When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see

No I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

Ben E. King


It began with an unimaginable reunion in unprecedented times. A reunion between a bookish academic (in Vancouver) and a motley crew of ukulele enthusiasts (in Singapore) — separated by an ocean, yet unified in the quest to build a sense of global community amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. And, thus, a collaboration was born between The Urbanist Studio and The Ukulele Assemble!


The Play It Forward Movement is a people-powered initiative and gratitude-building drive. Individuals young and old, and organizations small and large, are invited to express their appreciation to any exceptional human in any industry or sector through a musical tribute.

The global collection of tributes will shine a bright light on exceptional humans among us. Exceptional humans from all walks of life — living, working, and volunteering in our neighbourhoods, towns, and cities (near and far) — who have made an unforgettable impact on our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between now and December 2020, the Play It Forward Movement will illuminate the connectivity of humanity through your participation.

So grab your ukulele (or any instrument of choice) — if you like, invite your family/friends/colleagues/pets in a video collaboration — and join this global endeavour to…

Play It Forward!


It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

  1. record your rendition* of ‘Stand By Me’ (check out the resource kit, below, for tools to kick-start your action)
  2. upload your recording on any web-based and/or social media platform(s)
  3. broadcast your recording and tell us who the tribute is for (#PlayItFwd + @TheUkuleleAssemble, so we can feature your contribution in the Play It Forward 2020 Movement!) 

* Your rendition can be as creative as you want it to be. The avenues for expression are limitless!


Check out these tools if you need a starting point!

‘Stand By Me’ chords and lyrics.

‘Stand By Me’ karaoke-style track.

Tips for audio-video recording.