Issue 145: Go Tell it on the Mountain – Ukulele

image from http://www.familychristmasonline.com/music/african_american_carols/go_tell.htm

Here you go – dead easy F and C ukulele Christmas Carol. I’ve been hunting for one for weeks. I’m only doing the chorus, after all the children only started ukulele in September! You can get away without using Bb if you only strum one chord per bar, except for a bit of a quick change at the end (Skip the final C chord if you need to simplify)

Go Tell it on the Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was a bit disconcerted to be informed by one child that “Jesus Christ” is a swear word; it lead to a useful discussion about how words and names can become used in that way. Another child (these were year4s) was surprised to notice that “Christ” seemed to have almost the same spelling as “Christmas”.

This reminded me of a recent comment by a local vicar. She was taking an assembly at another local primary school, and asked the children how Jesus died. “Was he shot?” and “Did he get ill?” were two offerings. Before I go into “shock-horror” mode, I wonder how well I would be able to answer similar, very basic questions about other world religions? Even if one is not a believer, one should know something about other people’s beliefs.

Anyway, back to the ukulele lesson; I taught the melody and words of the chorus, with the words displayed for all to see. I have taken to colour coding the chords in the songs I use; C is Blue, F is Green, and G is Red. I’ve also colour-coded the chord charts I use. It all helps.

We sang through the song a couple of times, first clapping whenever the F chord was played, then when the C chord was played, then for every chord. Most children were able to play and sing the whole song, making a reasonable attempt at switching the chords. I’ve taken to pointing towards the next chord in advance of needing to play it, and then tapping the board when we reach it, to encourage the children to start forming the chord in good time. This seems to work well.

holly

 

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