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Uke & Guitar – Lyrics & Chords – Tablature – Audio Samples – Solos – Duets – Trios – Ensembles

“Music isn’t just a pleasure, a transient satisfaction. It’s a need, a deep hunger; and when the music is right, it’s joy. Love. A foretaste of Heaven. A comfort in grief . . . Is it too much to think that perhaps God speaks to us sometimes through music? How, then, could I be so ungrateful as to refuse the message?” ― Orson Scott Card

“When I was five my parents bought me a ukulele for Christmas. I quickly learned how to play it with my father’s guidance. Thereafter, my father regularly taught me all the good old fashioned songs.” — Tony Visconti

We, at the Green Bay Ukulele Club, love our holiday music, so it gets its own page! The holiday season is a great time for family and friends to play and sing together.




Do You Hear What I Hear? GREEN BAY UKULELE CLUB X-MAS JAM 2017 is Wed., Dec, 20, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Come join us!

Multiple ukulele, guitar and bass parts are provided for each song, so find a partner and start jamming! Most of the songs feature a uke melody and a uke countermelody, which stand alone as an instrumental duet. Add the guitar part and you’ve got a full-sounding trio. Start singing and you’ve got a band! Add another uke or two and now you’ve got an orchestra!

Many of the songs are in their original key. All arrangements are by Michael Monfils.


NOTE: The typical instrumentation used in our X-mas ensemble WAV files consists of 1 lead ukulele, 1 or 2 countermelody ukuleles, 1 chord strum ukulele, 2 acoustic guitars, 1 bass, and sometimes a glockenspiel, drum, and or tambourine. One of the guitars plays rhythm, and the other guitar often reinforces the melody one octave lower or plays lower-register countermelodies, much in the manner of a cello.

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“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” — Edna Ferber


“While angels sing with tender mirth, a glad new year to all the Earth.” — Martin Luther (1483–1546), Christmas carol for his little son Hans, 1535



“New Year’s Day;
Nothing good or bad —
Just human beings.”

— Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902), haiku translated from Japanese by Reginald Horace Blyth

“Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.” — David J. Beard

“New Year’s Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot. Unless, of course, those tests come back positive.” — Jay Leno



On New Years Eve, get your uke out and impress your friends with this solo version:


“At Christmas, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ makes me cry in exactly the same places every time, even though I know it’s coming.” — Nicholas Lea

Bonus Video: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE – “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” and “Auld Lang Syne”:


“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” — Charles Dickens

“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.” — Jay Leno


A guitar enters at the halfway point with a beautiful countermelody. Listen for it. I would love to hear a baritone voice sing that part.


“Christmas carols always brought tears to my eyes. I also cry at weddings. I should have cried at a couple of my own.” — Ethel Merman


PERFORMANCE NOTES: Play this one slowly. Let it kind of drag. Play some of the notes and chords ever-so-slightly behind the beats for effect. I’ll arrange the Elvis version of this tune some day.



Well, if you’re into irony, here’s “Blue Christmas” for solo uke.:



Work, school, life, got you down?

Then “unplug” and get yourself a ukulele!

Music is and always will be “The First Social Media.”




“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart…filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.” — Bess Streeter Aldrich (1881-1954), American author, ‘Song of Years’.

Our Ensemble WAV file of this iconic Christmas song is composed of four ukuleles and two guitars. This arrangement borrows from some of the best versions out there. When this piece is poorly rendered, it sounds like a tired, ho-hum cliché; when it is well-rendered, it is one of the most beautiful and inspiring holiday songs of all time.:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: This piece is an exercise in contrasts. Listen for the descending and ascending lines. Each section builds on the previous section. Perform the second verse with more dynamics and volume. This is a Christmas “anthem.” Don’t be timid; when the full ensemble is playing, perform it with bold intensity and power! You can do it!:




This is a fun novelty piece, which stands alone as a fine instrumental.:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: The high uke must have at least 19 frets to play the melody. There is a “peak note” which requires the 20th fret, and our melody player “ticks” it with a fingernail just past the 19th fret, while the glockenspiel reinforces the same note.:



PERFORMANCE NOTES: The first verse starts with two ukes and with each verse more instruments build it to its triumphant conclusion. Play it brightly, with a happy swaying feel, and be sure to emphasize the “hallelujah” cadences.


Altho’ it’s been said many times, many ways . . . Merry Christmas, to you . . .”


PERFORMANCE NOTES: Lots of complex jazz chords in this one. The secret is to learn one section at a time.

More great holiday songs continued below . . .



NOTE: Ukes 1 and 2 stand alone as a duet. If you find Uke 2 too difficult to play, try one of the other uke parts. You have many options.

PONDER THIS: Studying the Full Score will give you perspective and insights into how the different instrumental parts work together in the ensemble.

IDEA: You can switch back and forth between different parts while you play a song. Maybe you’re strumming Uke 4 chords but you want to plug in a countermelody bit from Uke 2 for two measures. Go for it! Mix and match; be creative!

CONSIDER: If you are able to play melodies on the uke you should also be able to play the guitar. Ukulele is a great “gateway” instrument for other stringed instruments.

HAVE YOU NOTICED?: Often the uke chords are voiced on three strings instead of all four so that they don’t conflict with the melody. Also, less is more.

IMPORTANT POINT: Sometimes a uke or guitar chord will NOT precisely match the chord notation above the music. This is not a mistake! Here’s an example which occurs often: The chord notation says Dm7 but the chord the uke actually plays is a Dm. This simply means that the 7th of the Dm7 chord is being played by some other instrument at that point in the arrangement, and that in this particular case the uke part sounds better in the overall mix playing a Dm chord rather than a Dm7 chord. The overall harmony at that point in the piece is based on a Dm7 chord, but that fact may not necessarily be reflected in each instrumental part.

BETTER THAN NOTHING: If you don’t have a bass you can play the bass part on a guitar. It will be one octave higher but it will still sound good.

ATTENTION GUITAR PLAYERS: You can play the uke parts too! Just put a capo @ 5th fret and you’ll be playing in the same key. OR, if you want you can play the uke part as written without a capo, but note that you will be playing in a key a 4th (2 and 1/2 steps) lower. (By the way, a baritone ukulele is tuned exactly the same as the first four string of a guitar [ D G B E ]. In this context you could just think of a guitar as a baritone uke with two extra “bass” strings.)

GOOD NEWS: Jazz chords are complex and hard to learn and play on most instruments but ukulele is the happy exception. With only four strings you can still achieve the “quality” of jazz chords with only a little extra effort.

LISTEN: The WAV files are a valuable learning tool! Open and play the WAV file to hear how the song is supposed to sound. Read the score while listening to it. Count and/or follow it with your finger. With practice you’ll be able to play your part along with the recording at the proper tempo.

TIP: If you’re starting to accumulate a lot of pages of music, it would be wise to invest in a decent binder and some sheet music protectors. The successful people in this world are often not smarter or more talented than us, but they are better organized.

ALSO: Check the TUTORIALS Page for more helpful, tips, resources and inspiration.




This one’s a real mood-setter, isn’t it? For me, it evokes the stillness of a gentle snow on a quiet dark night. Some of my students’ eyes glaze over when they first learn it. It’s proof that even a 10-year-old child is already old enough to feel nostalgic. The emotion sticks with you for a lifetime.:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: The guitar has a capo at the 1st fret. Even with the benefit of the capo, the guitar chords are still a handful to play, so barre whenever you can, ’cause we’re trying to emulate a piano played with ten fingers. Good luck!



PERFORMANCE NOTES: This song is in a minor key which emotes doom and gloom, but the last chord is major, which imparts a feeling of hope, such as when the clouds part and the sun’s rays shine through. It’s a cliché, and should be used sparingly.

ANOTHER NOTE: I often refer to this song those stubborn players who ask why they should care about the difference between the G5 chord and a G or Gm chords. Coventry Carol uses all three of these chords. If you play the wrong one at the wrong time it will conflict with the melody and also alter the intended mood.


This is what the music would sound like if it was sung by a choir:


A very simple version for solo ukulele. Let the long notes ring . . . :



PERFORMANCE NOTES: One of our club’s “ace” performers plays the U-bass on this one. The bass part is independent of the other instruments and provides a very important rhythmic function. Listen for it; it’s pretty cool.


Wikipedia (so it’s gotta be true) says that this song was written in 1962 by a husband-and-wife team in reaction to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Cold War came very close to becoming a nuclear war.:



“Mankind is a great, an immense family. This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas.” — Pope John XXIII

“Give Us Peace”:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: This arrangement features several variations that build on top of one another. The last uke that joins in does an appealing “chopsticks” figure that fills the spaces and provides  a distinctive pulse. The timing for Uke 2’s part is tricky; listen to the Ensemble WAV file and count while following the score with your finger. Then try playing along with the music.


Here’s a vocalized version with some instrumental accompaniment:


A wonderful classic from “The Sound of Music.” This is one of those great songs that really invites people’s attention. When we play it at public venues we can here people singing along.:



Some day I’ll tab the actual guitar part from the movie . . .


If you haven’t tried to play “solo ukulele” yet, now’s a good time to give it a try. The term “solo” in this case means that one sole person plays the melody as well as accompanying elements of the harmony and rhythm. In other words, you are a “one-man band.”:

NOTE: The best way for the strumming hand to play music written for “solo” ukulele or guitar is to use fingerpicking or fingerstyle.


I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, from the bottom of my heaaart!:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: Guitar 3 plays jazzy barre chords and is for the more advanced player. Guitar 2 is your basic open chords; they are notated as whole-note block chords for easier reading. You can add a strum pattern as per Guitar 3 to fill the spaces better if you wish.

There are more simple versions of this song out there with just D, G and A or A7 chords, but we like the more sophisticated qualities that the Em7 and Em6 chords bring to the harmony of this festive holiday song. Substitute chords like these spice up the music and make the song less predictable and monotonous.


“There has been only one Christmas — the rest are anniversaries.” — W.J. Cameron



When you can play the melody on the uke well enough, you can try this:




There must have been some magic . . .”:



“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill



“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” — Charles Dickens

The 2nd ukulele in this one is quite a challenge. This song is an excellent example of counterpoint; it’s both happy and sad at the same time:

A Christmas Carol


It sounds even more somber when vocalized:


“. . . with heart and soul and voice . . .”:





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“At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year.” — Thomas Tusser



One of the greatest vocal performances of all time! What a great voice! Back then, actors and actresses were multi-talented — they could sing, dance, play musical instruments, act, tell jokes, do slapstick and magic tricks, etc. And it was all without fancy illusions, digital editing and CGI. Americana at its finest. So much artistry, without computers. Can you believe it? This is the real deal . . . :

PERFORMANCE NOTES: This nice ballad is a great introduction to jazz chords. Play it nice and slow, with feeling. Jazz chords are challenging to learn and play on piano and guitar, but on the uke they’re easy — with only four strings you can still capture the character and the nuances of the original song. In this way, the humble little ukulele is a big instrument! This is one of those “gateway” songs that will make you a better player.


Yes! Now you too can play this iconic holiday ballad on uke for your favorite gal or guy:


“Santa is our culture’s only mythic figure truly believed in by a large percentage of the population. It’s a fact that most of the true believers are under eight years old, and that’s a pity.” — Chris Van Allsburg

We like to start off our Christmas jams with this fun song:

Santa's Sleigh


Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too!“:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: This song uses mixed meter — the first part is in 6/8 time, and the second part is in 4/4 time. The transition creates a nice “joyous” effect. Count the beats while you play, and play along with the WAV audio file to help you iron out any difficulties.


It’s the best time of the year . . .”


PERFORMANCE NOTES: Another catchy little tune, for sure. This is another one of those melodies which has a B as its lowest note, so Uke 1 uses the alternate tuning of [gBEA].



PERFORMANCE NOTES: Classy jazz chords galore! Learn one phrase or section at a time. One of the guitars plays an exquisite countermelody that weaves through the song between the high and low tiers of the harmony. Listen for it; it’s pretty dang cool.


And all the souls on Earth shall sing . . .”


PERFORMANCE NOTES: Give this one the “lilt” of an Irish or Scottish “brogue.” It should be played at a brisk tempo and the rhythm should sway back and forth. Some might find the lower guitar chord voicings unusual but they are not too difficult to play once you get used to them. Uke 2 is quite a challenge. Good luck!


“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” — Marjorie Holmes

ill-be-home-for-christmas-01Image result for i'll be home for christmas


“Now, the essence, the very spirit of Christmas is that we first make believe a thing is so, and lo, it presently turns out to be so.” — Stephen Leacock

There is some hauntingly beautiful harmony in this song:




The “flagship of the fleet.”:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: The chorus melody is easy for beginners to play. For strummers who want to improve their chops this song is a good example of learning how to throw in a diminished 7th chord for a couple of beats, which gives it a real “Chrismassy” feel.


“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” — Peg Bracken


PERFORMANCE NOTES: This is an easy-to-play melody, with some nice harmony a la Pachelbel’s Canon in D (played at wedding ceremonies). The G7 chord is a fine example of chord substitution with a secondary dominant chord, for all you music theory fans out there.


Notice the descending line in the harmony.:


“At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.” — Thomas Tusser

“The Earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it always is young . . .” — Phillips Brooks

This is the “Ode to Joy” of Christmas songs. Render it accordingly!:



Here we have an excellent example of countermotion between two melodies. As the higher voice descends the lower voice rises up to greet it. Pretty nifty, eh? You’ll need to use fingerstyle to execute it properly. Drill each section till you get it committed to “muscle memory.” If you can play this fluidly at a brisk joyous tempo you can rightly claim the mantle of “Chet Atkins of the Ukulele.”:


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Here it is, folks! The song we’ve all been waiting for!:

PERFORMANCE NOTES: I’ve also heard this called the “Charlie Brown Song” or “Peanuts Song.” Uke 3’s 4th string is an octave lower (G instead of g). It’s provided in case your group wants to try a fun high-register uke trio version. Guitar 2 (capoed at the 4th fret) provides a simple unsyncopated bass line which ironically syncopates against the syncopated bass line (try to figure that one out!) and also reinforces the chords in the robust middle section. Ukes 1, 2, and Guitar 1 form a decent trio.

Uke 2’s harmony uses intervals of the “harmonic series,” which gives the harmony that sort of martial feel.

Some day I might add the jazzy swing improve section to this piece.




PERFORMANCE NOTES: One of the more distinctive Christmas songs. At least one guitar uses Drop-D tuning [ D A D G B E ]. Don’t hurry it; keep a steady, solemn martial beat.:


Holiday music spans generations and brings them together . . .:

David Bowie and Bing Crosby

From Wikipedia: Crosby’s last TV appearance was a Christmas special filmed in London in September 1977 and aired just weeks after his death. It was on this special that Crosby recorded a duet of “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace on Earth” with the flamboyant rock star David Bowie. It was released in 1982 as a single 45-rpm record and reached No.3 in the UK singles charts. It has since become a staple of holiday radio, and the final popular hit of Crosby’s career. At the end of the century, TV Guide listed the Crosby-Bowie duet as one of the 25 most memorable musical moments of 20th-century television.


“My mother-in-law has come ’round to our house at Christmas seven years running. This year we’re having a change. We’re going to let her in.” — Les Dawson

“Where the heck’s my Christmas bonus?”

Clark Griswold




PERFORMANCE NOTES: Uke 3 is tuned [g B E A] so that we can have two melody ukes playing one octave apart. If you don’t want to mess around with a uke’s tuning another option is to play the lower melody on a guitar (Guitar 1 in the ensemble). Also, notice that Guitar 2 joins in and beefs up the melody yet another octave lower in certain sections.


Cuz I ain’t been nuttin’ but bad . . .”:



“I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays. ” — Henny Youngman



Pretend that you’re banging on that giant pipe organ while you play this solo uke version:



PERFORMANCE NOTES: Play this one with a spirit appropriate for the title — not too fast and not too slow — and with a touch of innocence.


“Rejoice! Rejoice!”:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: The Intro section is rendered by one guitar playing octaves using fingerstyle technique for that pious medieval chant sound. If you find that too difficult, you can split the part in two; one guitar can play the higher voice and the other guitar can play the lower voice.


The “Moonlight Sonata” of Christmas songs:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: This piece provides an excellent example of how “slash chords” work (see the Tutorials Page). As the melody moves upwards toward the dynamic emotional peak, the bass moves down by steps in the opposite direction, creating a poignant contrast, and generating goosebumps. It is very powerful and sublime.


I remember in the old days when we had candles and strips of silver tinsel on our tree. This is a traditional arrangement; I borrowed the melancholy but dignified D7/G chord from Beethoven’s “Sonata Pathetique.”:


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“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” —  Charles M. Schulz


A simple song with some nice nuances that works great on solo uke. The first and last parts sound “German”; the middle part sounds “Italian.” That D7/G chord => 0 0 2 0, is not a mistake; it creates a tension that gets resolved when it goes to the G5 chord on the next beat.:


“The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.” — Johnny Carson




A ukulele makes a great Christmas gift. Just a thought . . .



I love the story, the song, the book, the TV show. Some incredibly creative people worked together to produce this wonderful iconic Christmas special for television so many years ago, and it was all done with analog technology — no computers or fancy tricks — just raw talent, imagination, and amazing skill. I hope people will still be watching this 500 years from now.:



PERFORMANCE NOTES: This song looks like it’s hard to play but it actually comes together pretty easily. For this song one of our guitar players puts a capo on the 5th fret so that he can play Uke 1’s melody on his guitar.


It’s challenging, but not as hard as it looks. Try it! If you put in the effort you will be well-rewarded.:


“You better watch out . . .”:



PERFORMANCE NOTES: This is one of our favorites. Our club’s Uke 2 player adds a flurry of quick strums in choice spots for that “Tin Pan Alley” feel. The secret is to keep your strumming hand real loose, especially the wrist.


A contender for “Greatest Christmas Song of All Time.”:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: The original is in 6/8 time — we’ve gone with the modern convention for beginners and put it in 3/4 time. The club plays it at a very slow tempo, and keeps it simple, yet paradoxically we layer it with as much instrumentation as possible. This is a really good song for beginners to learn to play melody, and for advanced players to work on nuanced harmony.


If you haven’t tried to play “solo ukulele” yet, now’s a good time to give it a try. The term “solo” in this case means that one sole person plays the melody as well as accompanying elements of the harmony and rhythm. In other words, you are a “one-man band.”:

NOTE: The best way for the strumming hand to play music written for “solo” ukulele or guitar is to use fingerpicking or fingerstyle.





“And on every street corner you hear . . .”:



A Peanuts classic.:

PERFORMANCE NOTES: Ukes 1 and 2 should play the cascading harmonizing melodies with alternate picking. With enough practice you’ll build up speed and smoothness. The modal shifts of the major chords and their “hollow” voicings are hallmarks of this famous tune.


“Red Leader, we’ve got an unidentified flying object on radar over the Chicago area at 10,000 feet . . . Intercept and fire at will . . .”




Remember when Rudolph’s nose cap falls off and everybody shuns him except Clarice, who sings this beautiful song?:

Clarice copy

The lady who sang Clarice’s part is one Janet Orenstein. What a beautiful voice! (If I could sing like that I wouldn’t have to play instruments!)

PERFORMANCE NOTES: Here is my favorite Christmas song in all its orchestrated glory. I have never seen the song in published form so the arrangement was done exclusively by ear off of the original recording from the TV special.


Here’s a simplified version for solo ukulele without the key change and fancy jazz chords. If somebody out there sings and strums this version and makes a video of it we would sure like to see it. Please send us a link!


“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” — Dave Barry

“Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.” — Author Unknown

“Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.” — Johnny Carson

A beautiful waltz:


This cute little song was quite a surprise. It sounds really good!



PERFORMANCE NOTES: This song was challenging to format onto one page. You should try to drill and memorize the sections and develop some intuition so that you can perform the entire song without a lot of fuss. Your ultimate goal should be to have this song so ingrained in you that you can lead a sing-along without recourse to the sheet music. Good luck!


“They err who think Santa Claus enters through the chimney. He enters through the heart.” — Charles W. Howard, attributed


PERFORMANCE NOTES: Give this one a nice, light, bouncy feel. It’s only three chords; pretty easy!


There’s a guitar playing an exotic countermelody in this one that evokes the three wise men from the East.:

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This song starts in the key of E minor and the Chorus section is in its relative major key of G, both of which are perfect for solo ukulele in standard tuning:


“Roses are reddish,
Violets are bluish;
If it weren’t for Christmas,
We’d all be Jewish.”
— Benny Hill


“Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.” — Lenora Mattingly Weber

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” — Harlan Miller

“And a haaaaaappy new yeeeeeear!!!”:



Play it at a brisk tempo with a bright Christmas spirit!:


“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” — Phyllis Diller



PERFORMANCE NOTES: Play this one slowly, with a serene feel. Uke 1 is tuned to [gBEA] because the lowest note in the melody is a B.  This particular arrangement is heavy on the guitars. Some day we’ll do a medieval-sounding arrangement in a different key.


According to the Guinness World Records, the version of “White Christmas”sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 100 million copies worldwide. Other versions of the song, along with Crosby’s, have sold over 150 million copies.:


In the album version Bing sings it more inflected and jazzy in the key of A. The movie version is in the key of Ab and the melody is more straight quarter-notes, which makes it much easier to play and sing. I used the friendliest and appealing aspects of both versions and knocked it down one more 1/2 step into the key of G, which is more uke-friendly and easier to sing.


And if all my dreams come true, then I’ll awake on Christmas morning and find my stocking filled with you.”:


PERFORMANCE NOTES: What a sweet, sweet song. Even if you think you’ve never heard this tune before, do yourself a favor and study Uke 2’s part. It is a loose countermelody that plays a lot of neighboring tones in relation to the chords that add a lot of “colour” to the song (I used the British spelling of the word “color” because it’s so classy).


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And if it hasn’t occurred to you yet by now,

A ukulele makes a great Christmas gift!



Warm greetings to our new friends from far-away places like Iceland and Tasmania!


(We’re still waiting to hear from North Korea, though . . .)