Ukuleles – Thursday September 15

Mass Appeal – Ukuleles
Oodena Celebration Circle (The Forks)
Thursday September 15
Rehearsal: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Concert: 7:30 – 8:00 pm

Wikipedia tells us that “the ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as ‘jumping flea.’” It is played around the world and while many people think immediately of Tiny Tim when they think uke, the instrument has deep roots in many cultures.  In Canada it has been a cornerstone of music education with hundreds of thousands of young people across Canada learning to play.  Mass Appeal Winnipeg is pleased to celebrate the final concert of 2016 with the ukulele.

Join one of Manitoba’s foremost ukulele performers and educators, Kate Ferris on Thursday September 15 at Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks for one of the biggest ukelele concerts Winnipeg has ever seen!  Find out more about Kate at her website,

Rehearsal will take place between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm, with the concert running from 7:30 – 8:00.  To participate as a player, download the songs below and practice them on your own.  Participants are asked to bring

  • a chair
  • a music stand
  • sheet music
  • clothes pegs to hold your music if it’s windy

It is highly recommended to have the music in a binder in sheet protectors. It makes the pages heavier, which is good for outside, and also you can have the music in order, with double-page songs placed so you can see both pages at the same time. (Page turning can be a pain!)

music buttonHere’s what we’ll be playing.  Read on to find the music, sample tracks, and notes on each song from Conductor Kate!  You can download all the music as a single PDF file, or find individual versions of each song in the notes below.

Mass Appeal Ukuleles repertoire:

Blue Hawaii – Bing Crosby
The Log Driver’s Waltz – Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Kväsar Valsen – Alex & Richard og Kai Fristed
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Ceilito Lindo – Traditional Mexican
Stuck in the Middle with You – Steeler’s Wheel
Dona Nobis Pacem – Traditional
Moondance  -Van Morrison
Harvest Moon – Neil Young
The Parting Glass – Traditional Irish
Blame it on the Ukulele – Eydie Gormé (sort of)


1. Blue Hawaii

Kate’s sheet music download: Blue Hawaii – chords and lyrics

Kate says: Since the `ukulele has such a strong connection to Hawaii, I thought we’d start out with this tune. Most people associate it with Elvis Presley and his 1961 movie “Blue Hawaii”, but it was actually in a movie long before that. “Waikiki Wedding” was released in 1937 and starred Bing Crosby. He sang it there, but it was overshadowed by “Sweet Lalanie” and mainly forgotten until Elvis recorded it. Not too fast, a nice relaxed beach song for us to ease into.



2. The Log Driver’s Waltz

Kate’s sheet music download: Log Driver’s Waltz

Kate says: Most people know – and love – this song from the wonderful vignette produced by the NFB in 1979. “The Log Driver’s Waltz” was written by Wade Hemsworth. Easily one of the most often-requested films in the NFB collection, Kate and Anna McGarrigle sing along to the tale of a young girl who loves to dance and chooses to marry a log driver over his more well-to-do competitor. Driving logs down the river has made the young man the best dancing partner to be found. In 3/4 waltz time and lots of fun.



3. Kväsar Valsen

Kate’s sheet music download: Kväsar Valsen

Kate says: This is a lovely little Swedish tune, also in 3/4 time. Watch for the repeat at the end of line 3 where we go back to the beginning, and at the end of line 5, where we go back to the beginning of line 4 and play through to the end. If you can play the tab, great! If not, you’ll provide the rhythm part by playing the chords.



4. I’m Yours

Kate’s sheet music download: Jason Mraz – I’m Yours

Kate says: For a while you couldn’t go into any mall or restaurant without hearing this tune. It’s bouncy and infectious, and was one of the first songs in a long time that prominently featured an `ukulele. Since then it’s become a favourite at all `ukulele jams.



5. Ceilito Lindo

Kate’s sheet music download: Cielito Lindo

Kate says: Winnipeg is a multi-cultural city – something of which we’re all proud. You may not realize it, but there’s a very large, active Mexican-Canadian community here. Whether you’ve been to Mexico or not, you’ll probably recognize the chorus when we get to the “Ay-ay-ay-ay”!

We’ll sing the song first (phonetic pronunciation is printed at the bottom of page 1), then play the instrumental (or chords if you don’t read tab) and finish by singing the song again. We plan a big ending for this one!



6. Stuck in the Middle with You

Kate’s sheet music download: Stuck In The Middle With You – lyrics and chords

Kate says: Recorded in 1972 by Steeler’s Wheel, this song has found its way into numerous soundtracks, including Reservoir Dogs and – most recently – Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie”. What you might not have realized is that the verses are written in the basic 12-barre blues pattern, which I’ve notated at the top of page one. But watch the bridge: it breaks with the pattern. If the walk-up at the end of the bridge from Bb – B – C causes tears, just wait it out and come back in on the C in the verse.



7. Dona Nobis Pacem

Kate’s sheet music download: Dona Nobis Pacem – in 3-Part Round Form

Kate says: This will show how the `ukulele can definitely play music of a more classical bent. “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Latin for ‘Grant us Peace’) is a round, beautiful in its simplicity. We will not sing this, we’ll just play it. I’ll divide you into 3 groups. The form will be as follows: everyone plays through the piece in unison once. Then we begin the round with Group 1, then 2, then 3, with each group playing the piece completely 3 times. All in all you’ll all play the song a total of 4 times. Gorgeous when all 3 parts are being played!

Listen to the Dona Nobis Pacem audio track:


8. Moondance

Kate’s sheet music download: Moondance – lyrics and chords

Kate says: “Moondance” was written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and was the title song on his 1970 album Moondance. Morrison did not release the song as a single until November 1977, seven and a half years after the album was released. A great, jazz-swing tune, but using very few chords. It was the recurring theme in the movie “August Rush”, and there really is something magical about it! Watch for the 3 ‘chops’ in the bridges.



9. Harvest Moon

Kate’s sheet music download: Harvest Moon – lyrics and chords

Kate says: I can’t lie – this is probably my favourite Neil Young song, and I hope it becomes one of yours. Where you see the little ee  symbol you can either play a strummed Em7 chord, or play the individual tones as on the recording. I’ve written the fret numbers for both high-G and low-G for you to figure out where to find the correct notes. Note: the actual full “Harvest Moon” will occur the next night on September 16th. Appropriate? I guess so!



10. The Parting Glass

Kate’s sheet music download: Parting Glass – tab and chords

Kate says: One of the most poignant Irish tunes, “The Parting Glass” is sung as a farewell. It is very free-flowing – note the pauses that occur at the ends of the phrases (usually on a D chord, but once on an Em). Again, if you can’t play the tab, please chord in soft, downward strums. It sounds very harp-like when done in that matter. (Don’t worry – we’ll practice).



11. Blame It On The `Ukulele

Kate’s sheet music download: Blame It On The Ukulele – lyrics and chords

Kate says: Let’s leave everyone on a happy note. This one is based on a song that was made popular by Eydie Gormé called “Blame it on the Bossa Nova” (which is actually NOT a Bossa nova at all!). The lyrics were written by Susan Nicholls of an Australian club called the Ukulele Republic of Canberra. It’s lots of fun, and will hopefully infect everyone listening with `Ukulele-itis!