She Ain't Coming 'Round This Mountain (Alternative Songs For Beginners)

jollyboy

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Hello,

So, inspired by another thread bemoaning the rather predictable selection of public domain songs that tend to show up time and time again in ukulele method books, I thought I would try to compile a selection of simple tunes, suitable for beginners, that don't involve anyone coming 'round a mountain, or marching in, or anything like that :)

Posting of songs will be an irregular and entirely haphazard process. It is not my intention to post songs in any 'order of difficulty' - although the first song I'm going to post is very simple indeed.

The key of C may well figure heavily, but I'll try to vary it up a bit (maybe) while sticking to basic open chords (no barre chords).

Genre-wise, the songs may be a little bit all over the place, reflecting my own somewhat eclectic taste in music.

If your reaction to the material presented is "pshhh, I don't need a chord sheet for that..." then clearly it ain't intended for you. Please move along.

If anyone has any ideas for songs to include then please PM me :)
 
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Feel Like Jumping

Written by Keith Anderson
Originally recorded by Marcia Griffiths
Genre: Rocksteady (Reggae)
Chords: C F

Listen to the song here.

Feel_Like_Jumping.png



Notes


Just two chords! A good place to start for a beginning player. Practice your C to F and back to C changes.

Works well with the following strumming pattern: Dduudu. And basically you just cycle through, i.e. one repetition of the strum pattern and then switch chords. Strum and switch, strum and switch...

In the original recording the ooh hoo hoos are sung by backing singers but why let them have all the fun :) (Some ooh hoo hoos have been removed for the sake of brevity but you can always add them back in again.)

In the original recording, the song fades out. Finishing with a final single downstrum on the last C chord works just fine. Or just keep ooh hoo hooing away to your heart's content...

A good song for singalongs - easiest chorus ever! With kids you might want to edit out that slightly macabre line about dying - try just repeating the first verse ;)

It's really all about rhythm with this song - for slightly more advanced players adding in some chunking works great. If you want to try it here's a link to the relevant Uke Minutes tutorial.
 
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Thank you sharing this song. League strumming is fun, but normal 8 beat strumming works on this song too. Fun strumming!
 
I'll Keep It With Mine
Written by Bob Dylan
Originally recorded by Judy Collins
Other notable version by Nico, Rainy Day
Genre: Folk, Rock/Pop
Chords: C F Dm Am G

Listen to the Nico version here.

Listen to the Rainy Day version here.

I_ll_Keep_It_With_Mine.png


Notes

Like the previous song you're mostly just switching back and forth between C and F. And again Dduudu works really well as a strumming pattern.

The Rainy Day version, clearly based on the Nico version, seems to me to be the simplest and most accessible. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the Judy Collins version. There are a few different demo versions recorded by Dylan himself knocking about, as well as several other covers.

There are some lyrical variations. In the Rainy Day version Susannah Hoffs sings "The conductor, his spirit's still stuck on the line." I would conjecture that this is based on a mishearing of the lyrics in the Nico version.

A single downstrum on C is a perfectly effective way to end the song. Also, for an even simpler intro try just strumming C four times :)
 
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Enjoy Yourself (It's Later than You Think)
Written by Carl Sigman and Herb Magidson.
Originally recorded by Guy Lombardo or Tommy Dorsey (depending on who you ask)
Other notable versions by Doris Day, Prince Buster
Genre: Swing/Classic Pop/Ska
Chords (version 1): C F G7 G
Chords (version 2): G D D7 G7 C

Listen to the Doris Day version here.


Listen to the Prince Buster version here.

Enjoy_Yourself_C.png


Enjoy_Yourself_G.png



Notes

The lyrics shown are based on the Doris Day version. Other versions have additional verses. The Prince Buster recording has completely different verses.

The C version sounds fine but the G version mixes up the major chords and 7ths a bit more and thus has a little more 'texture'. D7 can be played Hawaiian style (2020) or, my preference - 2023. Or you can take the opportunity to practice your barring, if you're feeling up to it :)

Just for a change I'm going to suggest strumming Ddu-ud.
 
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Pistol Packin' Mama
Traditional melody with words by Al Dexter
Originally recorded by Al Dexter
Other notable version by Bing Crosby w/The Andrews Sisters
Genre: Folk/Country/Swing/Classic Pop
Chords: C G7

Listen to the Al Dexter version here


Listen to the Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters version here


Pistol_Packing_Mama.png



Notes


This song was suggested by mikelz777, so thankyou to him. I did already know the song, due to the fact that it was once used on a TV commercial here in the UK. The commercial was for fruit pastilles and the lyric was changed to "pastille pickin' mama, pass those pastilles 'round." Seriously.

mikelz777 has provided some useful tips for strumming, plus intro/outro suggestions, as follows:

-For an opening, I just play an instrumental verse.

-The strum pattern I use is DDUDUDU
D(1) D(2) U(and) D(3) U(and) D(4) U(and)

-I keep the ending simple with a quick change to G7 from the final C and then back to C all in down strokes.

......lay your pistol [C] down [G7] [C]
 
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Feelin' Single, Seein' Double
Written by Wayne Kemp
Originally recorded by George Jones & The Jones Boys
Other notable version by Emmylou Harris
Genre: Country
Chords: G7 C F D7 A7

Listen to the Emmylou Harris version here


Feelin_Single_Seein_Double.png



Notes

The above lyrics are based on the Emmylou Harris version. Male ukesters may want to change "boys" to "girls", depending on their own preferences ;)

I'm gonna be boring and point out that the Swiss army strum works great for this song (i.e. Dduudu). The G7 at the start of each chorus can be played with a single slow downstrum. And that's really all you need for an intro - just jump straight in :)

For an outro just a last little flourish on the C chord works fine - chicka-ching-CHING (i.e dudD) - and you're done.

Oh yeah - I recommend playing 2023 again for D7.
 
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