Jonathan Coulton – First of May (Chords)

Jonathan Coulton – First of May (Chords)

Warning for those who don’t get the name of the blog and complain about the swearing: this song contains multiple uses of the fuck word.

Warning for everyone else: the album version of the song is tuned slightly flat. But you can play along with the live version in the video without retuning. I’ve simplified the chords a little to make them more ukeable so it should be easy to get them down by May 1st.

Suggested Strumming

This simple strum will fit most of the song.

d – d – d u d u

For the C chords in the intro and at the end of some of the lines in the verses I like to substitute this in:

d u d u – u d u

For short chords (such as the third line of the verses and the “Celebrate spring…” bit) just do one down-strum per chord. Then on the C9 on “Outside” just do a bunch of down-strums.

Here’s an example of the strumming for the first part of the verse:

Twiddly Bits


Here’s a uked version of the intro I like to use.


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View Comments


  1. Mark April 28th, 2015 7:22 pm

    Excellent. Let’s hope it warms up soon.

  2. Nicholas Abersold April 28th, 2015 11:08 pm

    Love this song, heard it for the first time today. So many great songs that I only know thanks to your blog, Al – thanks for that! I think this is even better than his ukulele stuff.

  3. Mark April 29th, 2015 8:09 am

    Ha ha, not heard that before Al, thank you, i shall serenade my old lady when i get home!

  4. Woodshed April 29th, 2015 8:19 am

    Mark: I prefer the cold myself. Even if that does mean fucking inside.

    Nicholas: Glad I could introduce you to it.

    Mark: I hope she appreciates it!

  5. Acilius April 29th, 2015 12:39 pm

    “Hooray, hooray, the first of May, outdoor humping begins today,” wrote Philip Larkin. A few years ago I quoted that to a friend of mine whose birthday was 1 May and congratulated her on sharing her birthday with something so agreeable. Now I’ll have to send her a link to this post!

  6. Woodshed April 29th, 2015 9:51 pm

    Acilius: I hope she appreciates it!

  7. Riley May 28th, 2015 6:27 pm

    I love this song so much! Thanks for making this

  8. Woodshed May 30th, 2015 3:50 pm

    Riley: You’re very welcome!

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