Zee Avi – Kantoi (Chords)

Zee Avi – Kantoi (Chords)

I love this sort of thing. I wish people would sing in their own languages more often. So full credit to Zee Avi for writing a song in a language I didn’t even know existed: Manglish (a cross between Malay and English). I would have thought this was a sure thing for Ukulele & Languages, but apparently not. Anyhoo, given that there are Zee Avi makeup tutorials online, her uke playing deserves some more attention.

Suggested Strumming

The main pattern you’ll need is:

d – d u – u d –

The intro: once for each chord.
First line: two for C, two for G7.
Second line: two more for G7, Two for C.
Third line: once for each chord.
Fourth line: one down strum for each chord.
Middle section: once for every chord except C (which is twice)

View Comments


  1. cardboardfrog September 10th, 2009 7:42 pm

    loving this song and really starting to lie zee avi, i think its not been featured as ukulele and language song because i beleive that manglish would count as a creole and not a language in its own right as its made up of various languages, but perhaps i’m wrong.

  2. Armelle September 10th, 2009 9:37 pm

    Zee Avi is still in my list of links for Ukulele and Languages, Al, only you are faster than I am ;)
    Glad you did the chords for this song.

    cardboardfrog : thanks for trying to find me excuses, but I am featuring languages and dialects on U&L so Manglish will definitely be featured at some stage.

  3. Woodshed September 13th, 2009 10:15 am

    cbf and Armelle: Perhaps the name of the blog should be Ukulele & Languages & Creoles & Dialects ;)

  4. Andy September 29th, 2009 3:06 pm

    Oh my gosh. A lot of Malays use Manglish from last time. Even I use it. And you say you never it existed? People use them because they either not good in English or not good in Malay. I didnt mean to offend anybody okay. By the way, love this song(:

  5. Vivi November 19th, 2009 11:19 am

    haha manglish is actually mandarin + english usually spoken in malaysia and singapore. what zee avi was singing is malay and english mixed together in a sentence. :) love her songs btw.

  6. Hannah December 26th, 2010 4:17 pm

    I’ve got disagree with Vivi on this, Manglish is a cross between malay + english, although it is spoken in malaysia and singapore. it’s not really a language itself, because malay is one of the easiest languages in the world to learn, especially because everyone mixes it with english too! but thank you for the chords, I love zee avi. She is the reason I got my first ukulele.

  7. Woodshed January 1st, 2011 12:41 pm

    Hannah: Thanks for the info.

  8. Arty February 3rd, 2011 4:54 pm

    To clear all confusions, here’s the Wiki page:

    I’d recognize Manglish as a creole, simply because you don’t get taught ‘Manglish’ formally in school. (I’m Malaysian, too, like Zee Avi!)

    It’s basically what we speak for our daily conversations with friends and stuff, and since Malaysia’s like a multiracial country, all the languages got jumbled up and we’re all happy using different words from different languages all the time.

    Hope this clears up any confusion over Manglish. :3

  9. Kat May 24th, 2012 5:17 pm

    Malay is a language (not really a creole unless you consider Tagalog to be a creole of local Filipino language and Spanish).

    and I would disagree with Hannah that it is one of the easiest languages to learn.. It is easy to understand each other when the general population speak common Malay or ‘Melayu Pasar’ (lit: bazaar malay).

    Generally people of different ethnicities and languages gather at a bazaar to trade, resulting in a mish mash of languages so even if you speak broken Malay, it is understood and is considered acceptable outside of official and literary use.

    Modern Malay, including Melayu Pasar, is a mix of malay, sanskrit, arabic, portuguese, chinese, and english. Official Malay is actually much more complex.

    Love Zee Avi but her live performance was disappointing. She was wasted on stage and cracking up awkward jokes.

  10. Nick July 23rd, 2013 10:56 pm

    This might be the best website I have come across in years!

    Speaking of Zee Avi… the book of morris johnson would be nice ;)

  11. Woodshed July 24th, 2013 12:12 pm

    Nick: Thanks so much!

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