5 Songs About Hawai’i’s Royalty

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Honor Hawaiian royalty with 5 songs on ‘ukulele

March is a culturally busy month in Hawai’i as we celebrate the birthdays of Queen Ka’ahumanu on the 17th and Prince Kuhio on the 26th.  Queen Elisabeth Ka’ahumanu (1768-1832) was the favorite wife of King Kamehameha the Great, accepted Christianity, and made books available to the commoners which resulted in a high literacy rate during the early days of the Hawaiian monarchy. Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole (1871-1922) served as Hawaii’s second congressional delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives and won passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act in 1921 which created the Hawaiian Homes Commission that set aside 200,000 acres of land for Hawaiian homesteaders. The legacies of both Queen Ka’ahumanu and Prince Kuhio live on today. Thus, the theme for March is five songs that were composed by or about Hawai’i’s royalty.

Intermediate and advanced ‘ukulele players will have an easier time playing the songs with 4-9 chords and some complex strums.

Here are songs to learn the Ukulele Mele Way:

  1. Na Ali’i by Samuel Kuahiwi (Key of C, 4 chords, Hum Ding-Ah Strum).
  2. Queen’s Jubilee by Lili’uokalani (Key of F, 5 chords, Morse Code Strum).
  3. Makalapua by David Nape, (Key of C, 9 chords, I Wanna Rest Strum).
  4. Sanoe by Lili’uokalani and Elizabeth Achuck (Key of F, 5 chords, Waltz Strum: Thumb Strum Up and Pick in 6 Strum).
  5. Koni Au I Ka Wai by King David Kalākaua (Keys of C and F, 6 chords, Hum Ding-Ah Strum).

Stay tuned for April’s theme of “Hawai’i’s beautiful places for Earth Day.”

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele

by

Mele Fong is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple strumming styles for the 'ukulele. She is an experienced educator with over 50+ years experience playing the 'ukulele and entertaining worldwide. Mele performs with her husband in the duo "The Hawaiian Serenaders" and leads student groups. In 1996, the duo represented the State of Hawai'i in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mele and her husband Richard Tom were both born and raised on Oahu and now reside in Maui.