Uke Tunes

Uke-ifying my favourite songs


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2015 most popular songs

As I did last year, I thought it would be fun to have a look back at the website stats and see what were the most popular songs on this site over the past 12 months, based on the number of downloads of songsheets.

The two songbooks that I published back in the summer (Uketunes Volume 1, and the 1980s subset) seemed to go down very well, which is great, But for individual songs, the top 5 looks as follows:

  1. Baker Street, by Gerry Rafferty
  2. Lost Stars, by Adam Levine or Kiera Knightley
  3. Look At Miss Ohio, by Gillian Welch
  4. Rhinestone Cowboy, by Glen Campbell
  5. Sugar Town, by Nancy Sinatra

Baker Street and Rhinestone Cowboy are no surprises, both being at the same places in the top 5 last year. The popularity of Lost Stars surprised me a bit, but may have something to do with it’s nomination for Best Original Song in the 2015 Academy Awards, and being covered in the UK by the winner of The Voice. But both Sugar Town and (particularly) Look At Miss Ohio are surprises to me at being so popular. But just go to show what great taste you guys have!


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Get It Right Next Time – Gerry Rafferty

I’ve already posted one Gerry Rafferty song (Baker Street) on here, and if the web-site stats are anything to go by it’s the most popular song on the site. So in a totally cynical attempt to drive traffic to these pages, here’s another!

<songsheet>

“Get It Right Next Time” was the last time Rafferty bothered the UK Top 40 singles, although it only peaked at a relatively lowly number 30 in the late summer of 1979. In fact Rafferty was never really a mainstay of the singles chart, with only Baker Street and Night Owl ever being significant hits. As befits his time and background, he was more of an album artist, a “serious” musician coming from a folk background via. Steelers Wheel, best known for Stuck In The Middle With You, a song that seems to have gained some significant favour in ukulele circles, in part I suspect a reflection of the vintage of those playing the uke at the moment! After Get It Right… and it’s parent album Night Owl, Rafferty’s commercial fortunes declined, in part as a result of his reluctance to perform live. But that purple patch in the late 1970s left us with a number of bona fide classics as his legacy. And Get It Right Next Time, with it’s eternal pick-yourself-up-and-start-again message certainly ranks in that number.

So a song for the ukulele? Well yes, and this time round I’ve got some solid-ish evidence that it works. We’ve been playing this with my band The Flukes for a little while now, and after a fair bit of practice (more of which later!) it seems to work quite well. If definitely benefits from the driving bass (thank you, Will!) and Doug’s harmonica really add something, but it still works with just the single uke if you want. If you want to hear what it sounds like, here’s us performing at a recent Southampton Ukulele Jam Christmas Cabaret.

There’s nothing too tricky chord wise here – even the Bb/G, A/G, Ab/G, G sequence is a very straightforward rundown the fretboard. The trickier bit was timing, and particularly the middle instrumental break. The best way to get this is to listen to the original (and maybe even to The Flukes version!) and get the feel for it – it is very much about feel on this, I find, and the key to that is playing some of those chords just before the beat. In the songsheet I’ve added a third page which tries to annotate how this works for that instrumental section. It may help, it may not, but it may be worth a look if you’re struggling with that bit.

Enjoy!

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