Friday, July 21, 2017

BECAUSE THE NIGHT by Patti Smith & Bruce Springsteen (Ukulele and Guitar Chords)

When I was a young teenager, I didn't sound like other girls when I sang. In fact, I couldn't sound like other girls. My voice was too low, a bit wonky, and a little impure.  As an already self conscious teen who loved singing and playing guitar, this was hard to accept. I really wanted to sound like those girls with clean, sweet high voices like Debbie Harry.

Luckily, Patti Smith intervened. The first time I heard  "Because The Night" from her album, Easter, it stopped me in my tracks. Here was another "girl" with a low, impure, wonky voice on the radio. Brilliant! The song was amazing. I couldn't stop singing the chorus, it was so catchy. Every time the song was played, I would wait for that chorus, my ear bolted to the radio. When it finally came, I would join Patti and we would sing at the top of our low, wonky voices.

In the last year I have revisited Patti Smith. I happened across her book, "Just Kids", a memoir of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, on a visit to local book shop, Readings. It was as engrossing as the song. I liked it so much I have passed it on as birthday gifts to friends who are also Patti Smith fans. I also borrowed her book, "M Train" from my mate, Allie. Another stunning offering. Reading them, I felt like I was sitting across from Ms Smith at her usual table at the New York cafe which she went for coffee each morning. Or, paying a visit to her studio in the 1970's to look at her new picture or poem while she shared anecdotes and gossip about the New York village scene. All the while, I marveled at her uncompromising commitment to follow her art.

Last Sunday, I revisited "Because the night". I rediscovered Smith's version and added some new favourites including a duet by Garbage and Screaming Females and a version by Choir Choir Choir:


The song is still so good. So, I decided to share it with my ukulele and guitar students. We had a great time learning it this week. Here is our version so that you can enjoy it too.  I have included a guitar and ukulele recording so you can play along. Maybe if you're passing through Melbourne sometime, you might like to come and play it with us. We can sing it together at the top of our low, wonky voices.



Patti Smith's version is in Bminor. If you wanna play along with her, place your capo on the 2nd Fret

             Π      Π                 Π        Π             Π      Π              Π         Π
             Am    F                G       Am          Am    F               G       Am
[Intro] A: 2 3 0 3 2 3 0 3 |  2 3 0 3 2 3 5 3 | 2 3 0 3 2 3 0 3 |  2 3 0 3 2 3 7 3 |  (Ukulele tab only)     
(Play intro over this verse)
(Am)Take me (F)now, baby, (G)here as I (Am)am,
(Am)Pull me (F)close, try and (G)under(Am)stand--------,
De -(Am) sire is (F)hunger, is the (G)fire I (Am)breathe,
(Am)Love is a (F)banquet on (G)which we (Am)feed-------!
(Strum 1)
(Fmaj7)Come on (G)now, try and (C)under - (G)stand,
The (Am)way I (Fmaj7)feel when I'm (F)in your (G)hands,
(C)Take my (Fmaj7)hand, (F)come under (G)- cover,
               Π             Π          Π         Π             Π         Π
They (Bb)can't hurt you now,  (Am)can't hurt you now,
         Π Π Π Π Π Π Π Π Π | Π Π Π Π Π Π Π Π Π
     (E)Can't hurt you now------!
CHORUS - Strum 2
Be(Am)cause the (F)night be(G)longs to lovers,
Be(Am)cause the (F)night be(F)longs (G)to (Am)lust,
Be(Am)cause the (F)night be(G)longs to lovers,
Be(Am)cause the (F)night be(F)longs(G)to (Am)us!
( Play intro over this verse)
(Am)Have I (F)doubt, when (G)I'm a -(Am)lone?
(Am)Love is a (F)ring, the (G)tele(Am)phone------,
(Am)Love is an (F)angel dis - (G)guised as (Am)lust,
(Am)Here in our (F)bed until the (G)morning (Am)comes-----!
(Strum 1)
(Fmaj7)Come on (G)now, try and (C)under - (G)stand,
The (Am)way I (Fmaj7)feel under (F)your com - (G)mand,
(C)Take my (Fmaj7)hand as the (F)sun des - (G)cends,
They (Bb)can't touch you now, (Am)can't touch you now,          
(E)Can't touch you now-------!

[Chorus - Strum 2]
[Break - Strum 1]
Fmaj7  G       C         G       
Am    Fmaj7   F         G        
C       Fmaj7   F         G    
F                     F

[Strum 3]And,(C)Love, we're (G)filled with (C)doubt,
The (G)vicious circle (Am)turns and (G)burns,
With - (C)out you,(G)oh, I cannot (Am)live,
For - (G)give the (C)yearning, (G)burning,
I be - (F)lieve it's (C)time, too (F)real to feel,
             Π            Π        Π            Π             Π       Π       
So (Am)touch me now---------, (F)touch me now-------,
    Π             Π        Π        ΠΠΠΠΠΠΠΠ
(F)Touch me now-------(E)--!

[Chorus 1]
[Chorus 2 - Strum 2]
Be(Am)cause to -(F) night there (G)are two lovers,
(Am)'Cause we be - (F)lieve in the night, (G)we (Am)trust,
Be(Am)cause the (F)night be(G)longs to lovers,
Be(Am)cause the (F) night be(G)longs to (Am)love!  
To Chorus 1 then repeat last 2 lines of Chorus.


STRUM 1: Break and Verse

1 & 2  & 3 & 4 & | 1    2    3   4
Π V Π V Π V Π V| Π   Π   Π   Π
Fmaj7 G             | C         G       
Am     Fmaj7      | F         G        
C       Fmaj7      | F         G     

1 &  2 & 3  & 4 &    1 &  2 & 3  & 4 &
Π Π Π Π Π Π Π Π  | Π Π Π Π Π Π Π Π
F                           | F

STRUM 2: Chorus
Am         F                 G
||:Π V  X V Π V X V | Π V  X V Π V X V |
||:1 &  2 & 3  & 4 & | 1  & 2  & 3 &  4 & |
 Am      F                 F     G     Am
|Π V  X V Π V X V | Π     Π     Π V  X V |
|1 &  2 & 3 & 4  & | 1      2      3 &  4 & :||

 STRUM 3: Verse and  Bridge

4  1 & 2  & 3 & 4 & | 1 & 2 & 3  & 4 & |
4  Π        V Π       V | Π       V Π V Π V
    C        G          C            G
   Am      G          C            G
   Am      G          C            G
    F         C          F            F

Π - Down Strum
V - Up Strum
X - Palm mute or Chuck 

I have placed links to Patti Smith's books and music in case you want to purchase your own copy. I belong to affiliate programs including Amazon and may, at times, receive a commission on sales.


  1. Love this song Helen and the versions you posted. Looking forward to learning it.

  2. Thanks Lee, it's going to sound awesome with all the Chicks playing ukes and guitars as we sing this at the top of our low, wonky voices!