Lesson 17 - "Tonight You Belong to Me"

Originally published at: Lesson 17 – “Tonight You Belong to Me”. Replies here will cross-post to the original lesson page.

Use this thread to ask questions, share experiences, and discuss the topic at hand.

Were you familiar with the original version of this song before this lesson? Do you like it better than Steve Martin’s version?

Wow, this was a flashback. I grew up in a time when this song was popular. I had a 45 RPM single of David Saville and the Chipmonks - Alvin, Simon and Theodore (1965) singing this, but I was also familiar with the Frankie Laine version (1952), The Lennon Sisters (1956), Patience and Prudence (1956), and Nancy Sinatra’s version (1962). :_ukulele:

Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters (The Jerk 1979) were late to the party, but still created a very poignant rendition. Even the versions I was familiar with were decades behind the original (1926).

Eddie Vedder and Cat Power’s version in (2011), Zooey Deschanel & Ben Schwartz Youtube cover (2011) are proof that songs are evergreen. No matter how old a song is, if it is sincere and connects with people, and comes from truth, it will continue to be rediscovered by future generations.

This is the first time I have heard it presented as a waltz. The 3/4 timing will take a bit for my ear to adapt to. It feels like a different song without the familiar 4/4 tempo, but I love your jazzy chords. I’m looking forward to pracitcing this one.

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This was a real challenge. I’ve been doing lift muting for some time so that wasn’t hard, but I wasn’t really familiar with the song.
Those dreaded chords were the first challenge. I had avoided them in the past since they sound absolutely horrid unless they are played perfectly—learning opportunity here I had to admit. After a several practice sessions I finally caught onto them and came to understand their place.
Next, the key was too low for my voice, so building on prior lessons I transposed it to from Eb to G; just moved up a few frets and put a “mental capo” on the 4th fret. Pretty easy, actually, once I decided to do it.
Finally I didn’t really know the melody and while looking at the music, it dawned on me that I could read the notes on the music staff, so why not try to play the melody from the music. (I could have just listened to the song several times but I wanted to see if I could learn it from the music) It was challenging at first but after practicing the scale a bit, it became obvious where to fret the music notation on the ukulele.
I know I did this the hard way, but I learned a lot in the process. This wasn’t just another lesson, it was the key to a door that opened up lots of learning possibilities. Thanks.
Howard Eskildsen
Ocala, Florida

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Wonderful, Howard! Glad to hear you took the initiative to work through some of this the hard way. I’m sure you learned much more than you would have without your extra efforts.

It’s easy to get lulled into the “easy way”, but if you can find ways to stretch yourself like this, you’ll often find the long way is richer.