Nellie McKay – Mother of Pearl (Feminists) (Chords)

Nellie McKay – Mother of Pearl (Chords)

In honour of this song (and in honour of her being so obviously right), I’m going to try to get through this post without making any stupid jokes. It’s not going to be easy.

TED is easily the best thing about the internet. I could bang on about for months. But I just recommend a few of my favourites instead: Dan Ariely, Larry Lessig, Ken Robinson and Elizabeth Gilbert. They also had Nellie McKay along to sing a few songs including this one on her uke.

There are some very nice chord moves in the song (I am NOT going to that joke). It modulates between G and Bb a few times. And it uses the best trick for getting between two keys: lead in with the V chord. So before the section in Bb there’s an F chord. And before the section in G there’s a D7 chord. (If none of that makes any sense to you, How to Play Ukulele Chord Progressions has more info on it).

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  1. Armelle September 24th, 2009 7:33 pm

    Great post, Al ! Very funny video, great sense of humour and a lot of interesting links.
    Will have to check the chords later, they’re looking a bit difficult for me for the moment (a change of chord every word or so… nah… not now ).

  2. mictoboy September 24th, 2009 8:10 pm

    her version of If I Had You is wondrous. so beautiful.

  3. Spadger September 24th, 2009 9:14 pm

    Hey what’s the best place in Bakewell to get a Bakewell Tart?

  4. Mary Allison September 25th, 2009 12:16 am

    This was lovely! The dance break was priceless!

  5. drywell September 25th, 2009 3:14 am

    You’re going to post up “If I Had You” too, aren’t you?

  6. Plink Freud September 25th, 2009 5:12 am

    Thanks for the reminder about TED. Here is my favourite:

    Every time I watch this one my playing improves immediately.

  7. Sara September 25th, 2009 8:09 am

    Yes! You have no idea how long I’ve been hoping for these chords to be posted! :D Thank you!

    I was fortunate enough to meet Nellie last December and she and I talked ukes because I’m slowly learning and she really inspires me. She truly is a one-of-a-kind, talented lady.

  8. mictoboy September 25th, 2009 9:57 am

    drywell: i googled ‘if i had you’ and the first result was the right song, with chords and lyrics.

    looks pretty good

  9. JCMcGee September 25th, 2009 10:47 am

    Woop! That TED site is brilliant!

  10. pam September 25th, 2009 5:15 pm

    I love this. Thank you for making my morning so much better.

    /humorless feminist type

  11. Woodshed September 27th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Armelle: There are a few tricky bits, but it’s not too bad.

    mictoboy: Thanks for the link.

    Spadger: (In the spirit of this post, I’ll take that literally.) The Bakewell Tart is a creation of Mr Kipling. The real deal is the Bakewell pudding. I’ve never eaten one so I can’t be sure, but this one usually gets the credit.

    Mary: But the camera missed most of the fancy footwork.

    drywell: It’s a possibility.

    Plink: Thanks for the link. It’s a good one.

    Sara: Now you’re just trying to goad me into an unfunny sexist joke.

    Jimmy: Certainly is.

    pam: You’re welcome.

  12. Yas September 28th, 2009 1:58 am

    Can someone tell me the chords she plays at the very end of the song, after “…need to find a man” where she just starts humming? Thanks!

  13. Woodshed September 29th, 2009 9:33 pm

    Yas: It’s G all the time she’s humming and a quick D7 – G at the end.

  14. Yas October 7th, 2009 2:39 am

    Thanks so much! I feel silly for asking another question, but I forgot to add: recommended strumming pattern?

  15. mark strachan March 13th, 2010 2:53 am

    I would also like you to post the chords Nellie plays for “If I Had You”. Thank You

  16. Jacob Morrison January 16th, 2011 6:02 pm

    For anyone interested I posted the chords to If I Have You here:

  17. Valerie Card December 3rd, 2011 7:33 pm

    Thank you Plink Freud, for the Benjamin Zander TED post. It was wonderful. I learned something today.

  18. Emily May 16th, 2014 5:38 am

    Hi! Is there anyway you could post the chords for her song P.S. I love you? Thanks! I’m a huge fan of the site!

  19. Emily May 16th, 2014 5:41 am

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