Songs you've discovered because of the uke

BigJackBrass

Charlatan, Humbug & Imitation Humorist
UU VIP
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
783
Reaction score
1,367
Location
Leeds, UK
At the ukulele club last night someone requested we play through Far from Any Road by The Handsome Family. Although it was in the club songbooks I only joined a few weeks ago, so I'd not played it before.

It's also a song I'd never heard of—luckily one which was very easy to pick up quickly—and that made me think about the many, many songs and artists I've discovered because I started to play the ukulele. There are the primarily ukulele-based ones, of course, frequently found on Bandcamp or magazine reviews, but also tracks like Hotel Yorba and Far from Any Road that I didn't know despite their apparently high profile. Not everything has been to my taste, naturally. Even so, it's been a really positive thing, opening up my (already fairly varied) musical experience.

Any now-favourite songs you only came across because of your involvement with the uke?

[Edited to add a couple of YouTube links to the songs]
 
Last edited:
I didn't know the work of Amy Macdonald until I heard someone perform "Mr. Rock and Roll" at a ukulele open mic session. It has a great
rhythm which the performer managed to do a good job in replicating on her uke. I have since bought all five of her albums so you could say that listening to one song performed on the ukulele made quite a big impact.
 
The first time I recall hearing the Rose/ Dreyer/ Jolson classic "Me And My Shadow" was Ralf's (@TheOnlyUkeThatMatters) wonderful cover in a recent SOTU. Having focused solely on bluegrass and classic country for nearly 3 decades, I overlooked all the Tin Pan Alley gems and, per my Appalachian American upbringing, my only recurring exposure to classical music was Saturday morning cartoons. When, many years ago, I accompanied SWMBO and our daughter to a Nutcracker performance by the Atlanta Ballet Company, I found myself unexpectedly entertained but thoroughly confused.

I recommend Me and My Shadow as a warm-up exercise. Its varied and quick chord changes provide a great workout for hands and brain.
 
When it comes to the ukulele, I seem to gravitate very heavily towards very old songs (over 100 years old). The latest one that I 'discovered' was a really cool old ragtime era song that I pulled from a Charlie Poole record, entitled 'Moving Day'.

But then again, last night I stumbled across 'Sweet City Woman' by The Stampeders from 1971 - and have been playing that a lot . . . .
 
Playing the ukulele lead to me joining the seasons of the ukulele. Which lead me to listen to a lot of songs played on ukulele. Which lead me to look up the originals.
So many songs and artists I didnt know before.
 
Honoka and Azita's Bodysurfing comes immediately to mind. Not that I can play it, lol. And lots of oldies in Daily Ukulele that I CAN play. Songs like Loch Lomond have been beautifully done by modern vocalists, as have many old classic tunes that I wasn't really familiar with. And I love just about anything Kalei plays.
 
Last edited:
I'm constantly learning about new (to me) artists from the Seasons of the Ukulele. This week is all about some specific Australian artists, most of which are new to me, so I'm enjoying myself digging into their back catalogues.

You should all have a go if you haven't already. It's a wonderfully supportive group!
 
Honoka and Azita's Bodysurfing comes immediately to mind. Not that I can play it, lol. And lots of oldies in Daily Ukulele that I CAN play. Songs like Loch Lomond have been beautifully done by modern vocalists, as have many old classic tunes that I wasn't really familiar with. And I love just about anything Kalei plays.
These kids play a passable version of Bodysurfing. Ryan Esaki (on the right) is one of the founders of Ukulele Underground. The YouTube date is 2006, but I wouldn't be surprised if the video was originally recorded before Honoka & Azita were born. Of course, the song was originally recorded by Herb Ohta in the 1980s, but I couldn't find any live videos of him playing it.
 
More like rediscovering the songs from my parents time. They would be jazz early classics, Tin Pan Alley, Big band, lots of 30s to early 50s popular songs. I was a Rock&Roller in 1956 with the attitude. The ukulele opened up my memories of a more innocent period of my life and changed me for the better.
 
There are a bunch of old Tin Pan Alley songs that I recall my parents and grandparents singing, but was never aware of the verses until people like Liz Brinker and AlanDP posted their versions in the Seasons Of The Ukulele. It makes them a whole new song.
 
Never heard Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree until searching for some easy to play ukulele songs. Cheerful kids song.
 
Just about anything one can name, except for Bluegrass, the Beatles, and a few Blues tunes!
 
Follow Me by Nautiloid
 
Top Bottom