Uke Tunes

Uke-ifying my favourite songs

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(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding – Brinsley Shwarz / Elvis Costello


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I always thought this was an Elvis Costello song. It wasn’t until recently watching one of those great BBC4 music documentaries (on pub rock, or the pre-punk-scene, or something like that) that I came across Brinsley Schwarz, and realised that this was a song penned by Brinsley’s bassist and vocalist Nick Lowe. I didn’t even realise that Nick Lowe (who I was only familiar with from solo songs such as “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” and “Cruel To Be Kind“) had a pre-history. What do I know, eh.

Anyway, it turns out that it is all a bit more incestuous. Lowe was the producer of the Costello version, and it was originally released as the B-side of a Nick Lowe single. Both were originally on Stiff Records, but both artists had moved on by the time of the releases (the Costello version surfaced as the b-side of My Funny Valentine).

There’s quite a few ukulele versions out there. This one is probably my favourite.

The song is quite a straightforward one – no strange chords or anything in there. It definitely benefits from getting a good driving rhythm going, particularly for the [G] [D] [C] introduction / interludes. Sing loud and with energy. Enjoy!