WIUO/Randy Newman – Short People (Chords)

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra – Short People (Chords)

Randy Newman seems to be popular with a lot of Uke Hunt readers. He topped the what should Molly play? poll and came third in the Video of the Year vote with this one. He is a completely individual and unmistakeable songwriter. Which makes him very
easy to parody.

He also uses plenty of jazzy chords. Which sound nice but can be tricky to figure out. Andy did a version of this which differs a little from mine. So compare, contrast and decide which chords you want to use.

Baritone Version

I included the standard tuning chord shapes in the chart. But if you want to make like Bret and do a baritone version use these shapes:

Suggested Strumming

In the intro and chorus, this for each chord:

d – d u

In the first half of the verses verses you can do this once for every chord:

d – d – d u d u

In the second half you can continue with that or do what the WIUO do and strum once for each chord.

You could also use that pattern in the bridge section. Or just strum once for each chord.

View Comments


  1. Olaf February 22nd, 2011 6:31 pm

    I love it.

  2. zymeck February 22nd, 2011 10:50 pm

    thanks for the mention Al :)

    i think your version is a bit more subtle than mine ;)

  3. Howlin' Hobbit February 23rd, 2011 12:08 am

    this tune came out when I was in high school. I had tons of people, all male, all thinking they were brilliant–and original!–comedic wits, come up and start singing this at me. (oddly enough, I wasn’t any taller in high school than I am now.)

    I didn’t so much mind the fact that they were assholes, being used to that sort of thing after that many years in school. it was the fact that they were stupid assholes that tended to get on my last good nerve.

    I mean, the song is, to the best my feeble brain can discern, a lovely little slap at bigotry, and all they could get out of it were the short jokes.

    talk about “tiny little minds.”

  4. pepamahina February 23rd, 2011 2:17 am

    I was a little younger than Hobbit, but I have pretty vivid memories of kids in my elementary school using this song to endlessly torment a friend of mine that was a little bit younger than the rest of us and make her cry. Now my kids are that age and I still hate the song.

  5. foinnse February 23rd, 2011 11:24 am

    Hmmmmm…. I can see how kids could use this to bully others, I mean pretty obvious really! Malicious little toads.
    BUT, I can’t help but enjoy the WIUO version, and its obviously not meant by them in a derogatory way really. I also like all the jazzy chords….. I’m weak. I just won’t sing it in front of kids too much.

    Cheers, -F

  6. Ambient Doughnut February 23rd, 2011 3:15 pm

    GF loves this so I’ll have to learn it for her. Although I think she might prefer it if I could arrange for Brett to come over and perform it. Hmmm…

  7. Woodshed February 23rd, 2011 3:53 pm

    Olaf: Glad to hear it.

    Zym: First time I’ve been accused of subtlety.

    Hobbit and pepamahina: Sorry to hear about that. You’d have to be pretty stupid to miss the irony in the song.

    foinnse: It doesn’t spoil it for me, but that’s because I was never taunted with it. Maybe if it’d been called ‘Fat People’ and Randy Newman was more popular here.

  8. Stuie February 24th, 2011 10:14 am

    I love it when you post stuff like this, I was totally unaware of this song, now I love it <3
    Also it's fairly easy to play ;D

  9. Ambient Doughnut February 24th, 2011 11:25 am

    ‘You’d have to be pretty stupid to miss the irony in the song’
    Indeed – see also the recent Canadian banning of ‘Money for Nothing’.


  10. Valk February 26th, 2011 6:42 am

    ‘mazing! great tune and vid! Thanks!
    By any chance~ anyone know the resonator uke being played at 1:26 by the lady in red with the lovely tattoo? :X

  11. Woodshed February 26th, 2011 5:30 pm

    Stuie: Glad you liked.

    Ambient: I didn’t know about that. Some people.

    Valk: Not sure about the uke but the lovely lady in question is @gemmagracewood so if you’re a tweep you can ask her.

  12. Beatle February 27th, 2011 10:37 pm

    Somehow, I’m (very) short but love this song.

    My neighbors will kill me but I MUST learn this before I sleep.

  13. Woodshed February 28th, 2011 5:41 pm

    Beatle: I hope you survived your neighbours’ wrath.

  14. Nad March 4th, 2011 1:55 pm

    I don’t find it funny; about an ich away from being disgusting.

  15. Woodshed March 6th, 2011 11:00 am

    Nad: I think you’ve misunderstood the song as badly as the bullies we were talking about.

  16. Connor May 30th, 2012 5:59 am

    What has Randt Newman Got agains Shortys??!!

  17. Natalie October 6th, 2012 2:02 am

    What a sad song, at least I’m 6 foot!!!!

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