Mele Fong teaches how to play the popular song Yellow Bird. Learn how to form on and off-base ukulele chords in the key of C with 6-chords, and how to strum the unique Latin Strum. In this revised video, see images of the ukulele chords on the video as Mele teaches how to form them and as she sings and plays the song. Play along by downloading the song sheets below.
If you want to skip the ukulele lesson and jump to listening and/or playing along to the song, click on the timestamp for “watch a close-up of Mele's hands as you play along.”
Learn the strum
Learn the chords: 1:28
Watch a close-up of Mele's hands as you play along: 4:12
This popular song was written by Michel Mauleart Monton in 1893. The song was based on a poem praising the beauty of a Haitian woman and the melody was adapted in the mid-1950s as calypso music rose in popularity in the U.S. The new English lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman bear no relation to the original, but there is still reference to little birds. Arthur Lyman, who played vibraphones with the Martin Denny combo, made Yellow Bird a pop single in 1961.
In 2015, members of Mele Fong's Advanced Ukulele class changed the English lyrics of Yellow Bird up high in a banana tree to a local style of Mynah bird up high in one mango tree.
PLAY ALONG WITH MELE FONG – Get the song sheets for Yellow Bird (local style) with Latin Strum for ukulele, chords, lyrics, and more at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qXEuZ_73AsCNhIpJC5_tWKZQbeAZf5xR/view?usp=share_link
LEARN THE STORY behind this song in the video titled Story Behind the Song | Yellow Bird | by Ukulele Mele – https://youtu.be/yoM3hoOw_tM
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Native Hawaiian Mele Fong from Maui is an experienced educator and professional entertainer with over 50 years experience playing the ‘ukulele – Hawaii's official instrument. Are UKE having fun yet? Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way!