The 50 Most Romantic Ukulele Songs of All Time

50 Most Romantic Ukulele Songs of All Time

Have you picked up the ukulele in hopes of wooing someone? You’ve come to the right place! Ukulele teacher Willy M. shares 50 easy and romantic songs that sound delightful on the ukulele…

Dozens of romantic hits between the 1900s and today are easy to play on the ukulele. This list is divided up into decades and provides five songs from each decade. They’re easy to find chords for and videos on YouTube, but best of all – they should add a dash of romance to the air.

So without further ado, here are 50 of the most romantic ukulele songs of all time!

50 Romantic & Easy Ukulele Songs

1

1900 – 1920s

1. “Foggy Dew” – Recorded by John McCormack, this is an old traditional folk song that’s very romantic and about lost love. Greg Brown and several other folk singers have re-recorded this song, but McCormack’s is one of the earliest recordings, dating to 1913.

Click here for the chords.

2. “That’s The Kind of Baby For Me” – Eddie Cantor recorded this song in 1917 during the middle of WWI, but it’s a fun frolic of a song, which is typical of early turn-of-the-century songs. It might not be the most romantic song on the list, but it definitely deserves a listen. It’s fun to play with its kind of “oom-pa” beat!

3. “Shine on Harvest Moon” – Ada Jones and Billy Murray recorded this song in 1908, and it still shows up in movies from time to time as a romantic tune. It works perfectly as a ukulele song! Their recording might seem a bit hokey today, but it deserves a listen. Other versions can be found online, but this is perhaps the earliest recording of the tune.

Give this song a try, here are the chords.

4. “Sweet Adeline” – When you think of early recorded music, you may think of barbershop quartets. These old songs are usually romantic, and “Sweet Adeline,” recorded by the Haydn Quartet in 1904, is one of these. Many versions of this song have been recorded and you can find them all over the internet.

5. “A Kiss To Remember” – This song was recorded by Rudy Valley and his Connecticut Yankees in 1929, and if I’m not mistaken, you can hear a little ukulele in the background recording. It displays the popular “om-pa-pa” rhythm found in a lot of early ukulele music.

Get the chords, here.

2

1930s

1. “A Kiss To Build A Dream On” – Originally released in 1935, this song was made popular by Louis Armstrong in 1951. It should be in your back pocket for those quiet picnics and lazy afternoon strolls. The bridge is a little tricky, but by the end of the first verse, your loved one should be in a wonderful mood.

Want to play this song? Get the chords, here!

2. “My Very Good Friend the Milkman Said” – Fats Waller recorded this great tune in 1935, and it’s endured to this day. Within the past 10 years or so, Eric Clapton rerecorded it and dusted it off. It’s a humorous love song that sounds great on the ukulele. Fats, of course, was a piano player, and Eric, a guitarist. I like how Fats ends his with, “Let the band play ‘here comes the bride’ – and it’s on, baby!” You can’t get much more romantic than that!

3. “But Not For Me” – Here’s a classic for your ukulele that’ll have your loved one batting their eyelashes at you. It was originally performed by Ginger Rogers for the stage production of “Girl Crazy,” but there are recordings from the ’70s. The tune became popular after she sang it and many recordings can be found including Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland. This song may be a challenge for beginner uke players, but it should give you something to aspire to.

Click here for the chords.

4. “Cheek to Cheek” – First performed by Fred Astair in 1935, this classic is so enduring that Captain Stottlemeyer, a character on the American crime drama Monk, sings this song during an episode.  This tune is very easy to play on the ukulele and you should use it liberally on your next date!

5. “My Funny Valentine” – Who could make a list like this without this Rodgers and Hart classic? It was written in 1937, but the version I like best is by Frank Sinatra. It sounds great on the ukulele with those quick, choppy chords behind the slow, ambling melody. I can just see you during a picnic singing this to the one you love, down by the lake with the sun descending in the autumn sky. How can you go wrong?

3

1940s

1. “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” – Originally recorded by a duet called “The Sweethearts of Country Music,” the most popular version of this song is probably Elvis Presley’s version. It’s not the song written by Van Morrison and recorded by Rod Stewart, however, but that’s a good song as well. This song dates from 1945 and sounds great on the ukulele. It’s pretty simple to play and fun to do an Elvis impersonation while you play it!

2. “I Could Write a Book” – Gene Kelly performed this Rodgers and Hart song in 1940 for the musical “Pal Joey”. It was later recorded time and time again by different performers. You should check out Dinah Washington’s version. Harry Connick Jr. also did his own recording. You can play it on the ukulele pretty easily. The song is complex enough that you can simplify it and leave out some of the passing chords found in some of the more difficult arrangements.

3. “A Sunday Kind of Love” – This song was published in 1946, but the most famous recording is by Etta James. It’s not the easiest song to play on ukulele, but when you master it, you’re sure to please just about anyone you want to get close to!

4. “Some Enchanted Evening” – Rodgers and Hart were the champions at writing romantic songs back in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s. This song dates to the play “South Pacific,” which was released in 1949. One of the most popular recordings is from the movie version of the play. A far less cheesy version (although that might still have a lot of cheese for modern ears) is Jay and the Americans version from 1965. This song is fairly simple, and sounds wonderful on the ukulele with a simple “oom-pa-pa” beat.

Try it, here!

5. “Things We Did Last Summer” – In 1946 the Lettermen recorded this song about stuff they apparently did in the summer of 1945! The most popular recording of this song is from the Beach Boys in the 1960s, but Sinatra and others recorded this tune as well. If you have a few friends who like to sing harmony, it’s a great song to work up to for a nice fall evening around the fire.

You can get the chords for this song here!

4

1950s

1. “Earth Angel” – The 1950s has a countless number of awesome love songs, and it’s hard to narrow it down to just five, but one of my all-time favorites is “Earth Angel,” recorded by the Penguins in 1954. This has a simple “oldies progression” and is easy to play. You might also remember hearing this in the movie Back to the Future!

2. In the Still of the Night – This 1956 classic recorded by The Five Satins still makes an appearance every so often in movies and is played on oldies radio stations even today! This is a great song for the ukulele and also features the never-ending “oldies progression” of I, VI, IV, V. Play it in any key and make your sweetheart swoon!

3. “Since I Don’t Have You” – This song, first recorded in 1958 by the Skyliners, has a melody that’ll make you weep. There are many awesome versions of the song, but I highly recommend Brian Setzer of the Stray Cat’s memorable version. It may be a little more challenging than some of our other ’50s tunes. But it will be worth it, believe me!

Get the chords, here! 

4. “You Belong to Me” – 1952 was a good year for romantic songs, and this one was so popular that it’s been recorded more times than I can count! One of the more popular recordings was by Paul Anka, but other versions are great, too. It’s a chord progression that’s pretty similar to the oldies progression, and shouldn’t give you too much trouble.

5. “Hallelujah I Love Her So” – 1957 Ray Charles! Can it get any better than this? I don’t think so. This is a fun, upbeat love song that’s a good opener. It can be played with a simple chop rhythm and it’s fun to pull out when you need something upbeat.

6. “You Send Me” – OK, so I’m breaking my own number rules a little, but this one has to be on the list. Sam Cooke, one of the smoothest voices of the 1950s brought us this number in 1957. It also sounds great stripped down on a ukulele.

Get the chords, here!

5

1960s

1. “Spoonful” – I’m going to change direction here  and throw some blues in the mix. “Spoonful” is a Howlin’ Wolf classic from 1960 that talks about the many things that people need, but “a spoonful of your precious love” is what it’s all about! It’s a very simple song to play and a great tune for the R&B lovers out there.

2. “God Only Knows” – Known as Paul McCartney’s favorite song of all time, this Beach Boys’ classic is challenging to play, but well worth the effort. When your loved one hears, “God only knows what I’d be without you,” burst forth from your lips, you’re sure to strike a romantic chord!

Want to play this song? Learn the chords!

3. “Unchained Melody” – Alright, I heard this song so much when I was a little kid that I really don’t like to hear it anymore, but what list would be complete without the most important track from the movie Ghost? Everybody loves this Righteous Brothers song from 1965, and it will probably be used until the end of time!

Learn the chords, here!

4. “I Can’t Help Myself “– Sugar Pie Honey Bunch – who can’t get enough of this Four Tops masterpiece!? 1965 was a good year for love songs, and this one is sure to please.

Click here for the chords.

5. “My Girl” – In 1964, the Temptations gave us probably the most enduring love song ever! “My Girl” is unforgettable with that amazing bass line, but it still sounds great on the ukulele. Learn the chords, find a couple friends to sing harmony, and you’re all set!

6

1970s

1. “Your Song” – I could fill this list with Elton John song from the ’70s, because he dominated the charts back then with so many hits, but this is probably his quintessential love song from 1970. It’s a bit of a challenge, but if you transpose it into the “English” key it was actually written in (E instead of Eb), then it becomes much more manageable on the ukulele. A lot of pianos in English recording studios of the ’60s and ’70s were tuned down a half step. So while Elton is playing the song in E, it actually sounds like he’s playing in Eb. Give it a shot in either key, it’s a great song.

2. “Baby I Love Your Way” – This is from 1975 by Peter Frampton. This is a great love song and it’s incredibly simple to play on the ukulele. Songs like this sound great with just the voice and a single instrument.

3. “Wonderful Tonight” – Eric Clapton made this classic song in 1977. It’s played by every bar band in America, and perhaps the world. You can’t go wrong with this simple song in your pocket. And the solo is incredibly simple as well. You should learn it immediately!

4. “Time In A Bottle” – This classic Jim Croce song is one that’s easily recognizable and should give you enough of a challenge to make it fun. It has a pretty melody and it’s a lot of fun to play!

5. “You’ve Got A Friend” – James Taylor had hit after hit of love songs in the ’70s, and this one is really fun to play. It was actually written by Carol King, but Taylor’s version is probably the most popular.

Click here for the ukulele chords.

7

1980s

1. There She Goes – The L.A.’s were a one hit wonder, but this song has stood the test of time. It’s even been rerecorded by Sixpence None the Richer and other bands. It’s a simple love song that sounds great on the ukulele. When playing it on the uke, don’t worry about the intricate picking, just play the simple chords underneath the vocal — it’ll sound good that way.

2. “I Just Called To Say I Love You”– I gotta have some Stevie Wonder on the list. This classic is one of the best easy ukulele songs, and everyone I know recognizes it as one of the greatest love songs of all time.

Click here for the chords.

3. “Hold Me” – This was the hit track from the 1982 Fleetwood Mac album Mirage. It features Christine McVie’s awesome yet simple piano licks, which can be easily transferred to the ukulele. Like most Fleetwood Mac songs, it can be stripped down of its lush vocals and complicated arrangement to make a simple yet beautiful love song for the ukulele.

4. “Sacrifice” – As I said before, I could fill this list with Elton John songs, but I’ll only give you one more that sounds great on the ukulele, and that’s the 1989 hit Sacrifice. It’s an awesome song about how when you love someone, you’re willing to sacrifice for them, and it doesn’t seem like a sacrifice at all. Bernie Taupin has been Elton’s primary lyricist and this is one of the finest examples of his craft!

Get the chords, here!

5. “Dark Eyes” – Aside from Elton John, I could also fill this list with Bob Dylan songs, but I’m only going to give you a couple. One that I would have liked to include in the ’60s list is “Love Minus Zero”/”No Limit”, but I’ll leave that in the honorable mention list.

“Dark Eyes” came from one of Dylan’s most berated time periods, the 1980s. It was a very simple, beautiful piece included on the Empire Burlesque album, alongside the overproduced, yet equally as beautiful “Emotionally Yours”. Most of the Empire Burlesque songs were ruined in the ’80s by overproduction, but “Dark” Eyes escaped unharmed. This is a great song and I’m sure you’ll love it, too.

Want to play this song? Click here to learn the chords.

90s

1990s

1. “Born In Time” – I ended the ’80s with Bob Dylan, and I’ll start the ’90s with him as well. “Born In Time” is an awesome song that several people recorded. The two best recordings that I know are Dylan’s and Eric Clapton’s. This is one of the easy ukulele songs that I’m sure you’ll love playing.

Give it a try! 

2. “Iris” – Anyone who lived through the ’90s remembers watching the romantic drama of the century (that didn’t make a lot of sense) City of Angels, the sad tale about an angel who falls in love with a woman and gives up his immortality. But the song “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls was a big hit, and it included a really cool mandolin part. That mandolin part is also easy to play on the ukulele — it should be in your repertoire!

3. “Kiss Me” – If you look anything like Leigh Nash, the lead singer of Sixpence None the Richer, it would be really hard for me not to be romanced if you learn this classic ’90s song on the ukulele! This tune is actually very simple in its structure and has the added bonus of a driving rhythm, making it perfect to play on your uke when you’re jonesin’ for romance.

4. “Dreamlover” – Mariah Carey brought us a bunch of romance songs in the ’90s, and this one from 1993, as well as her song “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” is a great romance song to play on the ukulele. The song arrangement consists of simple chords on a piano and organ, with a good drum beat. This can translate to the uke with simple ukulele chords over the catchy melody.

5. “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” – When I typed in Aerosmith into YouTube, this was, after all this time, still the first song to pop up — that’s how popular this 1998’s power ballad from the motion picture Armageddon is! This song was a Diane Warren piece (and for the record, just about any Diane Warren song deserves to be on this list). This song is easy enough to play on the uke, and the memorable melody should bring tears to the eyes of your love interest!

8

2000s

1. “Imitation of Life” – R.E.M. had a number of hit songs, and I’m not sure if this one technically qualifies as one of the most romantic, but the melody itself is certainly romantic. This very beautiful song, released in 2001, is one of my favorites. I hope you like it as well!

Click here for the chords.

2. “Sparks” – Coldplay has effectively written the book on romantic songs from the early ‘2000s with songs like “Yellow,” “Fix You,” and “Clocks,” but “Sparks” is one of my favorites. The rhythm makes it perfect to play on ukulele. The chord progression is not too difficult, and you should be able to croon your way to a romantic evening in no time.

3. “Come Away With Me” – Norah Jones is an amazing musician and songwriter. This song, while not the easiest to replicate on the ukulele, can be stripped down, and it’s a great tune to add to your little black book. The simplistic arrangement of the song relies heavily on the vocals, so light picking would be perfect for this one.

4. “Such Great Heights” – The Postal Service brought us this great tune in 2003, and at first glance, it seems like it wouldn’t be a good ukulele song at all. But I used to do a really slow, stripped-down piano version in a piano bar I used to play in. I tried it out on the ukulele, and it works great on the uke as well. Give it a try, I think you’ll want it in your songbook of love!

5. “Ghost Story” – What list of romantic songs would be complete without a song from Sting? Even though this song came out in 1999, I didn’t hear it until 2000, so I’m putting it in the list with the 2000 songs. I love this song and it’s perfect for the uke. You can sing it gently and simply pluck along. It’s an ideal song for confessing your love to that special someone.

9

2010s

1. “Something Like Olivia” – I have to get a John Mayer song on the list. Though his earlier works such as “Why Georgia”, “Your Body Is A Wonderland”, and “Something’s Missing” might be far more romantic, if you have a girlfriend that looks like Olivia Wilde, then “Something Like Olivia”, is perfect for you. This song is fun to play and has a great groove that fits the ukulele well.

2. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers had a surprisingly awesome hit with Ho Hey, which sounds a bit like a sea shanty gone love song. It’s such a simple arrangement that works splendidly for the ukulele.

Click here for the chords.

3. “Riptide” – Vance Joy has a great little tune called “Riptide“, which works wonderfully well on the ukulele. This romantic song also segues nicely into the old Robert Palmer tune, “Riptide“, which I suggest you learn as well.

4. Counting Stars – One Republic has a song that sounds great with the ukulele and slowed down a bit. It’s sure to impress your audience.

5. “Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)” – This song by Regina Spektor not only gives you a chance to sing a really cool song on the ukulele, but gives you the chance to throw out some French – the language of love!

Get the chords, here! 

No matter which of these 50 ukulele love songs you choose to play, I guarantee that whoever you perform for will be impressed. Need some extra help honing your skills on this fun instrument? Check out the online and in-person ukulele teachers at TakeLessons today!

Willy MPost Author: Willy M.
Willy M. teaches guitar, ukulele, and mandolin lessons in Winston Salem, NC. He’s the author of the Dead Man’s Tuning series of mandolin songbooks. Willy has been teaching for 20 years, and his students have ranged in age from young children to folks in their 80s. Learn more about Willy here!

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