Cathy's Chords - songs for guitar & uke

Lyrics and chords to old folk songs and favourites from the 50's on. 
Learn-to-play acoustic guitar and ukulele tips for beginners... and some banjo as well.

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This blog is where I post any news or new songs (also on the Facebook page). It's worth checking here 
for any favourite songs - you can do a search for a song title or topic at the top- as I don't always put 
new songs on the main songs lists straight away; they only get updated now and then.
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The Last Thing On My Mind - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 10, 2020 at 11:40 PM

What a great melody from talented songwriter Tom Paxton. I wrote this one out years ago in Key G, as that’s the key we prefer to sing it in, but then I thought I’d do the Seekers version as well (love their guitar work and harmonies); the Seekers do it in Key C, with one less verse.

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar

- gL 4_The Last Thing On My Mind_Key G; G,C,D

- gL.7_The Last Thing On My Mind_Key C; C,F,G

….

for ukulele

- Uke L.11_Last Thing On My Mind_Key G; G,C,D

- Uke L.4_The Last Thing On My Mind_Key C; C,F,G

….

for banjo

- B.L.4 The Last Thing On My Mind_Key G; G,C,D

- B.L.7 The Last Thing On My Mind_Key C; C,F,G

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song here: Seekers version- (Key C) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPTYB3Ol874

 


This Land Is Your Land - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 8, 2020 at 5:30 AM

This is such a lovely song, good to play on guitar, ukulele or banjo. I’ve written it out before for guitar, but I’ve added versions for ukulele and banjo, in 2 different keys so you can pick which suits your voice/s better.

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar

- gL 6_This Land is Your Land_Key G_G,C,D7,G7

- gL 9_This Land is Your Land_Key C_C,F,G7,C7

….

for ukulele

- Uke L. 3_This Land is Your Land_Key G_G,C,D7,G7

- Uke L.6. This Land is Your Land_Key C_C,F,G7,C7

….

for banjo

- B.L.6 This Land is Your Land_Key G_G,C,D7,G7

B.L.17+ This Land is Your Land_Key C_C,F,G7,C7

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song here (Key G): Pete Seeger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE4H0k8TDgw

 

Full lyrics: https://www.woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/This_Land.htm

 



Polly Wolly Doodle - easy for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 7, 2020 at 11:40 PM

Here’s another easy, fun song with only D & G chords; it works well on guitar, ukulele and banjo – just a bit livelier than The Old Grey Mare, but with only 2 chord changes in each verse!

 

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar - gL 2_Polly Wolly Doodle_Key G_ G,D

….

for ukuleleUke L.11_Polly Wolly Doodle_Key G_ G,D

….

for banjoBL.1-4 Polly Wolly Doodle_Key G_ G,D

 



The Old Gray Mare - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 7, 2020 at 11:10 PM

With only 2 chords – G and D – this is an easy song for guitar, ukulele or banjo!

You can play at a nice, slow pace if you’re unsure of the chord changes. 

 

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar - gL 2_the Old Grey Mare_Key G_G,D

….

for ukulele - Uke L.11_the Old Grey Mare_Key G_G,D

….

for banjo - B.L.1-4 the Old Grey Mare_Key G_G,D

 



Purple People-Eater -for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 6, 2020 at 10:10 PM

What a fun song this is! It’s an easy one to do (just D, G, A7) on guitar or ukulele, and not too hard on banjo (especially if you swap an A chord for the A7).

I’ve written it out in the same key throughout the song, but in the recording, the key jumps up a semitone a few times.

The ‘rising key’ version is tricky to play, but if you want to play along with the recording, there’s a few tricks you can use –

on guitar, just quickly slip a capo on for V.2, then slide up one fret for V.3 again at V.5;

for ukulele, you can use a capo as above, or play all the chords from V.2 as bar chords;

for banjo, you can play all the chords (except the G) as bar chords.

 

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar gL 2_Purple People-Eater_Key D_D,A7,G

….

for ukuleleUke L.12_Purple People-Eater_Key D_D,A7,G

….

for banjoB.L.14 Purple People-Eater_Key D_D,A7,G

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song (same key) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx47qrH1GRs


 


Mama Don't 'Low - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 5, 2020 at 2:50 AM

You can have lots of fun with this one, either in a multi-instrument group or with children (making up extra verses with more instruments for children to pretend to play, or other actions that Mama doesn’t approve of...)

 

I wrote it out a while ago in key of A (A, E7, D7 chords) as I find thayt a good key for singing this song. If you prefer a different key, you could change it to e.g, Key G (G, D7, C7 chords) or C (C, G7, F7 chords).

 

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar - gL 12_Mama Don’t ’Low (Key A - A,E7,D7)

….

for ukulele - Uke L.14_ Mama Don’t ’Low (Key A - A,E7,D7)

….

for banjo - B.L.13 Mama Don’t ’Low (Key A - A,E7,D7)

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song here (same key, different verses): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqmGJcGZhZU

 


This Old Man - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 4, 2020 at 4:20 AM

 

This one is lots of fun to do with young children; it’s nice and easy for guitar, ukulele or banjo, and you can play at a nice, relaxed pace until you’re confident with the chord changes.

 

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar - gL 4_This Old Man _G,D7,C

….

for ukulele - uL 2_This Old Man _G,D7,C

….

for banjo - bL 3_This Old Man _G,D7,C


 


When You're Smiling - for guitar & ukulele

Posted on April 4, 2020 at 3:55 AM


This bright, cheerful song works well on guitar or ukulele. It was always popular at the old folks’ home, and it’s great for kids, too.

Don’t be put off by the ‘18+’ level, it’s just because there are less-common chords, but they’re not hard to learn (there’s even a ukulele tutorial on YouTube- link on the songsheet).

If you don’t know the tune, there are links on the songsheets (and below) to Michael Buble’s version, which is bit less ‘jazzy’ than Louis Armstrong’s classic version; but you can sing it in whatever style you like.

Here are the links to the songsheets-

Guitar - (g) Level 18+ When You’re Smiling

Ukulele- (u) Level 18+ When You’re Smiling

Michael Buble – song clip (capo 1) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyeos_o52Ok

Ukulele tutorial - Michael Lynch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBCGq2SbGPo

 


Seven Drunken Nights - the Dubliners - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 4, 2020 at 3:35 AM

This is just a fun ‘let-your-hair-down’ song for adults, made popular by the Dubliners.

I’ve put in an F#m chord (Key A version) or Em chord (in Key G) as this sounds better to me, but you don’t have to play it if it's too tricky – you can just stop and start the backing as you like.

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar -

gL 5_Seven Drunken Nights_Key G

gL 16_Seven Drunken Nights_Key A

….

for ukulele -

Uke L.15_Seven Drunken Nights_Key G

….

for banjo -

B.L.5 Seven Drunken Nights_Key G

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song here (in Key A): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Hb5nzwE4I

 


Fiddlers Green - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on March 21, 2020 at 4:10 AM


I wrote this song out for our 'Friday Folkies' group, at the suggestion of one of our members, John G, and we've had fun playing it.

Our group won't be meeting for some time now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this site is safe, so here's my version - based on New Barleycorn recording (though in different keys; you can use a capo with the Key C chords if you want to play along). 

We found the best key to sing in varied with mixed voices, so I’ve done it in Key C and G.

Here are the links to the songsheets:

- for guitar: gL 8_Fiddlers Green_Key C

                    gL 5_Fiddlers Green_ Key G

- for ukulele: Uke L.5_Fiddlers Green_Key C

                     Uke L.15_Fiddlers Green_Key G

- for banjo: BL 5_Fiddlers Green_ Key G


 

You can see a YouTube clip of the song here (Key E)- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBp1ui DHu-M



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