Obladi Oblada chords

At well past our 9:30 pm ending time, we wanted to end our Beatles Carpool Karaoke on a high note rather than a depressing “Hey Jude.”

How about “Obladi Oblada” ? The song in C major is a tad too high for my voice. The original is in Bb major. No wonder.

Our coach showed us how to do the strong constant and steady four beats per measure.  It’s similar to a reggae strum, with accents on the 2nd and 4th beats.

“This chord is wrong,” he said, pointing to the [G] before the [Am] on the first line of the chorus “on bra. La la how the life“. “It should be an E minor.” He spotted something else amiss in the second line. The [F] should be a [C] before the [G7]. Thus in any key, it’s iii-vi-I  and not V-vi-IV. How could he be so sure?

Jim, the bass player, agreed with him.

After our jam session, I checked the version in the Hanwell Ukulele Group (HUG), the club I joined in London which had just celebrated its fifth anniversary. The chords were the same as the Bytown Ukulele Group’s version (BUG). As the BUG page provided a Word version, I decided to update the change and try it out.

Curious if it was a coincidence that both clubs had shown the same chord progression, I checked other versions for the ukulele and guitar. Both AZChord and Richard G’s Ukulele Songbook assigned a [Bm] before the [Em] in the key of G, followed by a [G] before the [D7], corresponding to iii-vi-I.

The 277-page Ukulele Wednesdays Songbook skipped the [Bm] altogether , just as Jenfo‘s went straight from [G] to [Em7] instead of [Em].

Ob-la-(G)-di, ob-la-da,

life goes on, (Em) bra

(G)La la how that (D7) life goes (G)on


The version in Jim’s Ukulele Songbook had a [D] instead of a [Bm], in other words, V-vi-I similar to E-chords, but Ukulele Cheats, puts a IV instead of I, shown below.

Ob-la-[G] di ob-la-da life goes [D] on [Em] bra
[C] La-la how the [D7] life goes [G] on

Who is correct?  iii-vi-I or V-vi-I or V-vi-IV ?

To find out, I checked the original piano scores with Beatles copyright. Both had iii-vi-I. The first arrangement for organ is in the key of F major: [Am] [Dm] [F]  corresponds to iii-vi-I.


The second version in Bb major also has iii-vi-I.


So far I found three different chord progressions for the chorus. I suspect if I were to delve into guitar tablature websites, I may find other versions. Is there a correct progression or are these versions simply different preferences?

New version in C major with iii-vi-I.


Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

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