PEARLY SHELLS - chords and comments


Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (1909 – 1995) was not exactly a brilliant vocalist, but he had a remarkable tender, bright and warm voice that simply burned into your brain. He started as a folk singer and banjoist, slided more and more into country style and popular music, and ended up moving back to his roots. During the sixties he had several bestsellers; this one he recorded in 1964.

The song is credited Webley Edwards and Leon Pober, but it is an adaption of the hawaiian song "Pūpū A ‘O ‘Ewa", which dates back to the late 19th century for a fundraiser for Kahikuonalani Church in Pearl City, a part of ‘Ewa District on the island of O’ahu. The songwriter is unknown. Ives' hit has nothing to do with religion at all. Songwriter Pober took the refrain from the original and added an interlude of his own, if not ripped from somewhere else. Journalist Edwards wrote a few lines of nonsense ... still; the song is charming.
D
pearly shells from the ocean
  D7            G ...Em
shining in the sun
               A  ...A7
covering the shore
        D      D7         G                    Gm
when I see them my heart tells me that I love you
Em7       Bm       Em     A7      D
more than all the little pearly shells
            A             A7
for ev'ry grain of sand upon the beach
      D
I've got a kiss for you
              A
and I've got more left over
Adim7                E      E7      A7
for each star that twinkles in the blue
         D
pearly shells from the ocean
  D7            G ...Em
shining in the sun
               C  ...A...A7
covering the shore
        D      D7         G                    Gm
when I see them my heart tells me that I love you
Em7       Bm       Em     A7      D
more than all the little pearly shells
The song may be played roughly with only D, A, G and E7, but will lose most of it's charm.
D major
D
D seventh
D7
G major
G
G minor
Gm
A major
A
A seventh
A7
A sharp diminuished
A#dim
E major
E
E seventh
E7
E minor
Em
E minor seventh
Em7
B minor
Bm
C major
C