Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Spider's Nest Blues

This week's additional challenge, courtesy of the Ukulele Underground forum, is to do a song about spiders. This one is mostly based on something the Memphis Jug Band recorded back in the 1930s. The thought of a spider landing in my tea would certainly cause me pain.

Monday, 24 September 2018

My Hometown

This is the one I had intended to play yesterday - Bruce's 69th birthday. Anyone who has seen his three and a half hour shows will find that hard to believe. Long may he keep going.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

There Ain't No Pleasing You

This one has jumped to the front of the queue after yesterday's sad news. What a bloke. What a song.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Nobody Does It Better

Whoever it was that asked for a James Bond song, I hope they are still around, because it was ages ago. This one has finally emerged from the pile of possibles.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Oh What A Circus

I hereby declare that the next few Fridays will be Show Tune Days. Because I have a few possibly lined up, and it makes me do them, rather than wimp out and go for another Buddy Holly song. So, we will start with something from Evita.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

No Expectations

This is a Rolling Stones song which has been covered by many. The Johnny Cash version is worth a listen - how to up-tempo a down-tempo song. And here's mine.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Who Knows Where The Time Goes

This Sandy Denny song has been a favourite of mine for many years. Versions by Sandy, Judy Collins, and Kate Rusby, often fight for top spot in my affections. But until today I had never tried to play it. So thank you to Rusty, a uke player from Australia, who gave me a clue to how it can be done, and to Storm Ali for giving me a day at home to play around with the chords.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day

I think this one probably puts Nick Lowe at the top of the #365ukesongs songwriter appearances leader board. And rightly so. When I saw him do this one at a solo gig, just him and his guitar, it seemed like a perfect lesson in songwriting.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Sally MacLennane

Shane MacGowan can certainly squeeze a lot of words into a song. I could really do with someone behind me, hitting themselves on the head with a tin tray and yelling "Far Away!", but no, it's just me again.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

We Are Going To Be Friends

I'm probably a couple of weeks late with this one, a simple tale of going back to school, courtesy of The White Stripes.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Rock Around The Clock

Not the first rock 'n roll song, but the one which sent youths all over into a cinema wrecking frenzy. I cannot be held responsible for any damage caused when listening to this one.

Friday, 14 September 2018


Joe Strummer was rather fond of the ukulele, so here's one from The Clash, given the plastic uke treatment.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Indoor Fireworks

I heard a discussion on the radio recently about the most inappropriate songs for the first dance at a wedding. This one would be pretty high on the list, one of Elvis Costello's finest.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

My Land Is A Good Land

Eric Andersen was part of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the 60s, and is still performing today. This caught my ear when I heard one of his early albums recently.

Monday, 10 September 2018

The Ugly Duckling

After yesterday's Good & Bad, here comes the Ugly, and many happy memories of Ed Stewart & Junior Choice.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Just How Bad Do You Wanna Be Good

This is one of those songs that I look at and think "where on earth did I hear this?" I really can't remember, but having been challenged to do songs about the good, the bad, and the ugly, this kills two birds with one stone.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Friday, 7 September 2018

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Hands up if you can sing along to the first verse of this song. Keep your hand up if you know the other verses...thought not. Best known as the theme song from Cheers, the whole song was released by Gary Portnoy in 1983.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Be My Baby

Another of those 60s classics that I get drawn to. Somewhere in my loft I have a box of Phil Spector singles. Hope that doesn't make me a bad person.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness

It's another wi-fi hotspot challenge. Hang around near a cafe long enough, and the upload is done. This one is by John Prine, another master of telling a story with three chords.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Those Were The Days

A bit too breezy outside, so it's another one from the van, a bit of an oldie (yes, fifty years) which was a hit for Mary Hopkin.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

They Don't Know

The hazards of recording outside. You get to the end of the second verse and a huge caravan rumbles past. Carry on regardless...

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Learning The Game

It's time for more Songs From A Van. So, as darkness approaches, somewhere in Norfolk, some gentle Buddy Holly.

Friday, 31 August 2018

You've Got A Friend In Me

Randy Newman writes some of the best film music, and some of the best songs full stop. This is the one that everyone under the age of 25, and their parents, knows.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Just Can't Get Enough

If I appear to have more wrinkles today, blame the camera on the new phone. Damn you, high definition.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Brown Eyed Girl

A song by Van The Man, one of those people who are anything but predictable when you go and see them. I once saw him walk off stage after an hour, when his hat fell off. Not even a "thankyou and goodnight".

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Monday, 27 August 2018

Man With The Blues

A Willie Nelson song from as long ago as 1959. Short of money, having just spent a year selling bibles, vacuum cleaners, and encyclopedias door-to-door, he gave half of the publishing rights to this song to his booking agent, to pay for the recording session.

Sunday, 26 August 2018


There are a few songs which bring back vivid memories from my very early days, playing at home, with my mother doing housework, listening to the radio. This is one of them.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

There Stands The Glass

A song I first heard sung by the late great Ted Hawkins, a Venice Beach busker who ended up touring the UK and living in Bridlington.

Friday, 24 August 2018


Somebody on Twitter said that this was the best opening line to a song, ever. So I have given it a try, and do you know what? He could be right.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

You Never Can Tell

Way back in April, I did Memphis Tennessee, and here's another of Chuck Berry's great story songs.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Take Care Of All Of My Children

I think that this ought to be up there in the list of favourite funeral songs. It may already be - I just don't go to enough funerals of Tom Waits fans to be sure.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Summertime Blues

Back from the festival, washing machine on, and time for a bit of Eddie Cochran, not done the way he did it.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down

A Merle Haggard song, recorded just past midnight,and lit by two SolarAid lamps, which is what this whole thing is about.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Blue Badge Abuser

A little moral tale from those fine purveyors of everyday observations,Half Man Half Biscuit.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

At The Indie Disco

Why haven't I done any Divine Comedy songs yet? Time to put that right. You can almost feel the sticky carpet in this one.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Who Loves The Sun

So here I am, at the Beautiful Days festival in Devon. Looking forward to plenty of good music over the next few days. And some sun too.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

I'm So Bored With The USA

Coming from a wet motorway services, a little bit of Clash to get me in a festival mood.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Sugar Baby Love

This is a bit of a "what-if" story. When they wrote it, Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington were going to enter it for the contest to find the UK entry for Eurovision, 1974. Then they changed their mind, and Olivia Newton-John sang "Long Live Love". Would this song by the Rubettes have beaten Abba?
Anyway, if you are expecting piercing falsetto vocals, prepare for disappointment - this is the mellow version.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Whistle For The Choir

I heard this on the radio yesterday, first time for years, and was humming it all day. Sorry if this does the same for you.

Monday, 13 August 2018

You're So Vain

Debate has raged for years about the identity of the person that this song is aimed at. Carly Simon has said that it is actually about three people, but that verse two is Warren Beatty. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift is in on the secret, but isn't saying...

Sunday, 12 August 2018


I think Paul Weller said this was the one song he wishes he had written. Can't really argue with that - it is definitely one to treasure. Written by Declan O'Rourke - seek him out.

Saturday, 11 August 2018


I do like a song that tells a story. Here's one that is so full of detail, it could be a film script - the colour of the van, what they ate and drank, even where her mother works. But did they get away with it?

Friday, 10 August 2018

Roy Rogers

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was an album that was with me through my teenage years, and this was one of my favourite tracks, even though I don't think I ever watched Roy & Trigger.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

A Kind Of Hush

I usually have to do a bit of digging to check up on the history of the songs I am doing, and today I am pleased to find that Peter Noone is still alive & kicking, and (possibly) doing a radio show in the USA. This one was a hit for him & Herman's Hermits, and again for The Carpenters.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

I'm A Believer

Before he hit the big time himself, Neil Diamond did OK writing songs for other people, including The Monkees.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Sad Songs And Waltzes

Willie Nelson has the simple song down to a fine art. This one was recorded by him in 1973, but in fact he wrote it nearly ten years before, when it was recorded by Hank Cochran. And of course, it is a sad song and a waltz.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Don't Sit On My Jimmy Shands

Home again, and something for those old enough to remember taking records to parties. I used to, and as a result I ended up with a Who LP inside a Golden Earring sleeve. I never did find out who got the other side of that deal.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

My Old Friend The Blues

Day 2 of the short song / slow upload challenge. Leave out the repeats and this one might be there after the first pint...

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Well Alright

This weekend is a challenge. Away in the van, in the middle of nowhere. No phone signal, no WiFi, except a very slow connection at the pub. So...a short song (Buddy Holly is always a good bet), and stay in the pub for as long as the upload takes. I like a plan.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Down The Dustpipe

Something from the early Status Quo years, but written by Carl Groszmann, who also had songs recorded by Ringo Starr and a very young Bee Gees.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

I'm Not In Love

Strip away the layers of voices and loops, and there's still a pretty song underneath.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Sittin' On Top Of The World

The Mississippi Sheiks were around in the 1930s, recording a type of primitive country blues, with the occasional slightly smutty verse (verse 4 in this example), probably because their line-up included Bo Carter (see May 28th). This one has been covered many times since.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018


Kate Bush is 60? Really? I couldn't let the occasion pass without trying this one...

Monday, 30 July 2018

This Year's Girl

The (almost) title track from one of my all time favourite albums, This Year's Model.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

White Horses

So, who grew up watching this? It was something about a girl and a horse, dubbed into English from the original German, and I was amazed to find that there were only thirteen episodes. It seemed to be on for years.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

I Had Someone Else Before I Had You

A little ditty from 1924 about infidelity. Dedicated to everyone who has been watching Love Island. Not that I've been guilty of that, but some people under my roof seem to base their evenings around it. And if you live somewhere that Love Island hasn't reached yet, you're very lucky.

Friday, 27 July 2018

See My Baby Jive

If "Angel Fingers" was the first single I bought with my own money, then this was probably the second. Managed to get through it without the thunderstorm taking over.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song

O.K., so I'm a big softy at heart. In amongst the daft ones, the punk classics, the unlikely electro-disco hits, and everything else I strum, there are sometimes classic love songs. And yes, I do tune in to Steve Wright on a Sunday morning...

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The Day Before You Came

With all this talk of Mama Mia 2 (it's great - go and see it) I have to do an Abba song. This one is so good - you can imagine all sorts of stories before and after. Will we ever find out what has happened?

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

A New England

A little later than planned, after having a house full of plumbers all day. In my case, I'm not looking for a new England, just a central heating system that works once this heatwave is over.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Ain't She Sweet

This week's extra challenge, courtesy of the Ukulele Underground forum, is to record something which is less than 60 seconds long. So, clocking in at about 54...

Sunday, 22 July 2018

World Without Love

Here's one of those songs that The Beatles gave to somebody else, in this case Peter & Gordon. Paul McCartney wrote most (possibly all) of it when he was sixteen, and John Lennon thought it was a bit daft, as the second line could have been "O.K...."(end of song).

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Killermont Street

Surely the best song ever written about a bus station. Roddy Frame has a habit of using impossible chords, but this one is just about do-able.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Crocodile Rock

Take me to a beach where there are stones to be skimmed, and I will be singing this to myself for the rest of the day. Anyone else, or is that just me?

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Mickey's Son And Daughter

For today's entertainment, I bring a comedy quickstep with vocal chorus. Or at least, that's what it says on the 1935 78 by Henry Hall & The BBC Concert Orchestra.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Little Boxes

Pete Seeger's recording of this song was one of the few 45rpm records that were in our house when I was a child. So it got played a lot. And I still sing it to myself when I see new houses of a certain style being built. I'm sure they are lovely inside.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Last Train To Clarkesville

Ah, the Monkees...happy days, watching their antics on a small television. And apparently this song appeared in more episodes than any other - seven in total. You've learned something new today.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Da Doo Ron Ron

I did take a pencil and alter this to "met HER on a Monday..." and "her name was Jill", but found myself singing the original words anyway. So here it is, unchanged...

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Sunday Morning

This whole thing started on Jan 1st with a Velvet Underground song, so I reckon it's time we had another one.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

California Dreamin'

The heatwave continues, so it's time for another one about winter. Who plans this stuff?

Friday, 13 July 2018


Today's song was written by Lesley Fowkes (see Sunday 8th July for her story), and in my humble opinion is a bit of a gem.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

God Only Knows

Paul McCartney said that this is the greatest song ever written. He could be right - all I know is that it's a pig to play.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Modern Love

I have been listening to a lot of David Bowie recently, partly because they have just released a live album, recorded the night I saw him in 1978. I still have the ticket - £4, what a bargain. Anyway, here's one from a few years later, when he went a bit dance-y

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Is She Really Going Out With Him?

I had to run off to Google to check that Joe Jackson is still around - he is, but not releasing much of late. Here's the big hit that got him started.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Sunday, 8 July 2018

I Can See Clearly Now

This one is for Lesley, a ukulele-playing friend of mine, who needs some positive vibes sending her way. You can read her story here - www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lesley-fowkes

Saturday, 7 July 2018

C'mon Everybody

Eddie Cochran had everything - the looks, the songs, the guitar, the voice - but he didn't even make it to 22. Here's one that he left us.

Friday, 6 July 2018

I Get A Kick Out Of You

From back in the days when it was OK to write a popular song about sniffing cocaine. Although, to be fair, Cole Porter's second verse was changed to "Some like the perfume in Spain" when it was used in the film version of Anything Goes. I have gone for the edgy original.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

You're The One That I Want

Probably one of the best selling duets ever, but there's only one of me. So, a few words tweaked here and there, and away we go...

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Why Does It Always Rain On Me

As the weather continues to amaze us, here's another heatwave-inappropriate number.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

A Good Year For The Roses

Elvis Costello had a hit with this, but it was written by Jerry Chesnut, along with quite a few other goodies.

Monday, 2 July 2018

I Hear You Knockin'

Half Way! That's 183 songs done, and just 182 to go. All downhill from here.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Hey Good Looking

Anyone noticed a pattern this week? The weekly challenge from the Ukulele Underground forum was to do a series of songs in alphabetical order. Some people got to Z. Some even started a second lap. I will bow out at H, ready for next week.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Goodbye My Love

I do feel a bit sorry for The Glitter Band. Forever tainted by their association with Gary himself, they produced a few good songs of their own. This one reached No2 in 1975.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Forever Autumn

As the UK heatwave continues, I thought I would try to cool things down a bit.

Thursday, 28 June 2018


179 days into this thing and I realise that I know a song about solar electricity. Better late than never.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Don't Dream It's Over

Time to unleash one of my favourite songs ever, of all time, full stop. Crowded House made some of the best clever pop records of the 80s, which still sound as good thirty years later. My humble effort...

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Can't Buy Me Love

I should have kept records, but this must be the shortest song so far, even though I slowed it down.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Baby I Love You

As well as rushing out to buy everything that T.Rex and David Bowie released, this teenager also collected old 45s produced by Phil Spector. I just loved the huge sound he had, and those voices...I finally got to see Ronnie Spector a few years ago, and wasn't disappointed - she still sounds as good, 50+ years on.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

A13 Trunk Road To The Sea

Something a bit light-hearted from Billy Bragg today, a fine guide to the joys of driving to Southend.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

I Walk The Line

I'll be honest, a bit of a rush job today - back from the Gary Barlow trip (and he was fab, just in case you doubted it), straight into an afternoon talking to people about the evils of fracking. So, one from the tried and tested three chord song box. Written by Johnny Cash a mind boggling 62 years ago...

Friday, 22 June 2018

A Million Love Songs

Did Gary Barlow really write this when he was fifteen? The clever little.... Anyway, I thought I would give it a go, as I am going to see him tonight. Yes, really.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Swimming Song

Donation news - the total has gone through the £1200 mark, so a big thank you to all of you. And slightly more than half the year still to go. That's quite a few more songs. Here's a summer-ish one from Loudon Wainwright.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Teenage Kicks

What's today? Hey, it's only my bloomin' birthday. So I can play whatever I want. This was quite possibly the first song I tried when I started playing the uke.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

How Will I Ever Be Simple Again

It's time for another Richard Thompson song. So many to pick from, but this one is a pretty little thing.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Endless Grey Ribbon

After a second day largely spent driving along motorways, this one seemed the logical choice. Another one from the pen of Nick Lowe.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Before You Call

Half way home after a glorious two weeks touring around Devon & Cornwall. Shame about the two and a half hour jam on the M5. This seemed a good day to play this little gem, written by a song machine from Australia who goes by the name of Pabrizzer. Thanks for all the support Brian.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Goodbye Girl

Squeeze produced a run of great hit singles too many years ago. I'm surprised to find that this one was before the real hits began - it feels like it should have been up there too.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Sit Down

Another vaguely football related song, especially if you were a Man Utd fan c.1990/91. Happy memories of a 36 hour round trip to Rotterdam.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Three Lions

Yes, it's football time, and there's really only one song I can do today. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

How Long Will I Love You

It's the Waterboys song that Ellie Goulding had the big hit with. Plus a visual gag for all Reggie Perrin fans.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

I was hoping for a sea view in the background, but all I managed to get was tanned knees in the foreground. Also, apologies for the breeze blowing into the microphone. But worth it for the chance to capture one out of doors.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me

Songs from a van - the series continues. As we can see the sea from our back window, I thought this was appropriate. Of all the vintage blues players, Mississippi John Hurt is my favourite, for his range of songs and his warm gentle vocals. The words for this were written by William Myer, a lawyer and label owner. John Hurt pinched the melody from Jimmie Rodgers' Waitin' for a train.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Step It Up And Go

An extra challenge this week, courtesy of the Ukulele Underground forum, is a song with furniture in it. So, featuring a table, some doors, and a blind, this one from Blind Boy Fuller and many others.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

3rd Dead Cat

Chuck Brodsky is a songwriter I only found last year, and I am glad I did. His songs tell stories. OK, this one is a bit quirky, but it definitely takes you on a journey.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Singing The Blues

This campsite allows you twenty minutes of free WiFi each day. Just enough to upload a one and a half minute song from the 50s. My mobile data allowance can survive for another day.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis

A big Thank You to Matt at Uke Magazine, for the mention in the latest edition. Don't forget, uke players, if you click on the Donation button, make a donation, however small, and include your email address, you can download the words & chords for all 365 songs at the end of the year.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Hushabye Mountain

Another chance to record outdoors, and this time just the birds and a clanging gate in the background, not quite drowning out one of the reasons I like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang so much.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Simon Smith and his Amazing Dancing Bear

I tried to record this outside, but a combination of sudden breezes, and a barking dog (my own), meant I retreated to the passenger seat.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Hobo's Lullaby

Had to do something quiet so as not to disturb the people in the caravan next door, first thing in the morning. So, a lullaby.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Travelin' Light

So, here we are, on a campsite somewhere near Gloucester. This song took about 2 minutes to record, and then 90 to upload, using the free WiFi of the pub next door. This showbusiness lark is tough...

Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Panic Is On

I'm not sure if much is known about Hezekiah Jenkins, apart from the handful of 78s he recorded back in the 1930s. This is one I first heard in a long-lost pub in York, about thirty years ago. Happy days...

Friday, 1 June 2018

New York Girls

Another traditional song today, or at least, one which has changed and grown as it has been passed from singer to singer. I make no apologies for borrowing the Bellowhead version, probably word for word. If, like me, you are puzzled by the "Away Santy, my dear Annie" line, it is likely that it was borrowed from a sea shanty, Santiana, which in turn was referring to a Mexican general, Santa Ana. So now you know.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

No Regrets

Written by Tom Rush, but most people will know it as something the Walker Brothers did. For me, it brings back memories of a school disco, and dancing with somebody who went on to become a bit famous - buy me beer (even better - click on the Donation button) and I may tell you more.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Red Shoes

Time is a strange, strange thing. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was buying this and a heap of other Elvis Costello singles from Jumbo Records in Leeds. But it was 40 years ago. How did that happen? So without further ado...

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Across The Borderline

Written for the 1981 film "The Border", this song by Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, and Jim Dickenson has taken on a life of its own since then. Sung by Bob Dylan at FarmAid, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and many others, it seems as relevant now as it did then.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Let's Get Drunk Again

I have a soft spot for some of the songs which can best be described as vintage smut. This one starts innocently enough, but the second verse must have raised an eyebrow or two back in the 1930s. Written by the great Bo Carter, who brought us gems such as "Banana in your fruit basket" and "Your biscuits are big enough for me", so top quality stuff.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Lately I've Let Things Slide

Is this the third or fourth Nick Lowe song I've done? Whatever, it won't be the last. But of all the things he has written, this is quite possibly my favourite. Turn the self pity up to 11.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Toodle Oodle Oo

Something completely daft today. It's a new dance, apparently. Originally recorded by Bob Dunn's Vagabonds in 1939. My thanks to Pabrizzer in Australia for bringing it to my attention a few months ago.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Only You

Before you shout "hang on, didn't you do this on Jan 2nd?", no, this is the other "Only You", the one that some people thought they were getting way back then. With background rain on the roof.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

I Saw Her Standing There

Written by Lennon & McCartney, but I once saw The Tubes do this with the singer waving a chain saw around his head as he sang. No such stunts for me. And none of those high notes either.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Defying Gravity

Someone (and I can't remember who) once said that there are two types of people in this world. There are those that like Jesse Winchester, and those that haven't heard him yet. He wrote some beautiful songs, and this is my attempt to show what he can do with two chords and two and a half verses.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Flowers In The Rain

When I scribbled this one down in the diary yesterday, I assumed today would be another hot one, and I would be singing it outside in front of some flowers. Sadly, the sun has gone and the wind has picked up. But a few blooms are still in view.

Monday, 21 May 2018

You're The First, The Last, My Everything

An amazing donation over the weekend has taken the total through the £1000 mark, and right through the £1100 mark too. So, as promised quite a few weeks ago, something by Barry White to celebrate.

Sunday, 20 May 2018


Challenged to do a T.Rex song, with nothing up my sleeve...After a bit of playing around, Jeepster turned into this.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Nothing Rhymed

Now, call me unfashionable ("Oi!! Unfashionable!!) but I happen to think that some of the best songs of the last 50 years were written by Gilbert O'Sullivan. "Alone Again Naturally" is a gem, and then there's this one, which I never tire of hearing or playing.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Written in 1931, and I think pretty well everyone has recorded this over the years.

Just a reminder to ukulele players - if you make a donation (no matter how small) and include your email address, you will be able to download all 365 chord & lyric sheets at the end of the year. Instant songbook.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Everybody's Talkin'

If you are going to have a try at this song, you really have to go for that high note at the end. But you know when a pole-vaulter doesn't quite get there because his pole breaks?

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

My Life

In my humble opinion, Billy Joel is vastly under-represented in the repertoire of ukulele players. So, in an effort to put that right...

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Worried Man Blues

Skiffle is this week's theme on the Ukulele Underground forum, so here's one which Lonnie Donegan did a version of. It's one of those songs with many recordings, umpteen verses if you put them all together, and some people sing the first line twice, some three times. I have possibly done it differently again - that's folk music.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Beg Steal Or Borrow

To conclude this little Eurovision season, here is the one I had intended doing on Friday, before I got distracted. A reminder of the good old days, when stages weren't invaded, and the UK entry finished near the top.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Drop Kick Me Jesus

Still at the Ukulele Festival, I couldn't miss the chance to play one with somebody else, even if it is in a noisy courtyard outside the theatre. So a big thanks to John, for helping out on extra uke and vocals.

Saturday, 12 May 2018


Currently at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival in Huddersfield. There is so much going on that finding time & space & silence for recording has proved tricky, so here is one I did way after midnight in the hotel, in my room above a noisy bar. That's why I was still awake. Anyway, continuing the Eurovision theme...

Friday, 11 May 2018

Making Your Mind Up

Eurovision meets #365UkeSongs.
First of all, apologies to all New Seekers fans who were hoping I would do "Beg Steal or Borrow". That was the plan for today. But yesterday afternoon, it all changed, when the seed for this was planted by someone from a certain York based ukulele ensemble.
But how will I cope with the "see some more" bit? All will be revealed.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

I Wanna Be Like You

The Sherman brothers wrote a load of good film songs, and I'm sure there will be more along later in the year. For now, a bit of nonsense from The Jungle Book.
By the way, look out - Eurovision is coming...

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Another Girl, Another Planet

A request, and I had forgotten what a great song it is. Thanks Tim!

(and yes, I have had another haircut, just to prove this is all live...)

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Take Me To The Mardi Gras

It's still summer out there, so off into the garden I go, with a Paul Simon tune and some added birdsong.

Monday, 7 May 2018

This Land Is Your Land

After a day spent pushing anti-fracking leaflets through doors, this song seems the appropriate one to do. This is Billy Braggs's version of the Woody Guthrie classic.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Beach Baby

Summer seems to have arrived, and we have just got home from our holiday. Typical eh? And nothing says summer more than this song.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Please don't ask me to dance

A little later than usual, but after a day spent walking around a lake, and then soaking up the sun, with added gin, here's a song by Boo Hewerdine.

Friday, 4 May 2018

How Come

Another day in the van, but with better weather, and another supermarket WiFi upload.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

You Belong To Me

A song from 1952, with Jo Stafford having the biggest hit version, but more recently it turned up on Ally McBeal and Shrek.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

On The Road Again

Still in the van, and today's video was uploaded courtesy of free WiFi outside a supermarket cafe. I may go and sit there again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Bye Bye Love

Another oldie but goodie that has the Everly Brothers singing along in my head.

Monday, 30 April 2018

What's so funny 'bout Peace Love & Understanding

This is one of several Nick Lowe songs in my pile of 365. He just writes so many good ones.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Blue Moon

Another challenge courtesy of the Ukulele Underground weekly theme. Apparently this song is on the soundtrack of a video game I have never heard of. Anyway, that's why I am doing a song I have never played before, in a camper van. At least the sun us out.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Handle With Care

Written by The Travelling Wilburys according to the credits, but I am pretty sure it is mostly George Harrison. It has that George feel to it.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

You Angel You

This one was written by Bob Dylan, but people of a certain vintage might remember that it was a hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Every Part Of Me

Sunday's Steve Earle song led me to this one, a real gem in my humble opinion.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Restless Legs

A long time favourite of mine, Half Man Half Biscuit are, quite honestly, a bit of a legend. A new album every few years, rarely more than a handful of live shows each year, not a lot of publicity, and songs which are mostly about mundane daily matters, and sometimes 70s TV personalities. This one is for insomniacs everywhere.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Going Back Home

I'm delighted to hear that the great survivor Wilko Johnson has a new album coming out - his first new material for 30 years. This one is from even further back in 1975, from his Dr Feelgood days.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

What's A Simple Man To Do?

For those that don't know (like I didn't) a Maquiladora is a factory in Mexico run by a foreign company and exporting its products to that company's country of origin. And the other fact for the day is that Steve Earle writes some great songs.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

What Do I Get?

I don't know what happens in other parts of the world, but here, if someone sees you with a ukulele, they often say "Ooh, do you know any George Formby songs?"
My stock reply? "No, but here's a Buzzcocks one..."

Friday, 20 April 2018

Mad World

I have lost count of the times I have seen this song described as "the Gary Jules song". No. Tears For Fears. So there.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Keep Me In Your Heart For A While

It's birthday request time again. This time it's for my lovely wife, Sam, who has to put up with all of this ukulele nonsense. She heard this Warren Zevon song via the great Alfie Boe. Hope she's not expecting a similar vocal performance.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Roving Gambler

That list of 100 bluegrass songs (see Monday) has thrown up another that I know, so what the heck. Seventies disco and punk classics can wait until another day.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Prickle Eye Bush

What's this? A traditional song? For the folk purists, it is derived from Child Ballad No95, and there are countless variations recorded by everyone from Leadbelly to Led Zeppelin, usually involving a maid and a gallows pole. The one I know best is by Jon Boden and Bellowhead. My own Prickle Eye Bush makes a guest appearance behind me.

Monday, 16 April 2018

I'll Fly Away

Back home again, and I have been challenged to do a bluegrass song. Now, me and bluegrass aren't that well acquainted, but helpfully I was given a list of the top 100 bluegrass songs, and this was on it. Phew, one I know. Just imagine a mandolin and a couple of fiddles and the illusion is complete.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?

This is where things get tricky. Away in a camper van. No broadband. No laptop. Just a phone and not much of a signal. And a Waterboys song.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Blackberry Way

Feb 3rd was the last Roy Wood song, so it must be about time for another. Here's one of his hits with The Move, and he clearly didn't have the ukulele in mind when he wrote it (unless he is a particularly fiendish uke player.)

Thursday, 12 April 2018

As Tears Go By

A pretty little Rolling Stones song today. One of the first songs written by Jagger & Richards, apparently they thought it was a load of tripe, but their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, said it was a hit. Originally called "As Time Goes By", he changed Time to Tears, hence his writing credit. Easy money.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

It's A Sin

Yes, even the Pet Shop Boys. Nothing is safe from the #365ukesongs ukulele.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Top Of The World

100 songs done! Just the small matter of 265 still to go. And £650 still to raise, to get to the point where every song equals a solar lamp for a family in Africa. Commercial over, what's today's song?
I have always had a soft spot for The Carpenters, possibly because when I was growing up, their Greatest Hits album was one of the few pop records we had in the house, before I was allowed to spend my own money on music (big mistake...). Anyway, here's one from them.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Hold Me Close

Here's one written by that cheeky chappy David Essex. 43 years ago. Really?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

If I Needed You

Many years ago I went to see an American songwriter play in a pub in York, to an audience of about fifty people. Hard to believe it now, but that man was the late great Townes Van Zandt, the writer of dozens of classy songs. A troubled soul, but here's one that he left us.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Yes Sir, I Can Boogie

Following on from yesterday's song, here is something which definitely ain't true.

Friday, 6 April 2018

It Ain't Always True

Something a bit different today - a brand new song. Well, a few days old. It was written earlier this week by Pabrizzer, a ukulele player from Australia. He posted it in the weekly challenge on the Ukulele Underground forum - the theme this week is songs with "Ain't" in the lyrics - and as soon as I heard it I knew I had to give it a try.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Don't Come The Cowboy With Me

Here's another of the gems that Kirsty MacColl produced. OK, so she wrote it from the girl's point of view, but what the heck, I'll do it anyway.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

On The Wings Of A Nightingale

A song written for The Everly Brothers by Paul McCartney. Is there a better pedigree than that? They recorded it around the time of their reunion in the mid 80s, and in my humble opinion it should have been a huge hit.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Memphis Tennessee

A lot of Chuck Berry's songs told stories, and here's one with a good punch-line.

Monday, 2 April 2018


Looking for something not too demanding for my cold-filled voice, I found this. Short & sweet, with a hummed/whistled intro. Now back to the hot drinks...

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Saturday, 31 March 2018


A birthday request from my daughter, Sally - "Can you do SOS, a bit like Pierce Brosnan in Mama Mia?" Well, with my throat giving up as a cold arrives, I can but try...

Friday, 30 March 2018

Spirit In The Sky

It's one of those songs that just has to be played.
The year is nearly a quarter done, and over £800 has been raised so far. Thanks once again to everyone who has chipped in. Another £700 is needed to make the magic happen - where every song played means a solar lamp gets to a family in Africa. And there's a big button over on the right....

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Amelia Earheart's Last Flight

I first came across this song, the story of the ill-fated American aviator, many years ago on a Ronnie Lane LP. I only found out recently that he only sang half the song. In fact, among the many recordings of this song, there are hardly any with all four verses. So, here they are.


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Let It Be Me

A song which has been recorded by dozens of artists over the years. Most people probably know the Everly Brothers version, but others include Sam & Dave, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Elvis P, Neil Diamond...the list just goes on. And then me and the uke.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

From Me To You

I meant to do this one soon after the Rutles song on Jan 10th, but forgot. So here it is - the one it sounds a bit like.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Under The Boardwalk

Yesterday's song from The Trammps leads us neatly to today's - a hit for The Drifters, another line-up of smooth suits, perfectly choreographed. Then there's me and the uke...

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Innocent When You Dream

I know some people who are put off listening to Tom Waits by his voice, and the strange sounds of some of his later albums. But beneath that gruff exterior, there are some lovely songs. More will be along later in the year, but for now...

Friday, 23 March 2018

The Gas Man Cometh

I have dim and distant memories of Flanders and Swann being on television - two posh blokes singing witty songs around a piano. This song has stuck with me ever since, but these days I doubt if all the tradesmen would turn up the next day.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Wedding Bells

My weakness for a country song strikes again (see Jan 9th & 19th). This was a hit for Hank Williams in 1949, but was written by Claude Boone. Or was it? Legend has it he bought it for $25 from a local musician & drunk called James Arthur Pritchett. If that's true, Claude got a bargain.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Paint It Black

Apparently the recording session for the Rolling Stones original was transformed when somebody walked into the studio with a sitar in their hand. I left my door slightly open, just in case, but no such luck. Just me and the plastic uke again.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Letter

Written by Wayne Carson (who also wrote Always On My Mind), a hit for The Boxtops, and possibly the shortest song so far.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Come Up And See Me (Make Me Smile)

Alfie the dog is back for more, pretending to be a cushion, and this time she stays until the end. Although she does yawn a bit.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Blade Of Grass

A couple of days ago I thought it would soon be time to give the grass a trim. Then the snow happened, again. So all I can do is watch it...(A guest appearance by Alfie the dog, until the music starts)

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Blue Days, Black Nights

It's amazing what you find out, doing these songs. I knew this was Buddy Holly's first single, and always assumed he wrote it. But no, it was written by Ben Hall, who recorded it with his band The Circle 4 Ramblers. Great name.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Happy Hawaii

Something daft for a Friday, an ABBA song which had a strange history, and a shirt to go with it. Originally called "Why did it have to be me", the lyrics and title were changed mid-recording, and "Happy Hawaii" was the result. But then they had a change of heart and went back to the first version, which ended up on the Arrival LP. The Hawaii version did eventually get released, on the B-side of "Knowing Me Knowing You". So now you know.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Devil Knows You're Dead

This is a song which clicked with me the first time I heard it. Delta Spirit took all of those Irish blessings that you hear at the best weddings, and turned them into this.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

See You

There could be a few Depeche Mode songs making it to the top of the pile as this year progresses. Vince Clarke knew how to make a good pop song, and so did Martin Gore, who wrote this one.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Fings ain't wot they used t'be

A big hello to the people in Brazil, Hungary, Ukraine, and United Arab Emirates, who seem to be regular viewers of this website. Sadly, unless you are familiar with 1950s London, large parts of today's song will mean very little to you...

Monday, 12 March 2018


After yesterday's journey to the garden, it's pouring with rain again, so we are back inside for a tricky little number from Ray Davies & The Kinks.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Don't Fence Me In

This week's additional challenge, courtesy of the Ukulele Underground forum, is to record a song outside. So out into the garden I go. Given the view, this one seemed appropriate.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Back In The Night

I bet nobody else remembers "The Geordie Scene", a music show from Newcastle, shown on ITV in the mid 70s. That's where I first saw the mighty Dr Feelgood, and probably where I first heard this song, written by their guitarist Wilko Johnson.

Friday, 9 March 2018


Back to the early days of the Electric Light Orchestra for today's song. Lots of minor chords, and the promise of rain - happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Stray Cat Strut

I had to keep our dog out of the room while I did this, or she'd growl every time the C word was mentioned.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

One Day Like This

I went to see Elbow last night, and what an evening of glorious music it turned out to be. This morning, there's one song I have to have a go at.

P.S. The original video wasn't the best, so I had another go the following day.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Tiger Feet

Ever said something you later regretted? I told someone that when the total reached £750, I'd do this one.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Fisherman's Blues

Wanted - one fiddle player to whirl around in the background. Until then, it's just me and the uke.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

With A Girl Like You

Way back in the mists of time (Jan 10th to be precise) I did a Rutles song. Thank you to Benji & Ashley for prompting me to do another classic from the pre-fab four.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Do Anything You Wanna Do

...as long as you hit that "Make a Donation" button over on the right. Surely it's time for the total to reach the £750 half way mark?