Ukulele Heart: Song by Song

Tyrone and Lesley began by playing vintage uke material in a theatrical context. They diversified into ‘straighter’ musical gigs and then started writing songs. Unconstrained by genre or style, this took us to some very interesting places musically. In 2011 we made some recordings live in the studio of Thomas Green. We decided to assemble them into our first album, Ukulele Heart.  Here’s some notes on this idiosyncratic set of songs.

Moon Song

This song took us a whole month to write.

Known Knowns

Most people wouldn’t usually call the former United States Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld ‘inspiring’, but one of his speeches was the starting point for this tune. He was (knowingly?) tapping into a philosophical conundrum thousands of years old.

Being Small

Someone once compared this to a Randy Newman tune: a comparison we’re proud to accept. It’s a song about childhood.

Bottoms

This was the first, and most Tyrone and Lesley-ish tune we wrote.

Ukulele Heart

Tyrone and Lesley have played many ukulele festivals and we’ve seen the tender passion this instrument ignites. This song’s a celebration of that bold vulnerability.

Chicken Song

This song, co-written with Andy Forman contains the secret key to all songwriting. Simply learn the chords, substitute your own material for the word ‘chicken’ and presto! –  your very own song.

Excuse Me

They say there’s a song for every occasion. Here’s a tune for an everyday happening.

Sidekick

This song was written very quickly, and played just the same. By the time T & L had come to recording this album we’d been working together for 10 years – a long time for any partnership. This song’s a celebration of that.

Lonely

There’s an element of melancholy to Tyrone and Lesley’s songs. this tune was one of the first to transform it into an absurd kind of triumph.

Cutlery

This is a kind of verbal arithmetic – we rarely play this one live. Lots of kitchen percussion. We had a grate time recording this one.

Where’s That Bear?

Closer to performance art than a song, we’ve worked this tune into our show Bear with Me

Australia is a Dangerous Place

Many people assume Australia is full of lethal fauna. They don’t know the half of it. This song’s about some of the nation’s lesser-known dangers. This tune was a finalist in the 2012 Queensland Music Awards.

Umami

Kikunae Ikeda

Kikunae Ikeda

For too long, this flavour has languished in the shadows. This very tasteful song celebrates the taste, and its discoverer, Kikunae Ikeda. We inadvertently destroyed Kellee Green’s rice cooker during the recording of this song, and being the honourable gentlemen we are, promptly replaced it.

Boy and Girl and Cat and Dog

This is an imaginary theme tune to an imaginary mystery show.

Trousers

Tyrone and Lesley both wear the pants in this musical duo.

My Dog Has Fleas

This tune takes the mnemonic for uke tuning and turns it into an unexpected song. we’ve been know to play this song at the top of our set, turning a soundcheck into a show. This recording features Tom Green on accordion.

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