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GREENSLEEVES aka What Child Is This as arranged for ukulele by Ukulele Mike Lynch . . . . A Fingerpicking arrangement by Ukulele Mike . . . . Included in the Solo Ukulele Instrumentals Fingerpicking Instrumentals expanded 2013 edition. Now reduced to just $20

July 8, 2013


“My Lady Greensleeves” as depicted in an 1864 painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The traditional classic song GREENSLEEVES has a long and celebrated history. As chronicled in Wikipedia: A broadside ballad by this name was listed at the London Stationer’s Company in September 1580, by Richard Jones, as “A Newe Northen Dittye of ye Ladye Greene Sleves”. Six more ballads followed in less than a year, one on the same day, 3 September 1580 (“Ye Ladie Greene Sleeves answere to Donkyn hir frende” by Edward White), then on 15 and 18 September (by Henry Carr and again by White), 14 December (Richard Jones again), 13 February 1581 (Wiliam Elderton), and August 1581 (White’s third contribution, “Greene Sleeves is worne awaie, Yellow Sleeves Comme to decaie, Blacke Sleeves I holde in despite, But White Sleeves is my delighte”). It then appears in the surviving A Handful of Pleasant Delights (1584) as A New Courtly Sonnet of the Lady Green Sleeves. To the new tune of Green Sleeves. Christmas and New Year texts were associated with the tune from as early as 1686, and by the 19th century almost every printed collection of Christmas carols included some version of words and music together, most of them ending with the refrain “On Christmas Day in the morning”. One of the most popular of these is “What Child Is This?”, written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix.

Over the centuries GREENSLEEVES has been interpreted instrumentally and vocally in hundreds of arrangements but the most enduring instrument that has been associated with this song has been the lute and later the classical guitar and harp. The ukulele with its nylon strings and mellow tone is uniquely adapted to this wonderful melody. In my ukulele arrangement I stress the use of rolled chords to achieve a harp like sound. Here are two examples of my arrangement as notated in tablature format.

EXAMPLE 1Green Music 1111

Green music 22222

Here is the YouTube video of my ukulele arrangement of GREENSLEEVES

The tablature arrangement of GREENSLEEVES is included in my SOLO UKULELE INSTRUMENTAL collection 2013 Enlarged edition. It can be purchased $28.95 by paying through the paypal donate button on my website: It contains 96 pages of solo fingerpicking and chord/melody pieces for instrumental ukulele.

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