Not many people would think of it but the ukulele can actually be a very romantic instrument. Picking the right ukulele songs could lead you to wooing that special someone in your life.
There are so many romantic hits from the decades, and many of them are easy to pick up for ukulele players. Using chords and tabs found online as well as YouTube videos, you can add a dash of romance to your ukulele playing.
We’ve split our guide into decades with a sampling of love songs from each. You can find chords for many of your favorite songs, as well as many sites that offers ukulele tips guides to get completely free song chords.
Table of Contents
The 1900s to 1920s
- “Shine on Harvest Moon” – Recorded all the back in 1908, this song was originally by Billy Murray and Ada Jones. It still crops up in romantic movies occasionally and works perfectly on the ukulele. Although the original recording may seem a bit boring today, the earlier recordings are much easier to play.
- “Sweet Adeline” – Barbershop quarters were all the rage, and most of their recordings included love songs. Ukulele players can pick up this classic from the Haydn Quartet in one of its many versions available online.
- “That’s The Kind of Baby For Me” – In the middle of WWI and hoping to uplift people’s spirits, Eddie Cantor recorded this song to add a bit of fun and frolic to an otherwise dismal time. It’s typical of turn-of-the-century songs in terms of progression and chords. While it may not stand out as being particularly romantic, it definitely at least deserves a listen to see if this fits your idea of romance.
- “A Kiss To Remember” – The brilliant thing about the original recording of this song from Rudy Vallee is that it already featured a ukulele playing softly in the background. It has the classic om-pa-pa rhythm that a lot of early ukulele songs featured heavily in their recordings.
- “Cheek to Cheek” – A Fred Astaire classic first recorded in 1935, this song was also featured on a very popular American crime drama at the time as well called Monk. The tune is super easy to play and may serve you well in the romance department.
- “My Funny Valentine” – No love song list would be complete without a classic from Rodgers and Hart. Frank Sinatra performed the best version by far, and this is the one that sounds great on ukulele. Watch out for the choppy and quick chord changes, though.
- “But Not For Me” – Here’s a sure-fire classic to get any lovely lady batting their eyelashes at you. Ginger Rogers was the first to take this one to the stage in the production of “Girl Crazy”. Many of the recordings of the song came from the 70s, though. Notably, both Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald did versions of the song. If you’re a beginner, then this one may be a bit out of reach, but it’s definitely something to aspire to learn as you build up your skills.
- “A Kiss To Build A Dream On” – Released way back in 1935, Louis Armstrong was the one to make this popular amongst the masses in 1951. If you are a fan of playing your uke on afternoon strolls or romantic picnics, this is the ideal song to have in your back pocket.
- “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” – The version you’ve probably heard of this song was performed by Elvis Presley. This song dates back to 1945 and sounds brilliant on the ukulele. It’s straightforward to learn the chords and who doesn’t love a great Elvis impression during the process.
- “Some Enchanted Evening” – Released as a song that was part of ‘South Pacific,’ 1949 gave us this romantic song from the hit movie. The song sounds great on the ukulele, and the simple beat is easy to pick up if you’re just starting out learning ukulele chords and tabs.
- “I Could Write a Book” – Gene Kelly was the first to perform this song, originally written by Rodgers and Hart in 1940 for the musical “Pal Joey.” Now you will find various recordings of the song from an array of artists, including Harry Connick Jr. and Dinah Washington. The song may seem complex when you first look at the tabs, but it allows for some simplifying. Many of the passing chords can be left out to make it a bit more straightforward to play if you don’t fancy tackling the song on expert mode.
- “Things We Did Last Summer” – The Lettermen decided in 1946 that they had to record a song all about everything they did the previous summer. Once the Beach Boys got hold of it in the 60s, the song gained popularity. Even Frank Sinatra did a recording of it. If you have some friends who are willing to harmonize with you, then it’s a great song to sing in a group.
- “Earth Angel” – Released by the Penguins in 1954 and made popular again by the Back to the Future movie, Earth Angel is an example of an oldie that is simple and easy to play. It’s some people’s all-time favorite love song which could really score you some brownie points.
- “You Send Me” – Steering away from the standout hits of the decade, Sam Cooke broke out this number in 1957. Stripped down on the ukulele, it sounds beautiful, and if you’re a bit of a crooner like Sam, you’re sure to impress your special someone.
- “You Belong to Me” – The 1950s was a stellar decade for love and romantic songs in general. One of the more popular songs released in 1952 was this one. It’s been recorded over and over again by a lot of famous artists, most notably Paul Anka. No matter what version you choose to play, the chord progression is simple to pick up, and the song shouldn’t give you too much trouble to learn overall.
- “Since I Don’t Have You” – Recorded in 1958 by the Skyliners, this one is sure to bring a tear to the eye of even the most unromantic person. There are a lot of awesome versions of the song. For uke players, we would recommend learning the Brian Setzer version. It’s definitely a challenge learning the tabs and chords for this one, but it’s very much worth it when you hear the end results.
- “Unchained Melody” – Of course, this had to be on the list. Probably one of the most known love songs of all time and featured in the movie Ghost, Unchained Melody was a hit from the Righteous Brothers and will probably be used in romantic movies forever.
- “My Girl” – Probably one of the most enduring love songs ever, My Girl by the Temptations gave us an amazing bass line that transfers over to the ukulele wonderfully.
- “God Only Knows” – Many people who are fans of Paul McCartney will know that this is his favorite song of all time. While the Beach Boys’ hit is hard to learn when you nail it, the effort you spent is totally worth it. You’re sure to strike a chord with anyone you sing “God only knows what I’d be without you” to.
- “I Can’t Help Myself” – Who doesn’t love a song from the Four Tops? And Sugar Pie Honey Bunch was 1965 a great era for the love song! This one is sure to please your significant other, even if they aren’t a fan of this particular genre of music.
- “Your Song” – Elton John dominated the top charts in the 70s, and this one is very much one of the quintessential romance songs from the decade. Transposing this song in E for the ukulele makes it much more manageable to play.
- “Wonderful Tonight” – If you’ve ever listened to a bar band in America, then you’ve probably heard a version of this song by Eric Clapton. You can’t go wrong by learning the chords to this simple song. Most fo the chord tabs are large and completely free online, so you can learn the classic from home.
- “Baby I Love Your Way” – Peter Framptom gave us this one in 1975, and it’s so easy to transfer over to the ukulele. Songs with a chord progression and beat like this sound great played with only one instrument and a simple, soft voice in the background.
- “You’ve Got A Friend” – Songs about love don’t always have to be about romantic feelings. James Taylor did a great version of this song, originally written by Carol King. Why not put the romantic feelings aside and learn this one for a dear friend who needs a little appreciation.
- “There She Goes” – Even though this was a one-hit-wonder for The L.A.’s, this song has stood the test of time as a romantic hit. Sixpence None the Richer did a great cover of it. When you try it on the ukulele, don’t’ worry about the fiddly picking. Just pick out the simple chords that happen underneath the vocals. It sounds best this way.
- “I Just Called To Say I Love You” – Stevie Wonder is another artist that had to appear in this list at least once. Not only is this a romance classic, but it’s also one of the easiest pieces to learn in terms of ukulele songs. Everyone recognizes this as one of the greatest love songs of all time.
- “Sacrifice” – Not one of Elton’s most known songs but a standout in terms of romance. More than anything, it sounds great on the ukulele, which is what we’re looking for in terms of chords. It’s a song all about making a sacrifice fo the one you love. Definitely one for the songbook repertoire.
- “Hold Me” – Fleetwood Mac rarely took a kind approach to romance. However, the simplicity of the piano in this song is easily transferred over to the ukulele, making it the perfect tune for setting the mood. Stripping it down to the bare bones, taking away the complicated arrangements and intense vocals leave you with a simple and beautiful song that can be played on the ukulele.
- “Kiss Me” – A song that cuts straight to the chase, this 90s classic from Sixpence None the Richer was featured on many rom-com movies of the decade. The tune and structure are simple, and it also has a driving rhythm which is a benefit in terms of ukulele songs. It’s the perfect song to play when you’re jonesin’ for a bit of romance in your life.
- “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” – Something a bit different from the rock legends that are Aerosmith, this power ballad even featured in the Armageddon movie. It’s a bit more of a tricky one for ukulele players, but if you have the right basic skills, you should be able to pick it up and play to your loved one in no time.
- “Iris” – Probably one of the biggest hits for the Goo Goo Dolls was Iris. Featured in the City of Angels movie, the song has a mandolin chord part that is brilliant when you transfer it over to the uke. It’s definitely one of the songs that should be in your repertoire, even if you don’t plan on using it to serenade someone.
- “Dreamlover” – Mariah Carey is probably the queen of love ballads, and in the 90s, that’s all she seemed to release. As well as her Christmas hit being all about romance, 1993 also saw her come out with Dreamlover. The song is actually based on a very simple arrangement where you can transfer the chords from both the organ and the piano over to a uke very easily.
- “Sparks” – Although Coldplay tends to stray away from the full-on romance songs, this one should be a firm favorite for any ukulele player. The chord progression can be found on many tab sites online that also offers ukulele tips for better playing as you learn.
- “Ghost Story” – Sting had to be on this list. Even though it was originally released in 1999, no one heard it until 2000. It’s a perfect song for the uke with simple and gentle plucking all the way through. If you’re looking to confess your love to someone, this is the song you need to learn.
- “Imitation of Life” – R.E.M. was never known for their songs about love and romance, and although this offering isn’t particularly lovey-dovey, the melody does lend a certain charm to this genre. Originally released in 2001, it’s a beautiful song full of chords that transfer over to the ukulele with ease.
- “Come Away With Me” – Norah Jones is an underrated artist and musician. While this song from her doesn’t particularly translate to the uke, stripping it down and playing the simplest of chords and light picking will do the job to replicate the song wonderfully.
- “Counting Stars” – Do you want someone to lie with you and just forget the world? This smash hit from One Republic is beautiful when you slow it down for the uke. It’s a sure thing to impress anyone you play it for.
- “Ho Hey” – Something a bit different for our list but a great song none the less. This is more a sea shanty turned love ballad that has a simple chord arrangement that is quick and easy to learn.
- “Your Body Is A Wonderland” – John Mayer is famous for his romantic songs, and many of them transfer brilliantly to the ukulele. All of his songs are fun to play and have a good groove to them that can really get you in the mood for romance.
Ukulele Songs FAQs
What is the best song to play on ukulele?
The best song to play on your ukulele is no doubt ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. This a fusion piece that is beautiful when you master it on your instrument and still stands as the most popular song for any ukulele player.
What’s the easiest song to play on ukulele?
There are a lot of easy songs you can pick up to play on the ukulele. One of the easiest we’ve come across is ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars. The simple chord progression is easy to pick up throughout the song, and it goes with the love theme as well.
No matter which ukulele songs you choose to play from our list, whoever you play them for will be very impressed with your skills. If you need help honing your skills, you can find video tutorials for each song mentioned on YouTube. Online tab providers will be your true source to find all the chords you need to woo someone with the ukulele.