Sufjan Stevens- Lakes of Canada

This is a cover of Lakes of Canada by The Innocence Mission. Video here:

I learned it a while ago on the banjo but ukulele being my true love, I thought I’d it figure out and share.

Go watch the video to see strumming pattern. It’s pretty easy once you get the rhythm down( pick 3, down, up, up, down, up, pick 3, down, pick 2, down is a simple way to tag along). You could just strum along, as well. Lots of hammer-on’s but just do them where you feel they need to be. It’s a fun song to play.

Scour the internetz for lyrics. I don’t want to post them here. Beautiful song by the way.

Capo second fret. Basic chords are (relative to capo) C (0003), G (0232), D (2225-bar index on 2, pinky on the 5), Am (5450).

Transition to the chorus is C, G, D…

Chorus goes C, G, Em (in the video he goes high on the neck so I like to do it at 9777 (capo relative) but a regular 0432 will suffice), Am (as shaped above).

Comments and constructed critizism is welcomed!

View Comments


  1. ryandaily May 2nd, 2009 2:36 am

    I’m starting to feel like that super-high Em is superfluous. A normally positioned Em sounds better, I think. Sorry, I wrote this up as I went. It is up to you.

  2. ryandaily May 2nd, 2009 2:39 am

    Hahaha okay one last self-comment. I think they super-high Em sounds more accurate to the song but not necessarily very pleasing on the uke. Use at you own risk.

  3. griemers May 25th, 2009 2:24 pm

    It’s good to see the Innocence Mission getting some well-deserved exposure, even if it is only second-hand.

  4. Owen August 23rd, 2010 5:42 pm

    Thanks Ryan! I’ve got it down on the uke. Since you played it on the banjo… mind sharing your chords for that too? I can’t seem to figure out what ‘D’ shape Sufjan is playing…

  5. ryan August 24th, 2010 2:14 am

    Oh, man; it’s been well over a year since I’ve played it now haha. I’d say just your regular Dmajor chord (0234).

    go with yr hrt

  6. Alex August 25th, 2010 12:07 am

    What do you mean by “pick 3”? Like pick the 3rd fret or pick the chord three times?

Got something to say?