Helen Arney Songbook

New for 2013 – buy it here

All the words and chords you need in a handy A5 size

Because enough people requested one during the Fringe and Spoken Nerd tour of 2012, I’ve spent a few weeks writing out 11 of my songs and lovingly crafting them into a songbook with all the words, chords and tips you need to play them on ukulele, guitar, piano, musical saw or indeed any instrument of your choice. Here’s what you will find inside:

  • The Sun Has Got His Huff On
  • Indie Song
  • Statistically I Love You
  • My Dad Is A Morris Dancer
  • Moth Song (A Parable For Love)
  • Erwin’s Other Animals
  • Let’s Make Love Like Animals
  • You & Me & Walt Disney (version for uke, and bonus version for other instruments)
  • For Steven’s Girlfriend
  • Laboratory Christmas Party
  • Indecent Proposal

They’ve been printed on recycled paper, bound into nice little 32 page books with a cover by Tom Humberstone, and are (probably) full of amusing errors for you to spot. If you buy one, I’ll even sign it if you want me to – or you can download a PDF and pay what you want. Although I can’t sign that, of course…

Purchase the Songbook or buy song downloads and CDs.

If you have a copy of the songbook, please do use the comments section below to get involved! You can leave a message with any queries, corrections, comments and cover versions. That’s better than emailing, tweeting or facebooking me about it, because everyone can see your contribution and comment too.


(please note that comments will only open on Friday 14th December, after the first batch of books have been sent!)

8 Responses to “Helen Arney Songbook”

  1. Sah

    Well my book arrived a couple of days ago and it is amazing! Well done Helen, it looks fab and is a great balance between spoon feeding us everything we need to know and leaving a bit of mystery so we can get creative and make the songs our own. My challenge over xmas is to learn to play Animals, I can play all the chords but its all clunky and I can’t get the timing or strumming right. Can’t wait to see how others are getting on xx

  2. Helen Arney

    So, @naxxfish has asked me where to get a uke capo from. Good question! Some guitar capos will work OK if you have one already and don’t want to splash out, but they are a bit chunky, and often get in the way of my fingers wrapped around the neck of the uke.

    So I use a Shubb C5 Banjo capo. Google it or ask for it at your local independent music shop (they are great – support them!) You can adjust the screw to fit your particular uke, then just snap it on and off when you need it.

    Although I’ve just seen that Shubb now do a specific ukulele capo, the C9, which might work better for smaller soprano ukes – mine is a concert-size ukulele, the strings are all the same but the body and neck are much bigger and the frets are further apart. If you get hold of one, do let me know what you think about it. They look pretty similar to the C5 on paper.

    As a quick extra note, if you’re just doing the songs on your own, and not playing along with a track or playing with others, you might as well skip the capo and just play it without one – it will sound the same, just a little bit lower.

    Let me know how you get on!

  3. naxxfish

    Aha! When I went into my local music shop to buy a Uke capo all they gave me was an odd look. A brand name is a good starting point, at least they can look it up in a catalogue or something.


  4. TimW

    Any recommendations for a decent beginners uke? I had my eye on a “Stagg traditional soprano” having had success with one of their classical guitars for my daughter.

    • Helen

      Hello! Now, I am not the most knowledgable person to ask about beginner ukes, but I can point you towards the person who is: Al Wood, one of the people I profusely thank at the back of the Songbook, runs the best uke resource site I have ever used: http://ukulelehunt.com

      He has tonnes of reviews, recommendations, tips and more, and he’s even got a review of that exact uke you were looking at I think, or similar at least?

      Looks like the reviewer agrees with you – a great choice for a beginner, easy to play and satisfying sound. But be prepared because if yoru daughter likes playing it a lot they’ll start hankering after a better model in a solid wood soon enough (start saving and pick one up in next year’s January sales!)

      If you want my very unprofessional opinion, I play a Kala concert size uke, after starting on a £25 Lanakai a few years ago. My Kala is the only uke I’ve ever found that actually stays in tune for an hour-long show! It has an inbuilt pickup and is made from a lovely-sounding mahogany wood – it’s the kind of instrument that is professional/recording standard and will last for years, but it’s almost certainly the wrong choice for a beginner because the price tag of a couple of hundred quid :/ Good to give you an idea of what is out there, though!

      So I agree with Al and Uke Hunt – my recommendation for a beginner would be just to get the best you can for under 50 quid (don’t go lower than 20, you might as well restring a matchbox!) BUT find an extra 6 or 7 quid to invest in a set of Aquila strings. Every uke player I know uses them and loves them – they’re the Rolls Royce of uke strings but you don’t need a Rolls Royce ukulele to go with them! Even the cheapest of ukuleles will sound like one that cost £50 more if you put a set of Aquilas on it 🙂

      If your local music shop doesn’t stock Aquilas I get mine from the ever-helpful UK specialists Southern Ukulele Store: http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/ If you’re anywhere near Bournemouth pop down, they’re a great place to purchase a uke from too – or order online and take advantage of their delivery deals!

  5. Heather

    I just wanted to say how much I love the songbook! thank you for autographing it to me and Tallulah and Ruth my ukes! I am working my way through the Sun Has Got His Huff On and really enjoying myself.

    You are my ukulele hero–I saw you perform some of your science songs at the British Library a few years back and went out the next day and bought a ukulele.

    Thank you so much!

    • Helen

      Aw, thanks Heather! What a lovely message! Very happy that you (and Tallulah and Ruth) and enjoying the book 🙂