Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life

Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life (Chords)

I don’t want to be mean, but you’re all playing First Day of My Life in a daft key. But whichever key you play it in, it’s a great song.

From all the darting eyes, I’m guessing that people are just reading the guitar chords and transferring them straight to uke. The trouble is Oberst plays this song with a capo at the fourth fret. That puts it close to uke territory. I’ve written the song up for a ukulele tuned one step down (so the chord shapes used are mostly those he uses), but kept the chord names the same as standard tuning to avoid confusion. It’s much easier to play this way, you avoid the dreaded E major.

My chords are a little different to the guitar ones floating around the net in a few other ways. Some of them are chords in the song that I think they’ve missed (the Bbadd9 in the intro and the C7 at the end of the verses) and some of them have been changed to make them work better on the uke (using a C as a passing chord rather than a B note, and the Gm at “But I realise that I need you…”).

The biggest problem area in the song is the F – ? – Dm progression at the end of what I’ve called the bridge section. The guitar chords use the same progression as the verse, F – A – Dm in our terms. But I don’t think that sounds right. I think he’s playing 021200 which would be Amaj7sus4 (1200) for us. It’s fairly discordant; the A and Ab are one fret apart rather than 13 and the A note doesn’t read as the root strongly enough. It does just about work in context, but I’ve written it up as Asus4 which is a little more pleasing to the ear. Those are your choices. Try them and see which you prefer.

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