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Sunday, May 2, 2004



[ HOW TO... ]


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Play ‘smelly cat’
like Phoebe


On Thursday we bid farewell to "Friends." A sad occasion, for certain, but we can ease the show's passing by joining in a joyful rendition of "Smelly Cat." The song, sung by Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, is legendary for its tunelessness and total fusion with the Phoebe personality.

'Friends' Finale

Say goodbye to Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Ross in a one-hour episode that airs at 8 p.m. Thursday on KHNL-NBC. A one-hour retrospective precedes the finale, at 7 p.m.

She even sang it with Chrissie Hynde in the episode called "The One with the Baby on the Bus" and recorded it on the CD soundtrack, "Friends Again." (The track is credited to Phoebe Buffay and the Hairballs, a group that includes Hynde.)

"Smelly Cat" has just three chords -- E, A and D -- although Phoebe never alphabetizes her chords, preferring to name them after the look of her hand as she strums ("bear claw," "old lady" and "turkey leg," for example). According to Phoebe, no one can touch a guitar until they know these chords.

For those who aspire to more traditional strumming, you'll find on this page a guide for absolute beginners for playing "Smelly Cat" on guitar or ukulele.

If you can't quite figure it out, well, wing it. Phoebe would.


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Do it yourself


The top row of charts is for guitar; the bottom for ukulele. They show the first five frets of each instrument. On the guitar, use the drawing of the hand to figure out which finger goes on which string. Do not strum the red strings when playing that chord.


Guitar chart:
Guitar chart

Ukulele chart:
Ukulele chart


Finger chart

'Smelly Cat'

E A
Smelly Cat, Smeeeelly Cat,

D A E
What are they feeding you?

E A
Smelly Cat, Smeeeelly Cat

D A E
It's not your fau-au-ault

E A
They won't take you to the vet

D A E
You're obviously not their favorite pet

E A
Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat,

D A E
It's not your fau-au-ault

E A
You may not be a bed of roses

D A E
You're no friend to those with noses

E A
I'll miss you before we're done

D A E
Or the world will smell as one


Now, for those who read music:
Music chart


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ABOUT TODAY'S PACKAGE


Magazine fronts are full of cover lines promising the same things every month. You'd think all we care about is how to be rich, thin, unstressed and beautiful.

This week, we attempt to answer life's most perplexing questions, which will free us to pursue more serious thoughts.

Here comes the disclaimer: We do not promise that any of the methods and practices contained within this issue will work universally. They are guidelines. As always, when seeking answers and advice, consult experts who can analyze your particular situation and come up with a custom solution.




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