The collision of rictus-grinned morning TV host and the morose wit of Stephin Merritt was always going to produce hilarity. The look on Merritt’s face seems to shoot the words, “I’m going to set fire to your house and watch the smoldering remains through a huge spyglass.” I can only pray that the song’s final line of, “Everyone you despise will die so smile,” was followed by the words, “Here’s Tom with the weather.”
Merritt and Daniel ‘Lemony Snicket’ Handler have worked on a number of projects together and have, apparently at least, been friends since childhood. Handler is a fine accordion player and appeared on The Magnetic Fields’ (Merritt’s main band) album 69 Love Songs. Merritt returned the favour by forming The Gothic Archies with Handler and recording songs to accompany the Series of Unfortunate Events books. The two are a partnership made in heaven (and also a fine comedy duo).
Smile! No One Cares How You Feel has a simple repeating uke figure throughout – making it ideal for anyone learning to fingerpick on the ukulele.
The best approach to picking this is to assign a finger (or thumb) of the right hand to each string. The thumb on the g string, the index finger on the C string, the middle finger on the E string and the ring finger on the A string. The picking pattern is:
Thumb, index, middle, ring, middle, index, thumb, index (then repeat… a lot)
Once you can pick that pattern without thinking, you shouldn’t have any problem playing the song and scaring TV hosts.