Having accidentally bought a new guitar some months ago, I have been trying to justify the expense by using it a much as possible in lessons.
I am delighted to discover that one of my favourite songs, “Sun Arise”, made famous by Rolf Harris and his wobble board, is a “three-chorder”. All the printed versions that have come my way are in F major, a key that I avoid like – listening to – Schoenberg (sorry – it just needs too much concentration and at the moment I’m more into “easy-listening). Actually, F major is a doddle on the ukulele; C, C7, G, F and Bflat chords being among the easiest to get your fingers round, but that’s another story.
If I shift Sun Arise down into D major, it’s an easier key for me to sing, and I only need D, A and G.
I am going to teach the song to the all the children at the small village school I work in as one of the items in our big end-of-term music assembly. The plan is that a couple of the other teachers will join me in playing the guitar (and any children who learn guitar outside school), and we will add violin, woodwind, recorder, drum, clave (pairs of sticks) and any other parts that seem a good idea. Triangles on the word sun. I have got a plastic didgeridoo which might come in handy if anyone can play it.
A few minutes on Google will get you the lyrics and chords. I’m not too sure about the copyright situation with this song, which is why I am not publishing the links here. (You can find it in the ACBlack Music Express series for Year 2 if you have access to it). If you have got the sheet music and want to play it in D, substitute D for the first chord, d A for the second chord, and G for whatever they use as the third chord somewhere in the middle of the song.
You can watch various YouTube videos of Rolf Harris, and also Alice Cooper, performing the song. I think we’ll be going for the Rolf Harris version, and save the heavy metal rendition for another occasion.