In this video, Jeff plays his arrangement of J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” for ukulele.
The Hunt Cantata
The piece is originally a soprano aria from the cantata Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd (BWV208), which was composed for the birthday celebration of the Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels. The Duke’s birthday was on February 23, 1713 and so we can date this as one of Bach’s earliest secular cantatas. Thus Bach composed this piece while he was still court organist at Weimar. It was written for soprano, two recorders, and continuo.
The title of the cantata means, “The Lively Hunt is All My Heart’s Desire.” The Duke was an avid hunter. However, the lyrics of this famous aria speak about the significance of leaders ruling with a shepherd’s guiding wisdom, leading the sheep to a pasture where they can safely graze.
Sheep May Safely Graze for Ukulele
Jeff’s arrangement of this famous piece is in the key of G and is arranged for low G ukulele. The piece makes use of moving double-stops, pairs of notes, and is light and graceful.
This is one of many arrangements available at Ukulele Corner Academy. We have libraries of classical music like this, but also Hawaiian songs, jazz standards, pop songs, and more! Join Ukulele Corner Academy today!