Valentine's Day is just around the corner! So whether you are buying your significant other a bouquet of roses, a box of chocolates, or even a new Xbox One, learning a love song is a great addition to a gift to put some more love into the air. But don’t worry- Love songs don’t have to be complicated! In this article, we’ll be checking out a list of easy-to-learn, timeless love songs to serenade your partner with.
Please keep in mind that these songs are in no particular order- I’m not playing favorites! Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments, though!
God Only Knows- The Beach Boys“God only knows what I’d be without you….”
Chords: A, E, Gbm, B, C
Strum Pattern: DDU DUD
While it’s no surprise that The Beatles and the Beach Boys were the stiff musical competition in the 1960s, rumor has it that Paul McCartney cried every time he heard the song. The lyrics are the perfect combination of sincerity and romance. If you don’t know this absolute classic of a love song, you can check it out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWPo5SC3zik
I was particularly inspired by this pared-down cover for ukelele alone. Jenn’s vocal timbre blended seamlessly with her playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvpQFE8lR_c
God Only Knows sounds so sweet and lighthearted on this instrument! You can find the chords on Uku tabs here: https://ukutabs.com/t/the-beach-boys/god-only-knows/
Be My Baby- The Ronettes “So won't you, please (Be my, be my baby) Be my little baby”
Chords: C, Dm, G, E, A, G7, Am, F
In terms of sad music news (Is this inappropriate to put this in a Valentine’s Day article? Probably not…Welp…), Ronnie Spector recently passed away at the age of 78. Her name has been circulating around many music sites because of this, and I’ve found myself listening to Be My Baby over and over again. Then, I began furiously transcribing, arranging, and recording it…for three days straight
. But I’m not the only musician to be perplexed by this tune. Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys) had to pull over after hearing the song in his car for the first time. But it didn’t stop there. His daughter said he played it every morning, and that the classic Boom Boom Chick drum pattern soon became her daily alarm.
Original Version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSPpbOGnFgk
If you have a ukelele and a basic DAW like GarageBand, you could ever loop it to make something similar to this artist’s rendition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3wiQ2NNM2Q
But any way you play it, it will be certifiably flutter-inducing. With the harmonic language of the ’50s at your fingertips, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
Practice tip: E’s can always be a little tricky, so be sure to practice the transition from E to A before your Valentine arrives! The G7 in this basic song adds just enough spice to the structure to make it interesting.
Uku Tabs: https://www.ukulele-tabs.com/uke-songs/the-ronettes/be-my-baby-uke-tab-12361.html
Can’t Help Falling In Love- Elvis PresleyWise men say, only fools rush in…
Chords: C, Em, Am, F, G, B7, A7, Dm
Strum Pattern: D DUDU
Can’t Help Falling in Love was one of the first songs I ever learned to play on the ukulele! There’s something about songs in 3 /4-time signatures that make them oh-so swoon-worthy. This tune was actually based on an old French love song from the late 1700s. But, no matter who the credit of the melody should go to, it’s gorgeous.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttuVUynl5SU Elvis Presley live
My ukelele cover inspiration came from the alternative music duo, 21 Pilots. The singer displaces the rhythm in the B section (with his voice), which I find mixes things up and makes it (arguably) even more catchy than Elvis’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ThQkrXHdh4
I also recently discovered that the reggae-pop band called UB40 did a cover of this song that quickly became a chart-topper. The uke would be the perfect starting point to make your cover reggae-flavored like this version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajp0Uaw4rqo
Uku Tabs: https://www.ukulele-tabs.com/uke-songs/elvis-presley/cant-help-falling-in-love-with-you-uke-tab-13973.html
I’m Yours- Jason MrazThere's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours
Chords: Am, C, D7, F, G
Here we go with another first song I learned. I’m Yours is a great simple love song, because you can make the rhythm as parred down, or as complex as you like. Feel free to play on the offbeats, and integrate palm muting, if you know how! It’s hard to go wrong with this live-in-the-moment love anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpngifA8iRM
Uku Tabs: https://ukutabs.com/j/jason-mraz/im-yours/
Baby, I Love You- The RamonesWhen you kiss me I just gotta, Kiss me I just gotta
Kiss me I just gotta say
Baby, I love you, come on baby
Chords: C, F, G7, C7, Em, Dm
Are you trying to impress a punk-enthusiast? Then try putting this cheesy ballad by The Ramones onto the ukelele. While it was actually originally recorded by The Ronettes, I’m sure you’ll be able to infuse it with a little punk, as Johhny Ramone did.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqZmJ7RGAP4 The Ramones Cover
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqfBUEWCFzs AntieUku breaks down this song really well in the video tutorial here
Just the Way You Are Oh, her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they're not shinin'
Chords: Bb, Dm, F
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hy9bGgz4y8 Ukelele Cover Inspiration
This song takes me back to early high school. I listened to the entire record Doo-Wops & Hooligans nearly every day (2010). This album as a whole feels much older than 12 years old, in a romantic, positive way. The oos and ahhs at the beginning make us think of the Ronettes and of love songs from long ago. Just the Way You Are was so well-recieved that It even inspired artist Meghan Trainers’ song “All About That Bass”.
Uku Tabs: https://ukutabs.com/b/bruno-mars/just-the-way-you-are/
6 Songs to Sing to Your Valentine: ConclusionIf you need some more inspiration from the oldies, you can also try the following songs on your uke!
- My Girl- The Temptations
- Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer
- The Girl From Ipanema
- Cheek to Cheek- Irving Berlin
But no matter what song you choose to sing to your Valentine, I’m sure it will play on your partner’s heartstrings. Happy practicing!
About the Author: Aleah Fitzwater is a licensed instrumental music educator, blogger, and arranger. You can find more of her writing on the Scanscore site, where she teaches musicians how to digitize music https://scan-score.com/en/scanscore-blog/ . You can also find her music here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2AQa8NMeMVSYOs1whUHt39