I think this tune has to be the most overused piece of music on television: reality shows, sporting montages, documentaries. And now it’s been covered by the guy off of G4. That would usually be enough to kill off any song. But this song is so magnificent it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
For the uke arrangement I’ve moved everything up a fret from the original to the more uke-friendly key of C. The first half of tune is all played campanella style (i.e. one note per string letting them ring into each other). I know a lot of people don’t like this way of playing but, screw it, it’s easily the best way of arranging a tune like this.
The most important thing to get right is the dynamics (quiet and louds bits). The original gets this one spot on. Obviously you’re not going to have the same dynamic range as a full band and a string section. But try to let the music swell in the first half and blossom in the second half. The dynamics are what gives emotion to the tune.
Another important thing to get right – which I completely failed to do in the video – is to keep an even tempo. I speed up much too fast towards the end. So do as I say not as I do.