Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra/Desmond Dekker- Israelites (Chords)

WIUO/Desmond Dekker – Israelites (Chords)

The ukulele seems to be a big hit with the ad makers at the moment. A few that leap to mind are McDonalds, Travelocity, e.on and, of course, the Hawaii Chair. And the Wellingtons have got in on the action providing tunes for a series of Whitcoulls ads (including Ruby and Israelites). But Israelites is already seared into brain from another advert. So much so I always find myself singing What ‘m I gonna spread on my toast?.

Suggested Strumming

For the reggae strumming, make sure you keep the chords short and sharp. And emphasise the 2 and 4 beats. Here’s a simple strum you could use.

– – d u – – d –

Twiddly Bits

There’s this little run after, “… the Israelites.”

Which gets expanded with a few bends for the solo section where this is repeated:

Buy Israelites by WIUO
Buy Israelites by Desmond Dekker

View Comments


  1. byjimini March 1st, 2009 11:53 am

    Bloody hell, that’s spot on. That’s what I love about your chords, Woody, it’s getting people to experiment past the 4th and 5th fret.

    Now I’ll have this damn song in my head all day. :P

  2. Mike Woodhouse March 1st, 2009 12:05 pm

    This is fantastic! I’ve spent about 30 years thinking the Lyrics were,”Get up in the morning,I have my breakfast. Shout it from every Mountain Peak, yeah…Ohhhh ohhh My ears are alight”!

    Can’t wait ’til I’m drunk with a Ukulele in my hands ;)


  3. Paul March 1st, 2009 2:36 pm

    Thanks for that, Woodshed, works really nicely on the uke.

  4. Woodshed March 2nd, 2009 9:26 pm

    byjimini: Count yourself lucky. I had it stuck there for a week.

    Mike: I’d completely forgotten about that one. It’s really popular for ads for a song about poverty and slavery.

    Paul: You’re welcome.

  5. Dav April 13th, 2009 5:06 pm

    Thanks heaps for the chords to Israelites. They’ve turned into my default mess-around sound when I grab the ukulele for a quick strum.

    Another Desmond Dekker keeper I suspect would work really well is 007 (Shantytown). But I have no talent when it comes to figuring out chords.

    Any help?

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