How to play “My Funny Valentine” on ukulele

Here’s our newest lesson on “My Funny Valentine” by Rodgers and Hart.

Click below to download a pdf of the lyrics and chords for this song.

My Funny Valentine

“My Funny Valentine” is a show tune from the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms. The show opened in New York City on April 14, 1937 and ran for 289 performances. In the original play, a character named Billie Smith (played by Mitzi Green) sings “My Funny Valentine” to Valentine “Val” LaMar (played byRay Heatherton). Billie pokes fun at some of Valentine’s characteristics, but ultimately affirms that he makes her smile and that she doesn’t want him to change.

The song first hit the charts in 1945, performed by Hal McIntyre with vocals by Ruth Gaylor. It only appeared for one week and hit #16. In 1957 it was sung by Kim Novak in the film Pal Joey. The song is part of the Great American Songbook and has had many notable recordings. “My Funny Valentine” became a popular jazz standard and is part of the Great American songbook. It has appeared on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists, including Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Andy Williams, Shirley Bassey, Miles Davis, Etta James, Nico, Chaka Khan, Elvis Costello, and Rickie Lee Jones.

In 2015 it was announced that the Gerry Mulligan quartet featuring Chet Baker’s version of “My Funny Valentine” will be inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for the song’s “cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio legacy”. Jenny performs the song in A minor. Frank Sinatra recorded it in B minor and the theatrical version was in B minor. Ella Fitzgerald recorded in G minor.

Lesson on “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

I am teaching The Lion Sleeps Tonight at school. It is a great song for learning three chords and strum #3. The three chords are C, F and G7. You always play the chords in this order until the song is done. You play each chord for one measure:

C   F   C   G7

Strum #3 works great with this song, because it fits the lyrics: “a-wim-o-weh, a wim-o-weh, a-wim-o-weh, a wim-o-weh.” It’s relatively easy to get that rhythm, because the song is familiar. If not, feel free to use strum #1 (all downs) until you get it. I use red words for the C chord, blue words for the F chord, and green words for the G7 chord. Enjoy!

Grade 5 Spring Sing_4 Grade 5 Spring Sing_8

Here are a couple of videos to help learn this song.

Here is the recording, so you can get the right beat and feel for the song:

Heart and Soul with ukulele tab

Sometimes it’s nice to play the melody of a song on your ukulele instead of strumming the chords and singing the melody.

Click on the sheet music images below to download pdfs that you can print out for the tab of Heart and Soul. The tab beneath the music notes shows you which string and which fret to use to play the melody of Heart and Soul. 

Heart and Soul001Heart and Soul002Heart and Soul003 

Want to learn a lot more about how to read ukulele tab? Easy Ukulele Songs: Five with Five Chords will help you learn how to read ukulele melody tabs.  Each of the five songs comes with tab to help you play the melody plus a special lesson video on how to play the tab.

Learn how to read ukulele tab

with

Easy Ukulele Songs: Five with Five Chords

You can learn how the melody is supposed to sound by watching this video lesson on how to sing and strum version Heart and Soul.  

Thanks for reading and happy strumming!