Skip to content

“O Shenandoah” . . . . traditional American Folk Song . . . .Ukulele Chord/Melody arrangement by Ukulele Mike Lynch . . . . contained in the Chord/Melody eBook THREE (now reduced to just $20.00)

May 22, 2016

O Shenand doah blog header

Performance of “O Shenandoah” by Sissel

From Wikipedia we learn that “Oh Shenandoah” (also called simply “Shenandoah” or “Across the Wide Missouri”) is a traditional American folk song of uncertain origin, dating at least to the early 19th century.

The song appears to have originated with Canadian and American voyageurs or fur traders traveling down the Missouri River in canoes, and has developed several different sets of lyrics. Some lyrics refer to the Native American chief “Shenandoah” (Oskanondonha) and a canoe-going trader who wants to marry his daughter. By the mid 1800s versions of the song had become a sea shanty heard or sung by sailors in various parts of the world

Until the 19th century only adventurers who sought their fortunes as trappers and traders of beaver fur ventured as far west as the Missouri River. Most of these Canadian and American “voyageurs” in the fur trade era were loners who became friendly with, and sometimes married, Native Americans. Some lyrics from the early 1800s tell the story of a trader who fell in love with the daughter of the Oneida Iroquois pine tree chief, Oskanondonha (1710–1816), called Shenandoah. His name means “deer antlers” (Oh-skan-ohn-doh in Oneida). Also called John Shenandoah or John Skanandoa, the chief lived in the central New York state town of Oneida Castle. He was a co-founder of the Oneida Academy, which became Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and is buried on the campus grounds

Within all of my Solo Ukulele instrumental collections even including the fingerpicking collection, I have made an attempt to include pieces of a wide variety of difficulty . . . This piece is one that I chose to aid early solo performers learn how to play actual melodies and chordal harmonies beyond the traditional chord strumming for song accompaniment.  Take a look at the opening measures of this song and I think you’ll soon see how accessible this piece is for the neophyte solo performer.

O Shenandoah 1

The left hand chord fingering in this piece is not too challenging.  Its a great song to begin on.  Notice that the melody begins on the 3rd string open then jumps up to the 1 st fret on the second string. . . . Eventually by the final measure in this excerpt the melody lands on the 1st string.  As in all solo instrumental playing, it’s common for the melody to jump from string to string.  This aspect of solo playing is probably the most challenging. . . You see, in solo playing we don’t just hold down a chord then strum it. . . We actually have to pay attention as to where the melody is going. . . . This does take some time, practice and by all means a ton of patience. . . . So be patient with yourself and just enjoy the process.

“O Shenandoah” is found in the Chord/Melody eBook THREE and can be purchased by making a payment of just $20.00 through the paypal button on the Ukulele Mike website: Once purchased, it will be personally emailed to you within the day. . .


The table of contents . . .


All three collections can be purchased separately for  just $20.00 or all together at a combined discount of just $50.00

Trilogy combo price slide header



Chord melody ebook FOUR sells for $25.95 and can be purchased through the PayPal button on the Ukulele Mike website 

All 4 of the Chord melody ebooks can be purchased at a combo discount of $70


Questions regarding any Ukulele resource, please email:

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 19, 2016 2:54 p08

    Reblogged this on UKULELE MIKE LYNCH – All things UKULELE.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: