Notes on playing the banjo uke (and the regular ukulele), as well as some of my favorite songs and videos, but mostly, you'll find information here on my particular obsession - the many models of banjo ukulele offered by Stromberg-Voisinet in the 1920's to 1931.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Dumber They Come...

Well - turns out that Google has seen fit to revise their Blogger platform without any warning - which has resulted in a couple of draft posts disappearing and at least one follower, the extremely knowledgeable Terry Dennis, disappearing and having his subscription cancelled. Please, if any of you have experienced a similar loss of subscription, please let me know. I don't know that I can get it fixed, but I want to try.

In recent news, I left my job. It wasn't working out and to maintain some sanity, I had to leave. I feel about a million times better, and I've had about 12 interviews in the last three weeks, so that's been actually very good.

I've also had time to post a few pieces on You Tube. You might enjoy this one, "The Dumber They Come", a tune that Eddie Cantor introduced in 1920 at the Ziegfeld Follies.
I use a number of Formby-style strums here - notably, the triple, the split stroke and the fan.

I also use a thumb strum under the vocals. I use a double-time strum a lot, not a Formby strum per se.

I'm playing my Gibson UB2, which is a joy to play. The action is low, perfect for Formby style playing, and despite being built in the mid-20's, this uke is in great shape aside of a few minor dings and a repaired crack in the heel. At $480, this uke was a bargain, and probably the best value in Gibson UBs. It's got the sound of the much more expensive UB3, but it's routinely selling at auction for between $450 and $600, about half to 1/3 the cost of its more ornate big brother.

This is the first video I've done that got picked up by UkeToob, so I'm pretty excited about that. :) If you want to see it there, you can at:

Anyway, until next time...

1 comment:

  1. OK - I've gotten several requests for the Chords for this Eddie Cantor ditty, and this is one of those times where I just worked them out and didn't write them down. Doh!

    So, here you go. Uke is tuned ADF#B - in other words, REAL ukulele tuning. Banjo ukes sound better in this tuning and higher tunings, in my experience. If you insist on using C tuning, then the tune is conveniently keyed in C. Here goes:

    D \ F# \B7 \ B7\ E7 \ A7 \ D D dim \A7 A7+5 \

    D \ D \ D \ D \ A7 A7+5 \ D \ D dim A7+5 \ D \ D \ D \ D \ E7 \ E7 \ A7 A7+5 \ E7 \ Ddim \ A7 \ E7 \ Ddim \ A7 A7+5 \

    D \ F# \ B7 \ B7 \ E7 \ A7 \ D Ddim \ A7 A7+5 \ D \ Ddim \ A7 \ A7 \ E7 \ E7 \ E7 \\ A7 \ D \ F# \ B7 \ Em \ Em \ B \ B7 \ D \ D7 \ G \ G \ E7 \ E7 \ E7 \ A7+5 \ D \ F3 \ B7 \ B7 \ E7 \ A7 \ D7 \ B7 \ E7 \ A7 \ D \\

    Lyrics are - in the correct order (ahem, not the way I did 'em):

    I may look simple but i want you to know
    I’ve been to college; I’m full of knowledge

    I’m right at home with brainy men and them my wisdom i show
    But when there’s clever girls around I get up and go
    Those educated babies are a bore; I’m gonna say what i said many times before...

    Oh, the dumber they come, the better i like em,
    cause the dumb ones know how to make love;
    The Wisenheimer has you meet her folks when you call,
    The brainless baby always keeps you down in the hall,
    Oh the dumbbells I’ve met have won beauty prizes, they look like angels sent from above.
    A clever girl will want to know if you mean to wed, the dumb ones never think of looking that far ahead,
    That’s why the dumber they come, the better i like ‘em
    Cause the dumb ones know how to make love.

    Refrain 2:
    That’s why the dumber they come, the better i like ‘em
    Cause the dumb ones know how to make love.
    The smart girl’s speaking Greek and other languages, too,
    But the dumb girl’s only language is who’s poochy poochy is you?
    Oh, the saps that I’ve met have won beauty prizes,
    They look like angels sent from above,
    You start squeezing clever girls, you’re soon on the shelf,
    But when you’re with dumb Doras you can just be yourself.
    That’s why the dumber they come, the better i like ‘em
    Cause the dumb ones know how to make love.

    OK - enjoy, if such a thing is possible.