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TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN – Ukulele Down Under with “UKULELE MIKE”

July 27, 2011

PLEASE NOTE:  My “UKULELE BASICS” DVD is currently  available for purchase. . . For more information email me at mike@ukulelemikelynch.com

TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN was written by Rolf Harris in 1957 and thru the 60’s it became a runaway hit in Australia and throughout the world.  No sing-a-long or hootenanny was complete without someone doing a rendition of this song.  It was inspired by the success of the “calypsos” by Harry Belafonte and in this tutorial I’m using a “swing” version of the CALYPSO strum. . . DOWN DONW UP UP DOWN UP . . .

In Harris’ version, a dying Australian stockman instructs his friends to take care of his affairs when he is gone. The first of these is to watch his wallabies feed, then to tie his kangaroo down, since they jump around (which is the chorus). “Sport” is an Australian term of address, alluding to “good sport”, which often, as in this case, praises someone for carrying out a small favour one is asking of them. The lyrics mention animals and things associated with Australia, including cockatoos, koalas, platypuses, and didgeridoos. His last dying wish is “Tan me hide when I’m dead, Fred”. By the end of the song the stockman has died and his wish has been carried out: “We tanned his hide when he died, Clyde, and that’s it hanging on the shed”.

If you’re not acquainted with the CALYPSO STRUM, I’d suggest you take some time to practice that strum over and over without attempting to put it to chord changes.  It’s important to have the strum pattern automatic and thoroughly programmed into your muscle memory.  Without that sort of preparation then playing along with the chord changes could end up being a disaster. .  .  For so many it does take a fair amount of daily practice and patience to get the CALYPSO STRUM secure.  Once you do, you will find it to be one of your best tools in your arsenal of strums. . . I’ve posted the songsheet with chords below to play along with my tutorial video.

“HAPPY STRUMMING” – UKULELE MIKE

TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN SONG SHEET

TIE ME KANGAROO DOWN SONG SHEET

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