Issue 32: One-chord Songs

As a rookie guitar player, well, in public, that is, I thought I’d start simple, and work up. All the following songs can be accompanied with just one chord. This also gives some scope for getting groups of children to add a simple accompaniment using pitched percussion.

C (C E G) or D (D Fsharp A) chord

Row Row Row your boat

Frere Jacques

Three Blind Mice

Tony Chestnut (improved if you do a G or A chord on the first “Tony knows” and the “That’s what Tony” bits, but hey – that’s just one phrase!)

Any words that you fit to the playground chant “nar-nar, nar-nar, nar-nar-n-nar-nar” using the notes (in sol-fa) “so-mi, so-mi, so-mi-la-so-mi”,

Hi-Low chickalow (starting on C or D)

The Penguin Song (Have you ever had, a penguin come to tea)

Once a Man fell in a well

John Kanakanakana (another song that would appreciate the odd G or A chord, but you can get away without it)

F (F A C) (ukulele) or G (G B D) chord

Funmje Alafia

Four White Horses (should have a couple of C-ukulele or D-guitar chords but no-one will really notice)

Hi-Low chickalow (starting on F or G)

There were ten in the bed and the little one said


If you don’t know the tunes for any of these songs, YouTube is probably a good start, or contact the Jungle.

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