Season of the 'Ukulele (SOTU) 629 - Season of the Cuckoo'lele

IMHO (FWIW), @CeeJay ’s Folsom Prison Blues meets the Season rules. The loss of one’s freedom of movement (whatever the root cause) is the ultimate sadness. A certain 1966 Mel Tiliis tune covered by Waylon Jennings and Kenny Rogers and written in the first person voice of a paralyzed Vietnam veteran comes to mind.
Its subject matter is too sad for me to tackle. “It wasn’t me that started that old crazy Asian war but I was proud to do my patriotic chore” just breaks my heart every time I hear it.
I love Ruby. One of my favourite lyrics of all time, cuts right to the bone.
 
Here is a little sleepless project.

i am not really sure what the "i" in my little song suffers from.

She can't sleep. So she starts counting sheep. But then she encounters a giant snake on the bridge, where she is trying to cross in her dream.

i played soprano ukulele, sang, and added bass and erhu in GarageBand.

the words i am singing are in Teochew, a Chinese dialect.
here is the English translation:
there is a giant snake on the bridge,
i am so scared.
please don't eat me, snake!
i am so scared.

 
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I thought I wasn't going to find time to record anything this week - too much other life going on - but here's a quick attempt at Madness, written by Prince Buster, revived by the band named after it.
 
I thought I wasn't going to find time to record anything this week - too much other life going on - but here's a quick attempt at Madness, written by Prince Buster, revived by the band named after it.

Diggin’ that cigar box uke! Well done, Steve!
 
a Mountain Goats song.
serious physical illness triggers many things. depression, hopelessness, loss of faith;
anger and blame directed at the God you thought was going to uphold and protect you.
in this song the person prays, in the throes of terminal disease and pain
for mental and spiritual strength. for hope.

 
I tricked my favorite guest Seasonista into joining this week, by practicing one of her favorite songs within earshot. They performed it on the Jimmy Kimmel show, one day after another musical talent, Chris Cornell, committed suicide on May 18th, 2017. Linkin Park released this as a single after the lead singer, Chester Bennington, followed Chris' lead, committing suicide a couple months later on July 20th.

If you or someone you know is going thru some heavy s** and might be even half considering going this route, please reach out to someone anyone and ask for help.



 
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there is a road work happening across my flat today. This is such a noisy neighbourhood. So many people talking, shouting, yelling, traffic noise, noises from constant construction and renovation work, from that annoying motorised leaf blower which should be banned, airplanes, and so on and on.
We live in such a populated place.
Noise pollution is the main one. It is not the best place for one's mental health.

I picked my banjo uke impromptu with the noise going on. And made the video with drawings I made (in 2020) of some of the people I see in my neighbourhood. If there are any of these people/drawings you want to know more about, just leave a comment over on YouTube. I will share their story with you.
 
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Thanks for hosting Chris! I wish I could have spent more time working on this one. A student from one of my advanced group classes asked me to make a chart for this song. I've been working on a picking arrangement, but it's still a work in progress and a challenge to sing and play at the same time! I really wanted to participate though, as the theme is one I'm experientially familiar with. Thanks again to you, and all of you who have shared a song this week that touches them deeply.

 
This has been quite a special season, Chris, I’ve loved listening to the playlist and reading the comments in the thread. Thank you for hosting and bringing such a great theme.

I’ve spent the last few days trying to relearn this piece, which I think I last played 7 or 8 years ago. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a challenge 🤣 But one thing that struck me as I tried to drag it back into my head was how calming I found the actual process of playing it, and I can’t tell you how welcome that was this week. I wasn’t sure I’d end up being able to record it, but I managed to grab a quick moment before work - nearly forgot the whole thing towards the end, but I think most of it’s there!

Camille Saint-Saëns went through a period of deep depression and contemplated suicide following the death of his mother. He and his wife also lost both of their sons in infancy, I don’t honestly know how anyone would ever recover from that.



Still having mic problems so it was recorded on my decidedly untrusty iPhone.
 
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It's also a good idea to check recording levels on your videos before you upload to YouTube as they can't be changed once you've uploaded. I normally drag them into Audacity which gives some idea if levels are simply too low.
I did put the audio through Audacity (in those instances). In Audacity, it sounded fine. Uploaded, horrible.
 
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I'm away for a week with the dog in rainy Cornwall tomorrow so just wanted to thank you for a great theme here Chris and engaging yourself as host. I'll leave you with a short poem I mustered up this morning, I've called It 'Incurable'


"Climbed Inside your head, pulled up a chair
Sat for a while with nobody there.
The echoes, the chambers, the space In-between
The subways that carry you beyond just a dream.
Diamonds and aces, jacks and the queens
The echoes, the chambers, the space In-between
the sixes and sevens ,now no road to be seen
The last cards been dealt, no more can redeem"
 
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When I record material for upload, playback sounds fine on my laptop, but when I play it back on YT, it sounds really thin. Anyone else have this issue?


i won't say it sounds thin, but i always find the volume much softer on YT for me. I wonder could it be the volume control on your YT videos? i onced checked and it was the reason that made my videos sound softer once they are on YT. But then again, when i adjusted the volume on my YT videos to a satisfactory level, i sometimes find my eardrums almost bleed when another person's video comes on that is too loud.
So i always make my videos as loud as possible before uploading to YT.
 
Thursday night was our monthly local open mic at the golf club. Liz, the fabulous violin pro who joined me a few weeks ago at Chapters, came for the first time. She had a great night - blew the owner away and was offered as many gigs there as she wants. I'm happy she is willing to play with me. I will continue to take advantage of her generosity until she gets too successful and famous to grace our humble open mics any longer.

I did three songs for this theme with Liz, plus my recent original, "Leap Day!"

"Brain Damage / Eclipse" - Pink Floyd
"We're Not Gonna Take It Home, Country Roads" - John Denver vs Twisted Sister
"Fool on the Hill" - Beatles
"Leap Day!" - original

The second song is a mashup I created long ago, of the words of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" to the tune of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads". When I showed it to Liz she said TMHCR was her favorite song, so we had to do it!

I'm really enjoying "Brain Damage", and the audience loved it. I got lots of good feedback on that one. A keeper!

 
"Cuckoo" is a euphemism for mentally ill, so I thought of this one. Then I realized it goes much deeper than that.

[SPOILER ALERT ... but come one, haven't you seen "The Sound of Music" by now?!]

The 7 Von Trapp family children sing this song while miming the workings of a cuckoo clock, as a cute way to say goodnight at a big party at their home. But really, they are saying goodbye to their home and country, Austria, and the song is used as cover to help the whole family escape the insanity of the Nazi regime.

One could argue (and I've heard current professionals do so publicly in recent times) that autocracy is a a form of mass mental illness.

 
You guys its been a crazy couple of weeks. I really wanted to get something out for #628 but the song I chose is just too much for me to record without an unacceptable number of mistakes. On top of that work has been brutal, so I wasn't able to practice much, AND my new Beansprout tenor arrived, so I've been in that "getting to know you" phase and acclimating to a larger instrument.

But, I LOVE this theme, and I've had this song nibbling at the back of my mind, demanding that Iearn it. So, hey all! I have ADHD and Anxiety, and sometimes I struggle (a lot) and sometimes it gives me superpowers! It's a mixed bag, but I don't think I'd be in this spot today without it, and this spot is pretty great. The trick, I've learned, is to keep doing the work to get better, even when it gets uncomfortable.


 
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