Bagpuss Theme (Tab)


It’s quite possible that my biggest musical influence is Bagpuss. I was completely insane for Bagpuss when I was little – particularly the music. Songs in general had a really big emotional impact on me as a kid. I had to ban my mum from singing the Spaghetti variant of On Top of Old Smokey because it would make me cry. I couldn’t work out why I cared that a meatball had rolled off a table and it wasn’t until years later than I figured out that it wasn’t the lyrics making me feel sad but the music. Which is a roundabout way of saying that I was massively influenced by the music I heard as a kid and I still love the music in Bagpuss (provided by Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner).

So I was sad to hear, on my birthday, of the death of Bagpuss creator Oliver Postgate. If you’ve no idea who he was, check out Charlie Brooker’s tribute to him. He was such a gent even Russell Brand acted semi-respectfully in his presence. So I’m paying respect to him in the only way I know how: via the medium of ukulele tabs.

It’s a really simple little tune to play. Despite the strumming directions, I’m actually fingerpicking and doing fake strums (picking each string in sequence to sound like a strum) to accentuate the melody notes on the A string. You could just use normal strums but I’d recommend using your thumb to give it a warmer sound.

Buy Bagpuss: The Songs & Music

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  1. zym February 8th, 2009 7:09 pm

    I am the right age and nationality to fully appreciate this – thanks :D

    I was also a huge bagpus fan as a kid. My house is littered with bagpus videos &dvds as at least one member of family buys me all the episodes for christmas each year

    How about some trumpton/camberwick green next? – I reckon theres some groovy finger picking to be had ;)

  2. Armelle February 8th, 2009 7:59 pm

    This is a lovely little tune all right. You actually feel like it should be longer after hearing it. You don’t really want the magic to end so soon.
    This is the first time I hear about Bagpuss or Oliver Postgate but I really enjoyed watching the tribute : Oliver Postgate’s voice and rhyme is really nice. A shame it didn’t make it this side of the Channel.
    As far as the tab is concerned, I find it difficult to move from 2 (on the G string) to 7568 . I guess this will take practise.

  3. krabbers February 9th, 2009 7:41 am

    cheers for doing this tab , i normaly do the melody line with single notes as a sound check , it sounds much beter with chords added …i’m of the have a go right now

  4. Woodshed February 9th, 2009 10:13 pm

    zym: I think those might be irresistible. They might have to be guitar/uke duets.

    Armelle: It is a big jump. It might help if you you use fingers 2,3 and 4 so that you can keep the same shape is you move it up.

    krabbers: You’re welcome.

  5. Phredd – Elmer’s Electric Tricycle (Chords and Tab) | Ukulele Hunt February 4th, 2010 6:02 pm

    […] wish we had songs this good when I was a kid. All we had was Fingerbobs (okay, so Bagpuss was pretty amazing). I can certainly relate to the story of a mad scientist working away in the […]

  6. andy April 17th, 2010 6:14 pm

    Fantastic. I even surprised myself that I managed to figure out the fingering to get from 2 -> 7568 before I read the big hint in the comments. Thanks Al.

  7. Issy April 18th, 2010 9:23 pm

    I almost started crying at the video :-/
    Thanks for the tab! x

  8. RobNY August 21st, 2011 4:31 pm

    That must have been a great show to grow up with.

  9. Woodshed August 22nd, 2011 12:30 am

    Rob: It was. I absolutely loved this show.

  10. Alona April 11th, 2012 8:23 pm

    I’d like to get a copy of this, I’ve been searching for the bagpuss theme tune without Oliver postgate’s VoiceOver is there anyway I can download this?? I’m wanting to walk down the aisle to it and ideally need something 35 seconds long , but can always hoist up my skirts and trot quickly if it can’t be extended.

  11. Woodshed April 13th, 2012 2:11 pm

    Alona: I’ve recorded a version of it done three times through. It’s also higher quality:

  12. dean April 20th, 2012 2:46 pm

    i bought my first ukulele a couple of days ago so i could play songs to my baby daughter. been raining since so i’ve barely left the house. i’ve just about learnt bagpuss. my first tune! fingers are almost bleeding but am incredibly pleased with myself. thank you for taking the time to lay down the tablature.

  13. Woodshed April 22nd, 2012 11:25 pm

    dean: Well done! I hope your daughter appreciates your effort!

  14. Tem August 22nd, 2012 9:10 pm

    Only bought my concert uke this weekend at 55 years old. Bagpuss is great and I have learnt it and hubby recognised it. Thanks.
    Would love to see more

  15. Woodshed August 24th, 2012 10:38 pm

    Tem: Congrats!

  16. John Stephenson December 9th, 2012 7:33 pm

    My goodness playing this sends shivers down my spine lol I also was in love with Bagpuss and the fantastic music of Kerr and Faulkner. I had the complete Bagpuss on video and now have the DVD to hear those fantastic songs over and over :D
    Classic :D

  17. Woodshed December 10th, 2012 11:24 am

    John: I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  18. Jack January 27th, 2013 4:37 pm

    This isn’t the whole tune, and it’s slightly different. Why not give us the whole thing?

  19. Anna March 9th, 2013 11:43 am

    Not strictly relevant to Bagpuss, but your intro just caused me to fall into a childhood ‘meatballs all covered in cheese’ nostalgia hole. I had completely forgotten about that song, which I think was a playground fad when I was at primary school. I guess we must be about the same age (1978).

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud and for this site in general, which has turned me from a two chord chugger into a budding uke obsessive x

  20. Woodshed March 9th, 2013 10:17 pm

    Anna: Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, we’re very close to the same age (December ’77).

  21. Norman September 10th, 2013 11:45 pm

    The suggestion for Trumpton/Camberwick Green is a good one. Freddie Phillips was a genius, and wrote some of the most memorable TV music ever.

  22. Woodshed September 11th, 2013 9:12 am

    Norman: Thanks for the suggestions.

  23. Phoebi September 17th, 2013 7:16 pm

    I’m new to ukulele, and I haven’t been taught to read these tabs. I was wondering if you could show me somewhere that would teach me.

  24. Woodshed September 18th, 2013 8:37 am

    Phoebi: There’s a guide to reading tab here.

  25. mark October 27th, 2013 10:37 pm

    Bagpuss is always a winner. I have seamlessly (!!!) joined 2 other top tunes from Uke Hunt to make Tubular Bagpuss Lives Twice.
    Many thanks for the tabs.

  26. Jason September 22nd, 2016 11:15 pm

    what are these cords ? I’m finding it really hard to slide down and stop my 3rd finger from muting the c string ?

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