You Cannot Play a Sad Song on a Ukulele

By Zoltan James June 2, 2010

It’s a universal truth that you cannot play a sad song on a ukulele

That is unless you inadvertently jake-snap a string and

Are left to your own nimble fingers and creative devices

To pluck bravely onward those three

Remaining chords of gut, which, ironically would take

A modicum of guts on your part especially should this sad event

Ever occur in Carnegie Hall with you on stage while the

Audience gasps, gasps, gasps in high suspense

While you pick, lick, and pluck away refusing to fret

Ignoring the loss like the fish that got away.

You just keep going.

No matter how hard you try, you cannot play a sad song on a ukulele

Not with its happy-go-twangy-strums that bleat

Plinkety-plankety-plunk drawing from

Rich histories of oh-so-happy Hawaiian melodies

Sweet and crisp vi-vi-vi-berating from its mahogany

Figure-eight shell barely the length of a short umbrella

While conjuring up the friendly ghost of Arthur Godfrey

Or the lush new sounds of Victoria Vox.  Yes, forget Tiny Tim.

No, you cannot play a sad song on a ukulele

Unless, of course, that’s all you know, but then

You only know the half of it don’t you cause then

All you can do is politely tap your finger on your knee

Or sit on your hands with a sourpuss expression

While the rest of the world dances and laughs as if

There’s no tomorrow, no sorrow, and lottsa love to go

‘Round with a happy plinkety-plankety-plunk, plunk, plunk.

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1 Comment

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One response to “You Cannot Play a Sad Song on a Ukulele

  1. Liesa Malik

    ZJ — This is terrific! I can hear the sweet plunk, plunk,plunk in my own memories of Godfrey et al, but there is still a soft spot for tip toeing through the Tulips too. Thanks for your terrific imagery.

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