PDA

View Full Version : Christmas? Yes. sorry.



pulelehua
07-05-2015, 10:04 PM
Hello all,

It's been two years since I last offered up any ukulele music, and I'm currently working on a book of Christmas Carols arranged in 2 or 3 parts, really aimed at groups.

So I was wondering, what carols would you want to see in a book of carols?

So far I've got:

Away in a Manger
Good King Wenceslas
In the Bleak Midwinter
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (UK and US versions)
Joy to the World
O Holy Night
Silent Night
The First Nowell

Any other favourites you'd like to see? I'm going to try out Ding Dong Merrily on High to see if I can get the crazy "ah-ah-ah" bit to fit.

Any requests need to be Carols, please, not modern Christmas songs.

For those of you who loathe the faintest glimmer of Christmas before December, my genuine apologies. I just want to get this project done before September at the latest.

Thanks,

John

Hippie Dribble
07-05-2015, 10:16 PM
Good to see you back on the boards, John.

Have you considered any of the lesser known "traditional" American/English folk songs? There's some gems amongst those.

I'm thinking of things like:

Rise Up Shepherd And Follow
The Blessings of Mary
How Many Miles To Bethlehem
Heard It From Heaven Today
Friendly Beasts
Mary, What You Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby
What Month Was My Jesus Born In
Turkey Ran Away

et al...

If you don't happen to know any of these it's worth checking out the old recordings of folks like the Seeger family. All the best with it mate.

caspet
07-06-2015, 02:15 AM
Once in Royal David's City

bonesigh
07-06-2015, 02:47 AM
Glad to see you already have a favorite of mine "In the Bleak Midwinter" (: How about some songs from Rudolph like "I believe in Santa Clause".

pulelehua
07-06-2015, 03:53 AM
Once in Royal David's City

Yes!

Just finished Ding Dong Merrily and Deck the Halls. How did I forget Deck the Halls!

pulelehua
07-06-2015, 03:54 AM
Wow. Thanks. Will check these out. Love Pete Seeger. Little Boxes is one of my favourite songs.

jimavery
07-06-2015, 10:44 AM
John, seriously I'm really glad you're doing this partly because I just love playing Christmas carols and songs on the ukulele and partly because there are so very few books of ukulele songs in parts for groups, or those that there are are in standard notation, not tab and so require too advanced a skill level.

One of my very favourite old songs of the season (I very much doubt it counts strictly as a Christmas Carol though) is "Gloucestershire Wassail". The version I use (with lyrics not quite authentic to any particular version as I tweaked them better to fit the tune) is here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aiAa14nEWb2YLpxgk2LyxAyKo4GZpz_fueG2VIDIJFI/edit?usp=sharing

The number of chord changes are quite frantic, but they're all fairly easy chords so it's really satisfying to play after a bit of practice.

Please do report back when your book is done as I'd really love to buy a copy.



p.s. if you also fancy arranging Handel's "Messiah" in its entirety for ukulele that would be great! ;-)

pulelehua
07-08-2015, 01:36 AM
John, seriously I'm really glad you're doing this partly because I just love playing Christmas carols and songs on the ukulele and partly because there are so very few books of ukulele songs in parts for groups, or those that there are are in standard notation, not tab and so require too advanced a skill level.

One of my very favourite old songs of the season (I very much doubt it counts strictly as a Christmas Carol though) is "Gloucestershire Wassail". The version I use (with lyrics not quite authentic to any particular version as I tweaked them better to fit the tune) is here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aiAa14nEWb2YLpxgk2LyxAyKo4GZpz_fueG2VIDIJFI/edit?usp=sharing

The number of chord changes are quite frantic, but they're all fairly easy chords so it's really satisfying to play after a bit of practice.

Please do report back when your book is done as I'd really love to buy a copy.



p.s. if you also fancy arranging Handel's "Messiah" in its entirety for ukulele that would be great! ;-)

Jim, thanks for the tip! Honestly, my main concern is that Christmas "songs" are often modern, and I know next to nothing about copyright, and am hardly a "business" and so don't want to get into complicated royalty situations. Sounds like your tune is on the old side, so if it sounds doable, I'll give it a go. :)

The Messiah! Wow. I did do Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, but I still haven't managed to get a quartet together capable of playing it all the way through. Might need to do one of those "four of me" multi-track recordings.

Thanks for the encouragement.

If this achieves some small success, I will probably go for another book for ukulele groups. I used to belong to a group, and as you say, there's not much aimed at that sort of thing. Which is a shame, as the ukulele is such a wonderfully social instrument.

Thanks again.


John

jimavery
07-08-2015, 02:36 AM
Wow thanks John, I just checked out your website and ordered a copy of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - not sure if I'll ever find three other players to have a got at it with me but I will mention it to one or two and see what they say - if not will try multi-tracking it. It may take me a year or to before my playing ability is up to it though! Cheers, Jim

Tootler
07-08-2015, 03:24 AM
The Holly And The Ivy,
Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem,
Sans Day Carol

The Gloucestershire Wassail is traditional, btw, so no copyright issues there.

I have couple of carol books upstairs. I'll have a look and put up some more suggestions later.

How could I forget "While Shepherds Watched" which has more tunes to it than any other carol!

pulelehua
07-08-2015, 09:26 AM
Wow thanks John, I just checked out your website and ordered a copy of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - not sure if I'll ever find three other players to have a got at it with me but I will mention it to one or two and see what they say - if not will try multi-tracking it. It may take me a year or to before my playing ability is up to it though! Cheers, Jim

Thanks, Jim. PDF sent. Let me know how you get on. :)

pulelehua
07-08-2015, 09:27 AM
The Holly And The Ivy,
Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem,
Sans Day Carol

The Gloucestershire Wassail is traditional, btw, so no copyright issues there.

I have couple of carol books upstairs. I'll have a look and put up some more suggestions later.

How could I forget "While Shepherds Watched" which has more tunes to it than any other carol!

While shepherds watched their flocks by night, while watching ITV......

Yet another I can't believe I forgot! I've been writing little blurbs about each carol, and learning all sorts of funny tidbits. Most of them new to me. It's turning into a fun little project.

pulelehua
07-08-2015, 09:32 AM
The Gloucestershire Wassail is lovely! In. :)

pulelehua
07-08-2015, 09:39 AM
Good to see you back on the boards, John.

Have you considered any of the lesser known "traditional" American/English folk songs? There's some gems amongst those.

I'm thinking of things like:

Rise Up Shepherd And Follow
The Blessings of Mary
How Many Miles To Bethlehem
Heard It From Heaven Today
Friendly Beasts
Mary, What You Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby
What Month Was My Jesus Born In
Turkey Ran Away

et al...

If you don't happen to know any of these it's worth checking out the old recordings of folks like the Seeger family. All the best with it mate.

Mary What You Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby is my favourite. Also might be the trickiest to arrange. I shall give it a go and report back.

John

vinceherman
07-08-2015, 11:36 AM
Is 1943 old enough?

I'll Be Home For Christmas. (http://www.vinceherman.net/ukulele/I%27ll_Be_Home_For_Christmas.pdf)

pulelehua
07-08-2015, 08:38 PM
Is 1943 old enough?

I'll Be Home For Christmas. (http://www.vinceherman.net/ukulele/I%27ll_Be_Home_For_Christmas.pdf)

I'm afraid not. :( Still under copyright. But what a song!

If I ever do learn the ins and outs of copyright, a book of wartime songs would be great fun to put together.

Fleapluckin_Flapper
07-09-2015, 08:27 AM
There's a site that offers a free guide of copyright free Christmas carols that you can download. You may have to request it from the company. Here's the link Oasis Disc Manufacturing (http://www.oasiscd.com/request/) I downloaded a copy last year & it was really helpful.

pulelehua
07-10-2015, 08:14 AM
There's a site that offers a free guide of copyright free Christmas carols that you can download. You may have to request it from the company. Here's the link Oasis Disc Manufacturing (http://www.oasiscd.com/request/) I downloaded a copy last year & it was really helpful.

Thanks, FF!

Tootler
07-10-2015, 12:04 PM
I should have mentioned it earlier but I've only just remembered it. This site Hymns and Carols of Christmas (http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com) is an excellent source of carols old and new. Not only does it have words and music but it also has information on many of the carols. It's my goto source to find out about carols.

pulelehua
07-13-2015, 11:50 PM
The current list:

Silent Night
Away in a Manger
In the Bleak Midwinter
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (both US & UK version)
The First Nowell
Good King Wenceslas
Once in Royal David's City
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night
O Holy Night
Deck the Halls
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Joy to the World
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
O Little Town of Bethlehem
We Three Kings
The Gloucestershire Wassail

I've tried "Mary What You Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby", and it's proving tricky. My favourite renditions I've listened to have that cool hushed spiritual feel, which doesn't translate all that directly to the ukulele. Will keep trying.

Going through it all now to make sure the fingering works. I tend to be working in a campanella style, which seems to suit the carols well.


Am I missing anything obvious?


Thanks for all your help and suggestions,

John

pulelehua
07-13-2015, 11:51 PM
I should have mentioned it earlier but I've only just remembered it. This site Hymns and Carols of Christmas (http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com) is an excellent source of carols old and new. Not only does it have words and music but it also has information on many of the carols. It's my goto source to find out about carols.

Thanks, Tootler. I'm doing little write-ups of all the carols. Learning loads! :)