Songs for Queen Lili’uokalani

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Queen Lili’uokalani was Hawaii’s last monarch. She composed Aloha ‘Oe and other songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way.

Queen Lili’uokalani (September 2, 1838 – November 11, 1917) was the last monarch of the kingdom of Hawai’i. She ascended to the throne on January 29, 1891 at age 52 after the death of her older brother King David Kalākaua on January 20. During her reign from 1891 – 1893, Lili’uokalani tried but failed to restore the powers of the monarchy and voting rights of the people that had been taken away by the earlier Bayonet Constitution in favor of an elite group of businessmen and wealthy landowners (many of whom were Americans). On January 17, 1893, a U.S. military-backed coup deposed the queen and formed a provisional government with Sanford Dole as president. Lili’uokalani appealed to U.S. President Grover Cleveland who (based on the Blount report) proposed to return the throne to her if she granted amnesty to everyone responsible. Lili’uokalani refused.

On January 16, 1895, Lili’uokalani was arrested when firearms were found at the bases of Diamond Head crater several days after the failed counter-revolution led by Robert William Wilcox. She was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment in an upstairs bedroom of Iolani Palace where she composed songs and worked on her memoirs. On September 6, 1895, Lili’uokalani was released and returned to Washington Place where she was placed under house arrest for a year. In 1896, the Republic of Hawaii gave Lili’uokalani a full pardon and restored her civil rights. She made several trips to the U.S. to protest against annexation and attended the inauguration of U.S. President McKinley. On August 12, 1898, troops from the U.S.S. Philadelphia came ashore and raised the U.S. flag at Iolani Palace to mark Hawaii’s annexation as a territory of the United States. Lili’uokalani and other Hawaiian nobles did not attend.

Lili’uokalani lived out her days at Washington Place until her death in 1917 at the age of 79. She had resided there since her marriage to John Owen Dominis on September 16, 1862. He died on August 27, 1891 just seven months after Lili’uokalani had become queen. They had no children, but she adopted his son, John Aimoku Dominis. Since 1918, Washington Place has been the Executive Mansion for twelve territorial and state governors of Hawaii.

Lili’uokalani left behind a Trust to provide resources to ensure the wellbeing of orphan and destitute Native Hawaiian children and their families, along with numerous musical compositions including “Aloha ‘Oe” and her book “Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen.”

Read more about Queen Lili’uokalani by the History channel.

Here are five songs composed by or about the Queen that you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with downloadable song sheet, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions – click on the song’s title to listen to an audio sample.

  1. Aloha ‘Oe with Morse Code Strum for ‘ukulele.
  2. Ku’u Pua I Paoakalani with Pick in 4 Strum for ‘ukulele.
  3. Makalapua with I Wanna Rest Strum for ‘ukulele.
  4. Queen’s Jublilee with Morse Code Strum for ‘ukulele.
  5. Sanoe with 2 Waltz Strums for ‘ukulele.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Song of the Month for August

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui

Hawaii was expected to be America’s 49th state but actually became the 50th state after Alaska.

Admissions Day or Statehood Day is a state holiday in Hawaii to commemorate the admission of Hawaii as the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959. Learn more.

In celebration, learn to play Song of Old Hawaii for August’s “Fan Club Featured Song of the Month.” Note: Hawaii Record Company had expected statehood to occur earlier than it did, but as it turns out Alaska became the 49th state and Hawaii became the 50th state.

This hapa haole song (Hawaiian style music with English words) recalls a simpler time. Can you imagine the hula dancers swaying to and fro as the trade winds sigh in the heavens?

  1. Listen to the audio recording in the free online Fan Club.
  2. Schedule private webcam lessons to learn to play it from wherever you live.

I will send you the PDF song sheet for my arrangement and teach you how to play it with my unique Swing Strum for ‘ukulele. The song is in the key of C and uses 5 chords – perfect for beginner to intermediate ‘ukulele players. Other benefits of learning the Ukulele Mele Way:

  • No need to read music.
  • Get feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience.
  • Learn my method of forming ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles taught by no one else.

Want a different song? Visit my online Fan Club and listen to over 100 audio recordings of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons via webcam or on Maui.

Have fun learning to Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Hawaii Admissions Day 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Hawaii became the 50th state of the union on August 21, 1959

On August 21, 1959, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation welcoming Hawaii as the 50th state of the union and ordered a new American flag featuring 50 stars. The new flag became official on July 4, 1960. Since 1969, Hawaii has commemorated this anniversary with a state holiday on the third Friday in August, which this year happens to fall on the 18th.

HISTORY

King Kamehameha the Great united the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom in 1810. In 1893, a group of American expatriates and sugar planters supported by a division of U.S. Marines deposed Queen Lili’uokalani, the last reigning monarch. The Republic of Hawaii was established a year later as a U.S. protectorate with Sanford B. Dole as president. In 1898, congress approved annexation after declaring Hawaii necessary for the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War. During World War II, Oahu served as command post for US operations in the Pacific following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 (the Day of Infamy).

Statehood bills for Hawaii were introduced into the U.S. Congress as early as 1919 by Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, the longest serving non-voting delegate elected by the people during Hawaii’s territorial days and the only person that was born a royal. It took forty years and five failed attempts (1919, 1931, 1935, 1947, and 1950) before the U.S. Congress approved the statehood bill, the Hawaii Admission Act. On June 27, 1959 Hawaii residents voted 94% in support of statehood (the ballot question was “Shall Hawaii immediately be admitted into the Union as a state?”[1]) and the rest is history.

KEEP HAWAIIAN MUSIC ALIVE!

Learn Hawaiian songs and stories from wherever you live today. Listen to audio samples and more.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statehood_Day_(Hawaii)

Kamehameha Day Parade on Maui

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Maryanne Gomes, Mele Fong, and Marilyn Kusunoki represented the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (along with 6 other members) in the Kamehameha Day parade on June 17 in Lahaina, Maui

Last Saturday, June 17, I participated in my first parade in Lahaina honoring King Kamehameha for his birthday. Nine of us represented the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu as we rode in cars in the Nā Kamehameha Commemorative Pāʻū Parade that went from Kenui Street down Front Street to Shaw Street. Along the way, we heard live announcers and Hawaiian music blasting from 5 stations throughout the parade route. We were towards of the front of the parade line up and noticed it took about 40-minutes for us from start to finish. It was a lot of fun to wave and smile at people along the parade route. At one point I heard my name called out, and noticed a husband of one of my ‘ukulele students in the crowd. It’s a small world!

Not to forget the reason for the parade – it was all about honoring King Kamehameha the Great. This was the second activity that I participated in this year along with my Ahahui Ka’ahumanu sisters to honor the king that unified the Hawaiian Islands into one Kingdom. Read about the commemorative march held on the King’s birthday on June 11th.

“King Kamehameha was prophesied to unite the Hawaiian Islands from the night of his birth. A comet streaked across the sky fulfilling an ancient prophesy that the child born under this phenomenon would one day rise up as ruler. King Kamehameha the Great demonstrated strength and intelligence as he created a unified island kingdom from what was once warring tribes. For this, we honor him.” – Read more about the 145th King Kamehameha Day holiday and activities held statewide.

WANT TO BE CONNECTED TO THE HAWAIIAN CULTURE by learning to play Hawaiian music from wherever you live? LEARN HOW.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Marching for King Kamehameha

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

The Royal Order of Kamehameha led the Kamehameha Day march. The Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (ladies in black) participated.

On Sunday, June 11, 2017, I marched as a member of the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu (ladies in black) along with members of the royal societies and community members to honor the birthday of Hawaii’s First King for his birthday. Kamehameha the Great unified the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 into one kingdom that lasted until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893 by primarily American businessmen. This commemorative march for King Kamehameha the Great is a solemn occasion devoid of floats and commercialism unlike the Nā Kamehameha Commemorative Pā’ū Parade and Ho’olaule’a in Lahaina to be held this year on Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18.  I was pleased to find out that my uncle, Clifford Hashimoto, in his capacity as statewide Ali’i Aimoku (head of all island chapters of the Royal Order of Kamehameha) had started this annual march in 2004 making this the 13th year of the event. About 60 people including children to adults in their 80’s marched down Ka’ahumanu Avenue in Kahului from the University of Hawaii Maui College to Hoaloha Park followed by a pa’ina hosted by the Royal Order of Kamehameha at their clubhouse Hale Nanea.

New this year, we did not stop for a short ceremony in front of Maui Beach Hotel plus we had community members from a Hawaiian language school and church group join us. Absent from previous years were representatives from Haleakala National Park and Kamehameha Schools Maui. I was one of two Ahahui Ka’ahumanu sisters who marched the entire route and later two more sisters joined in at the halfway mark. I was surprised at the low turnout especially after learning there are over 90 members in our Ahahui chapter.

Note: The Ahahui Ka’ahumanu is a royal society honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu and members must be Native Hawaiian and sponsored in by another member in good standing. I have been a proud member since September 2004 and participated in my first Kamehameha Day march in June 2005. I like the fact that the march is held on the King’s birthday of June 11 no matter what day of the week it falls. Participating in the annual march for Kamehameha is just one of the many Hawaiian cultural activities that we do in the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu.

I am proud of my Hawaiian heritage. I have served as past historian for the Ahahui, presented public oral history programs, and continue to teach Hawaiian songs and the stories behind them to keep our traditional music alive. All Hawaiians and Hawaiians-at-heart are invited to learn more from wherever you live.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

July 1st Lahaina Library Show

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert by The Hawaiian Serenaders on July 1 at noon at Lahaina Public Library on Maui

Back by popular demand, The Hawaiian Serenaders will be presenting a program History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert on Saturday, July 1st at 12 noon at Lahaina Public Library. Come and learn about the ‘ukulele, Hawaii’s official instrument, including the types, parts, tuning, and how playing the ‘ukulele has evolved. Discover the stories behind the songs and enjoy a musical mixed plate concert as we embark on a musical journey through time. The program is sponsored by UH Statewide Cultural Extension Program and thus free to the public. Join us!

History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert
by The Hawaiian Serenaders
Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 12 noon
Lahaina Public Library
680 Wharf Street

Read the review about the April 26 show at the library.

Visit our Hawaiian Serenaders webpage or photo galleries or visit our free online Fan Club to listen to over 100 songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Song of the Month for June

Kamehameha the Great

Honor Kamehameha the Great with song

In celebration of Kamehameha Day on June 11, learn to play King Kamehameha the Conqueror of the Islands for June’s “Song of the Month.” This hapa haole song (Hawaiian style music with English words) was written by Johnny Noble and Ted Fiorito in 1934 and tells part of the story of the king’s conquests in English.

  1. Listen to our audio recording
  2. Schedule private webcam lessons to learn to play it from wherever you live.

I will send you the PDF song sheet for King Kamehameha and teach you how to play my arrangement with I Wanna Rest Strum and 4 And Strum. The song is in the key of C and uses 12 chords – perfect for intermediate ‘ukulele players.

  • No need to read music.
  • Get feedback from a professional educator and entertainer with over 50 years of ‘ukulele playing and entertaining experience.
  • Learn my method of forming ukulele chord shapes with minimal muscle strain and unique strumming styles taught by no one else.

Want a different song? Visit my online Fan Club and listen to over 100 audio recordings of Hawaiian, hapa haole, pop, and Christmas songs you can learn to play the Ukulele Mele Way with private lessons via webcam or on Maui.

There is another song that ‘ukulele players can learn to play to honor King Kamehameha aka Kamehameha the Great. NA ALI’I is a traditional Hawaiian song that you can learn by downloading the song sheet, video lesson, audio recording and video story behind the story in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions.  BUY NOW.

Have fun learning to Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way today!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Honoring the King Who Unified the Hawaiian Islands

Kamehameha the Great

Kamehameha the Great unified the Hawaiian Islands

On Monday, June 12 the state of Hawai’i observes King Kamehameha Day, one of two holidays that recognize Hawaiian royalty (Prince Kuhio Day is the other). The holiday is usually celebrated on the king’s birthday of June 11 but this year the date falls on a Sunday (so the holiday is Monday).

King Kamehameha 1 aka Kamehameha the Great unified the Hawaiian Islands to form the Kingdom of Hawai’i in 1810. He ruled until his death in 1819 and the monarchy continued until the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893.

Kamehameha’s grandson, Lot Kapuaiwa aka Kamehameha V, established the first King Kamehameha Day on June 11, 1872. The commoners attended fairs, carnivals, horse races and more to honor their former king. When Hawai’i became a state in 1959, the state legislature continued the royal holiday.

Today on Maui, there is a parade in Lahaina and a commemorative march in Kahului. The parade includes marching bands, colorful floats, and pa’u riders on horseback culminating at the famous Banyan Tree Park for a Ho’olaule’a (public party featuring Hawaiian foods, entertainment, and crafts). The march is organized by the Royal Order of Kamehameha and includes members of the four royal societies marching solemnly down Ka’ahumanu Avenue to honor the king’s memory. I have participated in several marches as a member of Ahahui Ka’ahumanu, a royal society of Native Hawaiian women honoring Queen Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha.

On Oahu, there is a lei draping ceremony at King Kamehameha’s statue at Ali’iolani Hale, the annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition at Blaisdell Arena, and the floral parade in Waikiki. The King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade is the longest parade in the state.

On the Big Island of Hawai’i, there is a lei draping ceremony at the original statue of King Kamehameha at his birthplace in North Kohala followed by a Ho’olaule’a, and the Kamehameha Festival in Hilo.

Read more about Kamehameha Day festivities in 2017.

‘UKULELE PLAYERS can learn to play two songs honoring King Kamehameha:

  1. Na Ali’i, a traditional Hawaiian song written by Samuel Kuahiwi in 1928 in praise of the chiefs and includes two of their famous sayings. Purchase the single song and download the PDF song sheet with Hum Ding-Ah Strum, video lesson, audio recording, and video story behind the song in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions. Buy Now.
  2. King Kamehameha the Conqueror of the Islands, a hapa haole song written by Johnny Noble and Ted Fiorito in 1934, tells the story in English. Listen to the audio recording in the free online Fan Club and then schedule private lessons by webcam or on Maui to get the PDF song sheet with I Wanna Rest Strum and 4 And Strum and to learn how to play it.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

April 26 Lahaina Library Show

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Learn about the history of the ‘ukulele and enjoy a concert

The Hawaiian Serenaders will be presenting a program History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert on Wednesday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. at Lahaina Public Library. Come and learn about the ‘ukulele, Hawaii’s official instrument, including the types, parts, tuning, and how playing the ‘ukulele has evolved. Discover the stories behind the songs and enjoy a musical mixed plate concert as we embark on a musical journey through time. The program is sponsored by UH Statewide Cultural Extension Program and thus free to the public. Join us!

History of the ‘Ukulele and Concert
by The Hawaiian Serenaders
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
Lahaina Public Library
680 Wharf Street

Read more about The Hawaiian Serenaders

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

Prince Kuhio Day 2017

www.UkuleleMeleOnMaui.com

Sample of my 2016 program on Prince Kuhio

The State of Hawaii designates two state holidays for Hawaiian royalty, March 26 for Kuhio Day and June 11 for Kamehameha Day. Kuhio Day honors Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, one of Hawai’i’s best known leaders. Kamehameha Day honors King Kamehameha the Great (aka the 1st), who united the islands into one kingdom in 1810. Both holidays fall on the actual birthdays of the leaders although statewide celebrations may occur on other days.

This year Prince Kuhio Day falls on the last Sunday of the month and is observed on Monday, March 27 when state and county offices will be closed. Some people commemorate Prince Kuhio by attending special services at Oahu’s Royal Mausoleum where he is buried. Others may attend festivals including statewide canoe races, cultural demonstrations and luaus. In previous years I have given oral history talks and sing-alongs of songs popular during the Prince’s lifetime (1871-1922) at Hale Ho’ike’ike at the Bailey House and at Kaunoa Senior Center (see sample title slide from a presentation in 2016).

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, heir to the throne of the kingdom of Hawaii, prince of the house of Kalākaua, is best remembered for his efforts to improve the lives of the people of Hawai’i. In 1902, Kuhio was elected as Hawai’’s second territorial delegate to the U.S. congress where he served for 10 consecutive terms lasting nearly 20 years until his death. Kuhio was the first Native Hawaiian and the only person elected to the U.S. congress that was born a royal. As a delegate, Kuhio authored the first Hawai’i Statehood bill in 1919. He also won passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act in 1921 which created the Hawaiian Homes Commission and set aside 200,000 acres of land for Native Hawaiian homesteaders. Kuhio’s legacy lives on today in two Native Hawaiian organizations, the Royal Order of Kamehameha which he restored in 1903 and the Hawaiian Civic Clubs which he started in 1918.

Prince Kuhio was born March 26, 1871 on the island of Kauai. His mother was Queen Kapiolani’s sister and his father was the ruling chief and son of the last high chief of Kauai. When Kuhio’s mother died soon after his birth, his Aunt Queen Kapiolani and Uncle King David Kalakaua hanaied (adopted) Kuhio and his brother David Kawananakoa into their family. Kuhio’s cousin Queen Lili’uokalani named him heir to the throne, and thus he was given the title of “prince.” Kuhio married Elizabeth Kahanu and they lived in Waikiki near the present day Kuhio beach. They had no children. Prince Kuhio died on January 7, 1922 at the age of 51 on Oahu.

In 1949, the legislature of the Territory of Hawai’i established Prince Kuhio Day as an official holiday. Today, various landmarks, streets, beaches, and buildings in Hawai’i are named after Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. A statue of Prince Kuhio by sculptor Sean K.L. Browne was dedicated on January 12, 2002 in Waikiki on Oahu. As a teenager, I used to go paipo boarding (form of surfing) at nearby Kuhio Beach.

Now you know a little about the cultural significance of one of Hawai’i’s state holidays, Prince Kuhio Day that is celebrated on March 26.

Keep traditional Hawaiian music alive!

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele