Beirut – The Penalty

Beirut – The Penalty (Chords)

The standout track on The Flying Club Cup as far as I’m concerned – although I am completely biased in any matter that involves ukuleles – is the uke lead tune The Penalty.

The first thing to notice in the chords for the song is that there are three different inversions of the C chord in there. The Penalty starts off with a shortened bar of the usual open C shape. Then the three strings remain open while the A string is played at the seventh fret. I’ve called it e/C as the highest note is the E. Finally, there’s another C chord – I’ve called it C(alt) which acts a passing chord between the Em and the F (it is only played for a short time and is, therefore, in square brackets). There’s is also a short Fadd9 chord which is made simply by taking your finger off the G string and letting it run open. This chord is only played for a short time also and is used to create a little harmonic interest in the long F bars.

There’s only one other set of chords in the tune: a simple F C F G. Then you are good to go.

More Beirut tab and chords for ukulele

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  1. Woodshed February 23rd, 2011 3:49 pm

    Quinn: Check the Beirut page.

  2. AmyRoseStallard July 10th, 2011 12:03 pm

    I absolutely adore Beirut, and i wouldn’t have discovered them if it weren’t for this site(‘:

    I was wondering if you’ll be putting any more of their stuff on here?
    Then i’ll keep my eye out :B

    Cheers for this site. It’s taught me everything I know about the Uke.


  3. Woodshed July 11th, 2011 12:29 am

    Amy: I’ve done most of the songs Beirut have put out. But I might well be doing some from the new album once I get my hands on it.

  4. Vinicius July 26th, 2011 6:41 pm

    Which kind of ukulele is that? Concert or Tenor? Can someone please help me?

  5. Woodshed July 29th, 2011 7:45 am

    Vinicius: It’s a concert. More details here.

  6. Connor August 26th, 2011 10:27 pm

    Just revisiting the Beirut posts — thanks for putting your version of the strumming pattern up there (I’d more or less come to terms with my goof of it). Now I start over again. Like learning a sweet song twice — thanks!

  7. Woodshed August 26th, 2011 11:45 pm

    Connor: Thanks. I think if you’ve found a strum you’re happy with, stick with it.

  8. Victor October 26th, 2011 1:54 am

    My favorite Beirut song along with Elephant Gun, and an excellent job on the chords. My only question is how he gets his strings to sound that way when he plays them. Whenever I play, especially on the C and eC chords, the open strings sound so low and sort of drown out the higher tones. Should I only be playing certain strings, or is it the strings and tuning that he uses?

  9. Gabi January 18th, 2012 12:37 am

    Few tweaks:

    Like an ancient day, and im on trial, let them seize the way
    This once was an island
    And I cannot stay for I believed them
    Left for the lights, always in season
    Impassible night in a croud of homesick fully grown children
    You’ll leave the lights?
    Your family may not wait sir, keep on believin’
    Our parents rue the day they found us kneelin’
    Let them think what they may for they’ve good reason
    Left for the lights always in season
    Let them think what they may for they’ve good reason,
    Left for the lights, always in season.

  10. Woodshed January 18th, 2012 6:52 am

    Gabi: Thanks, I can never work out what Zach McMumbles is on about.

  11. Gabi January 18th, 2012 11:42 pm

    Haha, yeah…. He’s a task

  12. Loni March 2nd, 2012 7:02 am

    This is wonderful!!!
    Thank you very much. :)
    Instead of the c(alt) I just continue with the Em with a hammer on, try it!

  13. Johan July 20th, 2012 4:31 pm

    On the Beirut concert DVD, East Harlem is begun with a uke. Any chance you’ll transcribe that one for us?

  14. Woodshed July 23rd, 2012 8:16 pm

    Johan: Sorry, I don’t know that version.

  15. Kyle September 13th, 2012 12:04 pm

    Thank you! This website is great, it has many Beirut song that I could learn. Thank you for these chords. But I have a big problem in my strumming.

  16. Klaus April 27th, 2013 10:35 pm

    It sounds like there is a hammer on the Em chord in the intro, do you know how to manipulate this?

  17. Adriatic June 15th, 2013 10:37 am

    like someone said the intro starts with F, so here it is for easier understanding (the brackets in the pdf were confusing me :p)

    F | C(2) | Em – C* | Fadd9 – F |
    Fadd9 – F| C | Em – C* | Fadd9 – F |

    Fadd9 – F is just to denote the stardard hammer-on on the G string that zach always uses
    also C on the 7th fret (i called it C(2) can be played 0407.

  18. Woodshed June 16th, 2013 6:57 am

    Adriatic: Thanks very much.

  19. Kassel311 January 9th, 2014 8:13 pm

    Thanx so much! i love this song.! The strumming pattern I’m using is Down, Down, Up, Down, Up twice per chord, but a hammer down on the bracketed chords :)

  20. Woodshed January 10th, 2014 8:15 am

    Kassel311: Thanks!

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