
then I took the band and left you while we toured around Estonia
In those two weeks I knew that I needed to be near ya
wherever you are I'll follow you and make your "there" our "here"-a

C# fiddly part

7 years ago, we told just about everyone who'd listen
that the world was too damn full for us to put any more kids in
well it turns out that we that last part wrong
you need at least 4 voices to sing our family's song (maybe just 4, eh?)

D#min B F#
C# D#min B C#7

We got engaged for all time
or at least the rest of our lives

And I'd be lying if I didn't admit
that I think I got the better deal by more than a little bit

6 years ago we got ourselves a towheaded something special
I thank my lucky stars that we weren't being careful
I can't imagine our empty lives without that tiny babe
Sure we'd get more sleep,  but we can do that in the grave

4 years ago, we decided to make our boy a brother
and even though they fuss and fight I know they love each other
who coulda guessed that ours hearts had holes inside
that our boys patched right up because they were exactly the right size

Chorus

 

I’m getting the band back together maaaan

Posted in Ukulele Songs, Ukulele Videos on April 27th, 2011 by Uke Guy – Be the first to comment

So, here's the deal. I want to finally form a Ukulele band. If you live in Missoula, Montana and are into it, you should contact me. Here's some of the songs that I'd like to play. Obviously, we don't have to do all of these songs, or even more than one type of song. I'm leaning towards the sillier songs right now, but I can be talked into anything.

kid's songs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbyqgGIyj94
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yahu4MNRQ7A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I_X7StiFzM
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/simon-alton.mp3
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/gettingdresseddance.mp3
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/gus_is_picky.mp3

serious songs
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/bed.mp3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBbjxagGNZY
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ukulele-guy-megan-lannegan.mp3
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/belated.mp3
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/You-Didnt-Have-a-Girl.mp3
http://www.howsyournetwork.com/download/erika-bday2.mp3
http://www.howsyournetwork.com/download/shane%20hickey%20-%20Eva.mp3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCwPBtcqZvs

funny songs
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ukulele-guy-UPS-Girl.mp3
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ukulele-guy-moderation-town.mp3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qpo2YFSrVE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_juiXOrbhuI

covers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj-GIAACClc
http://ukuleleguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/strange_powers.mp3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVWCqy5TjJY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX5y1_v2XrE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I_X7StiFzM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CVQ-Zm9xBQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP1To9wG7uA

I realize that this is a bit of a haphazard post, but just need to link all these songs in one place so I can post it on Facebook because it's not letting me post a bajillion URLs into one update.... probably for good reason.

Video: Poontang! (yup, poontang)

Posted in Ukulele Songs, Ukulele Videos on April 21st, 2011 by Uke Guy – Be the first to comment

Now that I got your attention... Nah, I'm not joking. This really is a poontang video. Heh. I'm having a pretty good time here using the word poontang in a somewhat legitimate manner...... POONTANG!

Ok. I think I got that out of my system.  We can start for real.  As you may or may not know, I'm a freaking sucker for novelty songs.  I know what you are thinking, "Wait a minute, he likes ukuleles and novelty music?  High school must have been awesome for him!"  Surprisingly enough, it wasn't, but that's neither here nor there.

On one of my various novelty compilations, I first heard the song Poontang by the Treniers and I was amazed!  Frankly, I wasn't even sure the word poontang existed in 1953.  Turns out, it did.  After I heard the song I did a little bit of research and it sounds like The Treniers were pretty much party animals.  The drank and recorded rad songs.  In fact, to promote this song, they made custom labels for beer cans that said something like "Sweet Alabama Poontang" on them.  Then they sent the beer to radio station disc jockeys to get them to play it.  Freaking rad!

Anyway, I've been wanting to make a video for this for ages but kept putting it off.  So, today I just grabbed my aNueNue Banjolele and my Flip and busted out this video in a single take.  Boosh!

If you want to hear the original, check out this video:

And if you wanna play along (and who wouldn't, right?) here's some chords that I wrote up for Poontang!

Poontang by The Treniers
covered by Ukulele Guy

                  10 9 8 8 
...POON is a hug!
                  10 9 8 8 
TANG is a kiss!
C x7 (5433)
F          
I've been marooned on an isle in the South Pacific
Bb
Missing my loving each night
C
Now that I'm home I'll go right
                    E  F
Out and get me some POON-TANG!
F
Tired of talking to tigers and kangaroos,
Bb
Or singing a song to a goose.
C
Now that I'm home on the loose,
                  E   F
Gonna get me some POONTANG!

Bb 
Now Poon is a hug. I wanted a hug so badly
      D# (3331)
I was Blowing my tropical top.
C
A Tang is a kiss, I wanted a kiss so badly
       C                 E
Wanted Poontang never to stop.
F
I don't want to eat And I don't want to sleep;
Bb
I've got a yen that I'm dying to please.
C
Till I get weak in the knees,
                  E   F
Gonna get me that Poontang.
F
POON-TANG!
F
POON-TANG!
Bb
POON-TANG!
F
POON-TANG!
C
POON-TANG!
F
POON-TANG!

F
A-huggin and a-kissin...that's POON-TANG!
F
A-huggin and a-kissin...that's POON-TANG!
Bb
A-huggin and a-kissin...that's POON-TANG!
F
A-huggin and a-kissin...that's POON-TANG!
C
A-huggin and a-kissin...that's POON-TANG!
F
POON-TANG!

Rock break.

Bb
A Poon is a hug. I wanted a hug so badly
D#
I was blowin' my tropical top.
C
A Tang is a kiss, I wanted a kiss so badly
                    E
Want-a-Poontang never to stop.
F#
I don't want to eat and I don't want to sleep;
B
I've got a yen that I'm dying to please
C#
Till I get weak in the knees,
                  F   F#
Gonna get me that Poontang.

POON-TANG!

POON-TANG!

Gonna get me some, gonna get me song... poon tang!

Video: You Didn’t Have a Girl (the making of)

Posted in Ukulele Songs, Ukulele Videos on February 16th, 2011 by Uke Guy – 1 Comment

Hmm..  I totally thought I had posted this song already, but it looks like I was wrong.  So, here's the deal.  This Christmas, Erika (my wife) and I agreed to not spend very much money on presents for each other.  So, I had to sort of get creative.  Luckily, I'm the king of pulling a song out of my hat with a moment's notice.  And, this time I had helpers!

Or, rather, anti-helpers as the case may be.  You see, I decided to involve my two sons in the recording process.  In hindsight, this was a terrible idea, but the end result turned out great.  It was just incredibly painful.  They fight like cats and dogs on a good day and (as you can tell from their jammies) it was getting on in the day.

Anyhoo, I made the process even more painful by videotaping parts of the recording "session" with my Flip MinoHD.  I had actually forgotten that I had done this until I found the videos today.  So, I decided to finally give Adobe Premiere a shot and try and do some video editing.  This is my first editing attempt so please be gentle.  You should just be lucky I wasn't doing "star wipes" all over the place. Also, I guess I have to figure out how to edit it without that black border around the whole thing. If you are an Premiere genius, then I welcome your input.

If you want to hear the finished product, then give this a listen: Ukulele Guy - You Didn't Have a Girl

Oh yeah, and I was using my aNueNue Banjolele in this song.

NOTE: Of course, after I already uploaded this video and wrote the post I realized what I did wrong in Premiere.  The next video won't have those annoying black bars around it.  I'm not sure I'm going to re-do it, though, because I don't see a way to do that easily without starting all the way over.  And, I'm way to lazy for that.

Song: Men at Work’s “Down Under” by Pretty Good Musicians

Posted in Ukulele Songs on January 7th, 2011 by Uke Guy – 2 Comments

So, I'm wading through my inbox and trying to get my life back together again after the holidays.  So far I have 644 messages to go.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that I'm halfway done.  The better news is that I found an e-mail from Hillary (from Pretty Good Musicians) and it has a working link to their Men at Work rendition.

You remember Pretty Good Musicians, right?  What?!  You don't?  Harumph.  Then check out them doing Paula Abdul and Duck Tales, yo.

They also cleared up some 30+ year confusion for me.  I never knew what they were saying in the part that sounds like "Chunder".  Guess what?  It's actually Chunder.  To quote Hillary,

You're correct, he does say 'chunder', which is an Aussie saying for vomit.  The entire line is 'Where beer does flow and men chunder.'  I guess they can't hold their Foster's so well.

Touche Australian.  You just got slammed by a ukulele-wielding rad chick.

Anyway, here is their cover of Down Under.

Down Under - A Men at Work cover by Pretty Good Musicians

My New BFFs: Pretty Good Musicians (Duck Tales + Paula Abdul)

Posted in Ukulele News, Ukulele Songs on August 13th, 2010 by Uke Guy – 2 Comments

So, I think I got a tweet Hillary a week or so ago but I forget how this whole thing started.  I think we were just shooting the shit and then suddenly she dropped that her and some friends have an all-ukulele version of the Duck Tales theme song.  What?!  That freaking reeks of awesome.

So, we get yakking back and forth and I decided the world needs to know more, especially after I heard their covers of "Sweet Jane", "Duck Tales", "Straight Up" and "Who's That Girl".  Not only does the world need to know more, but I need these guys to move to Montana.  I've been toying with the idea of making a ukulele novelty band for a few months now, but finding the right folks is proving tough.  I'd be more than happy to play second fiddle to these badasses.

So, their band is called Pretty Good Musicians.  It's comprised of Hillary O'Keefe, Ian K and Matt Miklos.  Depending on the song, you are gonna hear between 1-5 ukuleles and most likely some hilarious commentary and occasional cursing.  Everybody likes swears, right?  Yup. In the recordings, they play a Lanikai Tenor LU-21T, an Eleuke, a cigar box ukulele and a few other random ukes.  You can tell that they have a blast playing together and recording and that's what it's all about folks.  What is the point of being in a bad if it isn't fun?  These guys get it.

Check out the Pretty Good Musicians Facebook Page if you wanna be a fan.

I noticed that the Facebook page doesn't have some of my favorite tunes, so here ya go:

Oh yeah, and to all of you who might be saying, "Man, I could do this."  DO IT!  Stop talking.  Do it!  The world needs more ukulele bands.  Especially ones who know how to have fun.  The world doesn't need anymore Interpol or Coldplay.  Joy is contagious.

P.S.  If you are already in a hilarious and fun ukulele-powered band, please send me songs and vids!  I don't care if it's recorded on your 4-track or karaoke machine.  (In fact, I almost prefer that).  I want to hear it!

Original Video: Trailer Park Moms

Posted in Ukulele Songs, Ukulele Videos on July 7th, 2010 by Uke Guy – 7 Comments

I wanted to keep my momentum going, so I recorded this little video today.  Before I get into the song, I wanted to bring something up.  See, I guess when it comes to music and art, I'm sort of a Marxist.  By that I mean, if you are telling someone they can't appreciate art correctly unless they know Art History then you are basically saying, "You can't appreciate art because you are poor and didn't go to college".  That's lame.  By the same token, sure if all you can afford is a $20 ukulele, then that shouldn't mean you can't make art with it!

Now, let me get off of my soapbox because I'm pretty sure I just called my song "art".  Heh.  It isn't.  It is, however, a goofy novelty song and that's plenty good enough for me.  I wrote this song for a project with my brothers Colin and Bryan and we were going to call it "Those Damned Hickey Brothers".  But we never practice, so I'm not sure if we're really a band or not.  You know how sometimes you get drunk with your friends and talk about ridiculous things like road trips to Mexico that you are never going to take?  Well, I guess our band is like that.

I'm playing my wife's purple Mahalo ukulele in this video.  I bought it for her because I was already buying two Mahalos for my little boys and she expressed an interest.  For $20, it's pretty much the best Ukulele you can get, if you ask me.  This is especially true if you are buying a ukulele for a younger kid.  Sure, in a perfect world you'd buy Jr. a Kala, Ohana, Pono or other bitchin' ukulele.  But, let's be honest, they are going to break it in like 6 weeks... tops.

So, get them a Mahalo because it's inexpensive and totally playable.

Now... on to the song and possible offensiveness.