Wednesday, May 13, 2015

beer and tobacco?

Irish Songs for Ukulele (Songbook)This is the Bout of Books week, and to be honest, I haven't felt in much of a reading mood this week. BUT, I am going to count my ukulele book, which I have been devouring on a daily basis. I am actually having a blast learning Irish songs on my tenor ukulele, finding the lyrics hilarious and super fun. Even though I am loving learning this new instrument, I have to say, I am absolutely more in love with being immersed into all of these folk songs- I think I have found a life long love affair. I am a singer, which I sort of keep to myself. Not the proud (or even good), wishing to be famous singer...but the constantly rhyming to a tune throughout my day singer. Just so you fully get the picture, I generally don't sing known songs...I sing constantly made up songs about whatever task I am doing or whatever I am talking about. I think it is more of a personality trait that at times drives my family insane, but I don't hear a word of it! I am sort of loving that I have stumbled upon this genre of folk type songs that suite me perfectly, even though I am singing about trying to find me noggin' hat that has been all gone for gin and tobacco, or a woman cryin' over cockles and mussels. I think it perplexes my husband why I am enjoying them so much, sitting there listening to me going on about beer and tobacco, but I love it! When I am reading through the lyrics, I can picture a moment in time where people were just belly laughing and having a great time singing together, like a real musical (whether that is how it went or not, it makes me smile!). Right now I am really good at reading the music and playing the harmony of the songs on my ukulele, which is my comfort zone of playing instruments. But, I would like to get really good at playing just the chords (which is how most people approach the ukulele, because it is probably actually easier), but chords like that don't really come natural to me coming from my musical background. I struggle more with that. Makes me feel like I have crazy fingers. But I would love to just be able to play the chords and have relaxed fun singing these wonderful jigs. 
My daughters have become quite interested in Mom's fun, so I jumped on the opportunity to bestow some of my musical knowledge upon them and ordered two soprano ukuleles from amazon (for only $35 each), and will be giving them some music lessons and teaching them how to play it. They are pretty excited, though they will most likely not be playing and singing songs about beer and tobacco. Since I was placing the order, I also picked up another songbook for the ukulele by the same author, Nautical Songs for Ukulele, which I am super excited about. I am glad that I pulled my ukulele back out this spring, the timing must have been just right...


  1. For some reason, it makes me really happy that ukeleles are pitched--tenor and soprano ones and such;)

    1. They are basically, from what I can understand, the same strings on all of them...just obviously lower pitches on the tenor, higher pitches on the soprano. Maybe this is normal for instruments like that? But in other stringed (violin/viola/cello), it is not so. They actually have different strings even. I was a little surprised to discover the sopranos have the same strings as the tenor.