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Placentero nos es trabajar

This song is in the public domain, but you won't find it in the English hymnal, only in the Spanish one. It is one of the best-loved hymns of the Latin-American saints.

For those who do not read Spanish, I have included a time count, and have changed the time signature from the original 4/4 to 8/8, to simplify the tab. It will still sound the same. Play it fast, "with enthusiasm" ("con entusiasmo") Here is my attempt to translate the Spanish words into English. For those who do speak Spanish, I apologize if my translation is lacking in any way. I'm not much of a poet.


It is pleasant for us to work
In the vinyard of the great God Jesus
And honorable for us to to preach
To His people, His law and His light.
By His light, by His light,
It is pleasant for us to work.
By His light, by His light,
We will die in Him without sadness.

Hear the Word of God
With eagerness, loyalty and fervor.
Forever and always remember
His purity, truth, and love.
With love, with love,
Hear the Word of God.
With love, with love,
Bear the flag of God.

Oh, brothers! Good-by, then Good-bye!
The moment to leave has come.
If we keep the faith in the great God,
We will yet see each other far Beyond.
Far Beyond, far Beyond,
O, brothers! Good-by, then Good-by!
Far Beyond, far Beyond,
We will live with God in love.


Clate W. Mask, Jr., of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, loves to tell how his grandfather, Andrés C. González, came to write this song. With apologies to Elder Mask, the story goes like this:

Andrés C. González was a schoolmaster’s son, and was one of the first called to serve a mission in Mexico City during the revolutionary era. Preaching on a street corner, he and his companion thought they could attract more attention by singing the popular Protestant hymn, “In the Sweet By and By.” Instead, they attracted the attention of the police, who jailed them for “stealing” the Protestants’ song.

Unable to sleep in the jail, Elder González wrote “Mormon” lyrics to the song. Back on the street corner after being released, the Elders sang “Placentero,” with the new words. The police were ready to haul them back to jail, but Elder Gonzalez exclaimed, "You can't take us to jail. It's not the same song."

Later, in another place, the same missionaries were arrested by the federales, and stood before a firing squad. Convinced they were about to die, Elder González took a lesson from the great Book of Mormon missionary, Abinadi. Remembering how Abinadi gained his reprieve so he could preach to the King, Elder González told the federales, “You can’t kill us yet, we have a message for your Presidente which we have not yet delivered.”

The soldiers were sceptical, but eventually took Elder González to see the President of Mexico. On learning Elder González’ identity, the Presidente told him, “Your father was my favorite teacher.” He pardoned the two missionaries, and at Elder González’ request, proclaimed that the Mormons could preach the Gospel freely throughout Mexico without harassment. This was the beginning of the hugely successful LDS missionary movement in Mexico.


It's a simple song, really. The difficulty is in trying to play it fast. The hammer-ons and pull-offs help, but there are still pleny of transitions that will need practice to get smooth and fast. Keep the beat regular; it's better to play slow than irregularly, especially on this piece. You don't need lots of expression, except for the many ligados (hammer-ons and pull-offs).

In general, most of the notes are easiest to get if you leave your left hand in the C chord position, using the little finger to do the ligados. It's not as hard as it sounds, really! If you do this, there will be a few pull-offs you will need to do with the middle finger, in the second space. Since your finger is already bent, it can be hard to accomplish. I do a "reverse pull-off" by flicking the middle finger off the string in a straightening motion. Again, not hard, just counter-intuitive.

If it's too hard for you to reach the C chord in the last measure of each verse, after performing the pull-off on the third string, you can reach the same notes on the second string, pulling off --1__0--. Musically, there's no difference, just do it whichever way is easiest for you.

After playing the three verses (if you wish to), add the finale as shown. I like to end with the high-sounding C VIII chord, but you can substitute a regular C, or even split the dirrerence with a C III (barred A at the third fret.)

Families Can Be Together Forever 2

I like this version better, but it is harder to play. Maybe not as hard as it looks, though. You already know how to play D, E, Em, A, and Am, and they, with barred versions and/or very slight variations, account for seventeen of the eighteen chords in this piece. B9 is the ONLY uncommon chord, and it's dead EASY to play. Just lay your index finger across the first four strings in the second space, and the ring finger across the first three strings in the third space, and squeeze. You can be real sloppy about it, and it'll still work just fine.

The many barre chords lend the song a rich, full sound that works well with a slower, more deliberate delivery than is usual when singing as a hymn or a Primary song. As a guitar solo, it doesn't matter if the tempo is too slow for singing, of course, and it sounds nice. The G9, B9 and Am0 chords add harmonies and chord progressions more suited to adult listeners. Classical music uses the degree sign 0 to indicate a diminished chord. The abbreviation "dim" has already been taken-- it means diminuendo {"getting softer"). Similarly, the minus sign means to play a note flat, so we just have to live with the 0. It's standard musical notation.

I did take some liberties with the original score, especially right at the end. I hope you like it.

Families Can Be Together Forever

Just for you, Sabina! I've tried to keep it as simple as possible, but that was not easy. The original song is written in F, which goes well with children's high-pitched voices, and is easy to play on the piano, but is horrible to play on the guitar. C would have been much easier, but was way too low. The best compromise I could come up with is the key of D. It's low enough that most of the chords do not require barring, and those that do, are not especially hard to play. Most of the song is melody notes, anyway, with few actual chords to strum. But you asked for the chords, Sabina. I'm not realy sure why you wanted them, as they are not terribly useful for guitarists, but I've attached them at the end of the tab anyway.

This song is not in the public domain, but the copyright is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which has given permission to copy it "for incidental, noncommercial, church or home use," as are all tabs published here. Please do not abuse the privilege.

The D chord called out in the 4th measure is to position your left hand for the proper notes of the measure. It is not to be strummed. In the second measure of the chorus, fret the notes on the second string with the little finger of the left hand, until you reach the barre at the 5th fret, then move the barring finger to the third fret, preparatory to playing the Em in the next measure. It makes the transition much easier.

In the second line of the chorus, the transition to the high E chord (EVII) must be quick. You might try replacing the hammer-on in the previous measure with a slide to get your hand moving in the right direction. Fortunately, although that E chord is not a commonly used barre chord, it's not hard to play, especially high on the neck, where the frets are closer together.

The downward run on the 2nd string is similar to the one on the first string in the second line, and sets up the transition to F#. The A7II chord in the next-to-last measure is also very easy to play, as you only have to barre four strings.

Before Thee Lord, I Bow My Head

One of the easiest tabs I've ever done. Everything's easy enough for beginners, except the time signature, but I've written out the count below the words. This is actually easier to play on the guitar than it is to sing! Nevertheless, it's fun to play.

The only slightly unusual chord is the D/A, (pronounced, "D, with an A bass"), which just means you strum five strings, instead of only four, allowing the open A string to sound. It's fretted exactly the same as a normal D chord.

If you find the hammer-ons and pull-offs too hard, you can just leave them out. But I strongly urge you to try them. They're not really hard, and they give the faster part of the song a different sound.

There are no "extra" notes. In fact, I've simplified it a bit, to make it easier to play on the guitar. This hymn is in the public domain, though the author and composer died in the year I was born.