Uke Tunes

Uke-ifying my favourite songs


In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins

Two songs coming up in quick succession here, with a common theme that binds them both – lead single from a member of a major 1970s rock band who strikes out on their own in 1981, inspired by a recently released cover version of said song.


First up is this air-drumming classic, maybe best remembered in some quarters for that Cadbury’s gorilla advert, but one that has survived that relationship relatively untainted. The song is quite a dark and bleak one, inspired as it was (and as much of Collin’s debut solo album Face Value also was) by the divorce from his first wife, Andrea Bertorelli, in 1980. Musically it’s familiarity masks the fact that this was quite an unusual, experimental, almost avant garde song to be such a huge hit (number one around the world, kept off the top in the UK only by John Lennon’s Woman) – droning synths, processed guitars, vocoded vocals, and *those* drums, that crash and explode about two-thirds of the way through.

And so to the inspiration for this post. It was prompted by hearing – only yesterday! – a great cover version of the song by the American indie singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus. I first came across Lucy last year via. here album Historian, and the release earlier this year of another classic cover, her take on La Vie En Rose, a signature song of Edith Piaf (she’s also done a great version of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark). Her version of In The Air Tonight is not a million miles away from the original in approach, but still brings something fresh to the song.

So In The Air Tonight for ukulele? Well why not! And here’s the song sheet. At heart it’s a great song, and in this case a relatively simple one. A simple set of recurring chords, a gentle pace, and maybe even the strumming aping that drum break in the middle. I think it works well, give it a try.

Leave a comment

Follow You, Follow Me – Genesis

Follow You, Follow Me

<song sheet>

Let’s get this straight from the start. I’m not a big Genesis fan. Never have been.

All that early prog-rock staff really leaves me cold (as does most prog rock, if truth be told), although I do actually quite like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. And much of the later stuff from the 1980s just feels pointless and soulless. But I do have a soft spot for some of the late-70s / early 80s singles – songs like Turn It On Again, Misunderstanding and Mama seemed to occur in that transition from prog to pop, and were all the better for it.

Follow You, Follow Me was probably my first exposure to Genesis, and is a song I have loved for as long as I can remember. Maybe pre-empting some of the early Phil Collins solo material (and I will argue with anybody the merits of “Face Value“) it is probably one of their more melodic offerings (original version here, really nice unplugged version here). So what better song for a little uke-ing.

This one is largely transcribed from guitar chords from a number of sources on the web, but then I found this on YouTube, which confirmed my suspicions that this would work on the ukelele. It really does!

Here are the chords (below). Enjoy!