Monday, 31 December 2018

It's Over

Yes it really is.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported and donated. The grand total of £1816 will send 454 solar lamps out to families in Africa. Replacing their old kerosene lamps will save them around £72,000 over the lifetime of the lamps, and give their children 456,000 hours of clean lighting for study. The environment wins too - getting rid of the kerosene lamps will save 480 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
And now, breaking the golden rule which says never do a Roy Orbison song...

Update: ...and now the total has gone over £2200

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The Tide Is High

Originally a minor hit for The Paragons in 1966, it was revived by Blondie in 1980, and again by Atomic Kitten in 2002. Almost certainly the only Atomic Kitten song I am doing.

Friday, 28 December 2018


A post-Christmas song if ever there was one, by the master of less-is-more songwriting, John Prine.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Walk Right In

Originally written in 1929, this song made a bit of a comeback in the 60s, when the verse about letting your hair hang down seemed appropriate.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Top Of The Pops

I can remember sitting in a pub c.1978, feeding quite a lot of coins into a jukebox, to hear this song over and over. Hurray for The Rezillos.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day

Presents have been opened. Sprouts are being prepared. Even the dog is wearing her Christmas jumper. There's only one song that fits...

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

Sorry to put the Christmas joviality on hold for a day, but the weekly Ukulele Underground challenge decrees that I do a song from the 1930s today, and this is the only one left in the pile.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Friday, 21 December 2018

Love Me Do

Well, I never knew that...The Beatles recorded three versions of this, each with a different drummer, before it was released, and all three have appeared at various times. Me, I've just done it once, but slowed it down a bit.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Your Cheatin' Heart

I could have sworn that I did this one months ago, but there it was, still in the pile to be done. Can't leave out an old favourite like this...

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

While Shepherds Watched (Cranbrook)

Some people will say that's "On Ilkley Moor bah’t ‘at", and indeed, that song is sung to this same tune. But the tune existed for many years before that song came along. The tune was written by Thomas Clark in 1805, and named after the village he lived in, Cranbrook, in Kent. He wrote it for While Shepherds Watched to be sung to, and it was popular across much of the country within a few years. The tune that most people sing these words to now, "Winchester Old", only took its place when it was published in Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861, becoming the official church-approved melody.
So here's how it used to be...

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Blue Christmas

This song had been around for a few years, and had been a hit for three different acts in 1949, before Elvis came along and made it his.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Although I have tried to pick a variety of songs from across the decades, there does seem to be a golden age of three minute pop songs that I return to a lot, and one of the great songwriting teams from that era was Gerry Goffin & Carole King. This is one of theirs, originally a hit in 1960.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Silver Bells

How come Christmas songs sound more Christmassy when you add bells? Even if they are just tied to your foot.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Dancing In The Dark

Nobody was available to dance with me in the middle bit. Probably just as well.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Every home should have one. I had to pat him very gently, in case he fell to pieces (again).

Thursday, 13 December 2018


The choices are getting tougher, but how could I not give this a go?

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Let It Snow

It's looking like seasonal songs every other day for the next week and a bit, including some that you don't hear on the radio every hour.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Always The Last To Know

Having to help with a Christmas singalong at a Women's Institute seemed to scare my voice back to near normality, so on we go with the efforts to squeeze in some non-seasonal songs before the end of the year.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Sweet Bells (2)

Here's another of those alternative versions of While Shepherds Watched. Today's performance is sponsored by Lockets.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Frosty The Snowman

I can't put today's song off any longer - I was hoping my voice might re-appear, but apparently not. So here's a slightly croaky version of a Christmas favourite.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Step Inside Love

The year began with a cold, and it feels as if it is ending with one. But on we go...

When people list the great songs of Paul McCartney, this one tends to get forgotten. Maybe because Cilla Black's hit version was a bit, er...(sorry Cilla fans) shouty. There is a demo recording of Paul on acoustic guitar and Cilla singing it in a lower key, which reveals what a classy song it is. Just right for a bloke with a cold.


Friday, 7 December 2018

Christmas Time In The City

Here's a recent-ish Christmas song, written by Jarrod Dickenson. Performed under the watchful eye of a dog (just out of shot) trying to work out how to get downstairs.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Disco 2000

So many songs still to fit in, and so little time. I definitely have to do one more from Pulp.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

A quick Christmas singalong number, but as our real tree isn't up yet, I have given a starring role to the very un-traditional pink one which normally lives in my daughter's bedroom.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Rock 'n Roll Winter

Strictly speaking, not a Christmas song, but it feels like the right time to do it. Pity that the people at Warner Brothers, Wizzard's record company, didn't see it that way - they released it at the end of April, and wondered why it didn't do as well as expected.

Monday, 3 December 2018

All Tomorrow's Parties

You can't have Christmas songs every day - there are still a heap of others to fit in. But it is party season, and I don't have a thing to wear...

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Tread Softly To The Stable

The Christmas decorations have been retrieved from the loft, and this little nativity scene was in there, so today seems a good day to do a song which I think deserves to be heard. Lesley Fowkes, a fellow ukulele player, has written quite a few magical songs. This is one which she wrote a few years ago for a Christmas song competition. It won, and a few of us have been singing it ever since.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Sweet Bells

So Christmas starts here...
Everybody knows "While shepherds watched...", but I can remember singing something similar to this at school, and it is one of the Yorkshire carols still sung in pubs today. There may be another version of this along later, maybe two...