Video: When You’re Young and In Love – Stephin Merritt

As you probably all know, I'm an unabashed Stephin Merritt groupie. Magnetic Fields, Gothic Archies, you name it. I like it all. I just can't get enough of his gloomy pop melodies. So, of course I was going to buy the new record, Obscurities.

This was right around my birthday, that I went looking.  And, sure enough, when I tried to purchase the CD, Amazon warned me that someone might have already bought it for me.  Eh?!  Huzzah!  Turns out it was my sweet peach of a wife.  Anyway, the whole record is pretty good, but two songs, in particular, really stand out.  The first is the more electronic version of "I don't believe you" (a folkier version having been released on the "I" record).  The second highlight of the record is a previously unreleased song called "When you're young and in love".  And, that's the song I can't get outta my blasted head.  So, I attempted to exorcise it through ukulele video.

Since I couldn't find any chords for this song already posted out there, I came up with the following arrangement.  The only questionable chord in there is Dm7.  But, I didn't have the CD handy when I did this so I couldn't really compare it.  When I listen to it again, I'll update these chords if that Dm7 sounds goofy.

When You're Young and In Love
by Stephin Merritt

Tabs by Ukulele Guy

C   - 0003
G   - 0232
Am  - 2000
Em  - 4432
F   - 0201
Dm7 - 2213 

        C                        G
You can teeter on the brink of a precipice
Am                 Em
Ov'r an infinitely deep abyss
F                    C
And somehow not even notice this
                         G
When you're young and in love

        C                   G
You can grow a little older every day
Am                     Em
Watch your stupid life wasting away
F                     C
Somehow everything is a-ok
                         G
When you're young and in love

                F
But when you're not,
             C
The poisoned fangs of time
   G
Become quite plain
            F
When you're not,
          C
It almost seems a crime
Dm7       G
Not to go insane

You can whirl and twirl on the world's carousel
Hurdle round and round, and feel quite well
Never even knowing you're in hell
When you're young and in love

You can know the world has nothing left to give
Be condemned to die, content to live,
And be happy--if and only if, you're young and in love

But when you're not,
The poisoned fangs of time
Become quite plain
When you're not,
It almost seems a crime
Not to go insane

You can teeter on the brink of a precipice
(A precipice!)
Ov'r an infinitely deep abyss
(A deep abyss!)
And somehow not even notice this
When you're young and in love

You can grow a little older every day
(Old, every day!)
Watch your stupid life wasting away
(Wasting away!)
Somehow everything is a-ok
When you're young and in love 

Ukulele Video: Lisa Hannigan ‘Knots’ (it’s like skittles bukkake)

I just randomly stumbled across this video recently.  It looks like it was also featured on NPR, so I'm not sure how I missed it there.  Anyway, it's Lisa Hannigan (who I might need to learn more about).  She has an amazing voice and she's Irish.  So, that's a win/win.  Oh yeah, and she plays ukulele!

I guess they filmed this video in Dublin and they did it in one take.  Once you see the video you'll see why she might have been reluctant to do a second take.  It seems like they start off having the different paint represent different instruments but then it sorta goes haywire.  Anyway, it's a nice little song, even if the ukulele isn't the main component.

Ukulele Video: Música no Ukulele

Last week I got an e-mail from a guy that I initially thought was spam because it was so brief.  He just asked me to check out his Ukulele Video.  Well, today I'm deleting hundreds of e-mails from my inbox and I happen upon it again.  What the hell, right?  Might as well check it out.   Turns out, it rules!

I'm a huge fan of this kind of video.  You know, where the guy shows themselves playing each individual part.  I think this style of video even has a name, but I forget what it is. jreng is the king of these videos if you ask me.  Here's his video for Bohemian Rhapsody.  Sure, it doesn't have any ukuleles in it, but it's still rad.

I think maybe the reason I love these types of video is that I don't foresee myself ever having enough patience to make one.  I'm all about sudden inspiration, quick recording and then moving right on along..... that and live shows.  Maybe I'll get patience as I get older?  I'm not hopeful, though.

Original Song: 8th Anniversary for Erika

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

 

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

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.