“Seek Ye First” on the Ukulele

“Seek Ye First” sounds wonderful on the Ukulele and Native American Flute

You can use three chords C, F, G7  to strum  this hymn.

C                         F                     C      F           C            G7
Seek ye first the kingdom of  God,  And His righteousness

C                                             F                   C      F   C  G7     C
And all these things shall be added unto  you,   A-le-lu-oo-jah


C   G7  F  C
Al  le  lu  jah

F  C  G7
Al  le lu u jah

C  G7  F   C
Al  le  lu  jah

F   C    C     G7  C
Al  le   Ale lu  jah

Powerful Simplicity: The History of “Seek Ye First”

How God leads people to write hymns can be a dose of encouragement and inspiration.

“Seek Ye First” was written by Karen Lafferty  in 1972 when she was 24 years of age.  According to the Psalter Hymnal, Lafferty wrote the hymns after she had attended a Bible study one night.

Karen Lafferty composer of
Karen Lafferty

Struggling with financial difficulties after recently starting a full-time music ministry, she returned home that night with new encouragement. Others appreciated its beauty and simplicity, and the song soon gained popularity, eventually providing the support that permitted her to continue and develop her ministry.

According to the “musiciansformissions” website, Lafferty is now working on writing a book about the whole experience.  I look forward to reading it — she shares on the site how people have written to tell her how the song has impacted them.

Scriptural basis for the hymn “Seek Ye First” : Mathew 6:33  

 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)

As a teen, I’d thought that “Seek Ye First” was my youth group just singing the verse.   I knew that one of the guitarists, who strummed while we sang songs in our group on Sunday nights, was just learning the guitar.  She told me she spent hours practicing the chords for the song.

Not until I heard a recording of the Maranatha singers performing “Seek Ye First” did I realize our group was singing a hymn that was fast becoming a very popular song.

I have enjoyed singing and playing “Seek Ye First” — guitar, ukulele, recorder, clarinet, Appalachian dulcimer, Native American flute.  And I decided the ukulele gospel song this week would be “Seek Ye First.”  As I looked for the copyright on the song, it was then I discovered Karen Lafferty and her interesting story.

You can read an interview with Karen on “Seek Ye First” at the ezine ‘Reformed Worship.’

Karen Lafferty’s New Music

Karen has a new album and you can listen to her songs on MySpace.

Karen Lafferty on YouTube about “Seek Ye First”


4 thoughts on ““Seek Ye First” on the Ukulele

  1. Wayne September 9, 2011 / 5:16 PM

    The second verse is: “Ask and it shall be given unto you,
    seek, and ye shall find,
    knock and the door shall be opened unto you”

    Then the refrain again. This is in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982, page 711.

    I guess you had to leave out the second verse due to space. Thanks for sending this. It’s a beautiful piece.

    • JlR September 9, 2011 / 5:24 PM

      Thanks, Wayne. That second verse is a verse from the Bible too, isn’t it? Hope you enjoy playing. You’re right, it is a beautiful piece. Interesting that 10 years after it was written it was put into the Episcopal Hymnal. I wonder if it is in any Baptist Hymnals — I think I read that Karen Lafferty was a youth in a Baptist church.

  2. Eduardo @ EasyUkuleleSongs August 28, 2015 / 6:40 PM

    Brother, thanks for sharing this post. This is very uplifting. A great and soothing reminder to seek first the kingdom of God. Praise the Lord for His Word. His faithful love endures forever.

    • J R August 30, 2015 / 4:17 PM

      Glad you enjoyed it. It’s Sister.

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