Portishead – Deep Water

Portishead – Deep Water (Chords)

Portishead doing a song on the ukulele? Surely an April Fools joke? No. True fact. You won’t find any April Fools jokes on here. I find scheduled anarchy rather dispiriting. I prefer to parcel out misinformation all year round. What’s the April Fools version of Scrooge?

As Andy pointed out, the song is a blatant rip off of Tonight You Belong to Me (made famous by Steve Martin in The Jerk). The chords move in a very similar way. Both songs use the chorder I – I7 – I6 – Iaug – I – V – I in the verses and head for the IVm chord in the next section.

There are only two differences between the version in The Jerk and the Portishead song. First is in key (and that’s only one fret different). Deep Water is played in the F position but tuned up half a step (or capoed at the first fret). Second, the Portishead version isn’t so well played.

The introduction is very similar in that it involves the sus4. Deep Water adds the sus four by moving from the second to the third fret on the G string. He uses this same move with other chords in the sequence later in the song. To keep the chord sheet simple, I haven’t written all these out.

Like Tonight…, there are a few little fills in the song. This one, or something like it, crops up after, “…self doubting again.”

And this little twiddle at the end:

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  1. andrew peltcs April 1st, 2008 7:52 pm

    your link to the actual chords for the Portishead song isn’t working right now :( other than that, good times.

  2. Woodshed April 1st, 2008 8:04 pm

    Thanks, Andrew. Should be fixed now.

  3. Van Morrison - Keep It Simple | Uke Hunt April 8th, 2008 6:00 pm

    […] picking up the ukulele for his latest album isn’t quite as incongruous as the likes of Portishead and Panic at the Disco using the uke, but it’s certainly an unexpected […]

  4. Panic at the Disco - I Have Friends in Holy Spaces | Uke Hunt April 17th, 2008 6:08 pm

    […] was quite a month for albums with unexpected ukulele tracks. As well as Portishead’s Deep Water and Van Morrison’s Keep It Simple, there was Panic at the Disco’s I Have Friends in […]

  5. brumo gomas August 20th, 2008 1:16 pm

    nice article(s) even for a non-ukelele-but-guitar-player.
    thanks for so many useful information.
    keep on!

  6. Woodshed August 20th, 2008 10:30 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, Brumo. I will keep on. And it’s about time you got a ukulele.

  7. mike August 27th, 2008 12:05 am

    totally ripping off “tonight you belong to me”!

  8. Woodshed August 27th, 2008 8:31 pm

    mike: If you’re going to rip off a uke song, it may as well be that one.

  9. athena November 13th, 2008 5:35 am

    hallo! thanks very much for the tab, I love this song. the thing is, I’m not sure about the fsus4 – I think I might hear something different. any chance you could give it a second listen? I’m hopeless at figuring these things out…

  10. Woodshed November 13th, 2008 9:59 pm

    athena: Sounds right to me. Any suggestions?

  11. Gav January 12th, 2009 2:34 pm

    I think it’s meant to be F7 instead of Fsus4 for the second chord in the verse.

  12. Woodshed January 14th, 2009 9:21 pm

    Gav: Yes, you’re right. Thanks.

  13. V April 15th, 2009 7:47 pm

    People are so righteously indignant nowadays . Assume everyone has watched “the jerk” (even I, who really like steve martin haven’t seen it!). Always quick to blame someone for stealing something. : ) Especially with braghuinas/ukuleles, these chord progressions have been worn out over the past century and a half. Where do you think steve martin got that song from?

  14. Woodshed April 15th, 2009 9:57 pm

    V: I think he got it from Billy Rose and Lee David.

  15. Jake February 2nd, 2011 1:08 pm

    I think first line of the first verse sounds more like F, F6, Faug, Bbmaj7, then one strum of Bbadd9,

  16. mm June 17th, 2015 10:55 pm

    I wouldn’t call that a “blatant rip off”, rather an inspiration. Listen closer to the backing vocals – they’re giving this kind of vintage feel to the song, but in connection with Portisheads’s style the overall effect turns out to be quite psychedelic. To me it’s simply genius :D Anyway, they’re talking about this reference to Steve Martin in interviews.

  17. Woodshed June 18th, 2015 9:55 am

    mm: The song definitely took a bit more than inspiration from Tonight…

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