Hippopotamus Song on Guitar
March 27, 2009 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Guitar chords for 'Hippopotamus Song' by Flanders and Swann?

Usually not bad at working out guitar chords, but this one has me flummoxed.

The classic 'Hippopotamus Song' (AKA 'Mud, Mud - Glorious Mud') was originally played on the piano, so that may explain why I can't find guitar chords anywhere on the net.

If anyone can supply a workable chord structure or guitar tab, I'd be most grateful.

I'm at a reasonable level on the guitar, so it doesn't need to be a simplified version.

Thanks a lot.
posted by Blackwatch to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
(I'm transcribing it now.)
posted by bradly at 12:38 PM on March 27, 2009

When you get it, do us F&S enthusiasts a favor and post a clip!
posted by tangerine at 12:49 PM on March 27, 2009

verse: g g c g g d d g (follow) am (down to) c (hollow)

(was no ignoramus part): c d c d g d

bridge (chord can be either d or em depending on how you want to sing): am d g d g d

chorus: g c g g g d d g g c am c g d g

dived all at once bridge: am em am em c d

those are the chords involved.

if something is missing, try playing c, g, d, or em and one will be right.

because it's played really quickly and makes random transitions with a lot of embellishment on piano, play as you look at the lyrics.

It will take forever to put it together while listening to the song.

Hopefully that helps you!
posted by bradly at 1:13 PM on March 27, 2009

Best answer: Respectfully, I'm hearing it quite a bit differently in this recording, as follows (with some liberal approximations):

G G Am D7 Em A7 D7
G G Am B7 Em A7 D7

Dm Em Dm Em Dm Em Am (D/F#)
Em D Em D Am7 A7 D7

G G Am D7 Em A7 D7
G G Am Am7 C G D7 D7
posted by Balonious Assault at 6:22 PM on March 27, 2009

Response by poster: Almost there. Think the first Em should be E in the bridge, but very grateful for the help.

Can anyone supply the final pieces of the jigsaw?

Thanks again.
posted by Blackwatch at 9:36 AM on March 28, 2009

You're right. They're all E majors in the first line of the bridge. My bad. I think it sounds good to mix some Dm7 in there too, in place of some of the D minors.

It sounds like in some versions there's a variation where the chorus resolves as C(there let us) G(wallow in) D(Glo-) D#dim7(-orious) G(mud), then Em Am D7 before moving on to the next verse.

Which other pieces are missing?
posted by Balonious Assault at 10:10 AM on March 28, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all your efforts Balonius. Think we're there now.

Bit tricky, though - eh?
posted by Blackwatch at 11:58 AM on March 28, 2009

Tricky indeed. I love that old style of music, full of 7th chords and clever wordplay, and I'd never heard of Flanders and Swann before so thank you for mentioning them. I'm enjoying the other songs of theirs I found on YouTube. Madeira M'Dear is brilliant, and The Gnu Song is hilarious too.
posted by Balonious Assault at 12:37 PM on March 28, 2009

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