“During this time of not feeling good about the direction our country is going, it felt so good to sing uplifting songs – to be proud tos be an American,” commented a participant after the program. “I haven’t sung these songs since elementary school,” commented another.
Seventeen people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Patriotic Songs on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.
One of the new participants was my husband’s high school homeroom teacher from Oahu who recently moved to Maui. I was also surprised to see one person arrive on crutches, and praised her after the program for not allowing the use of crutches to prevent her from returning to class. We took a fun photo after class with everyone waving their patriotic pens that I gave away (gifts made by Lynn L. that were leftover from our 4th of July party).
During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about the Bayonet Constitution of 1887 signed by King David Kalākaua by gunpoint on July 6, 1887 that assigned most of the king’s decision-making power to the cabinet. Read more by clicking here.
The “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room, and having my husband provide the u-bass line to fill in the lower tones to the higher pitched ‘ukulele worked great! We continued the routine of learning how to pronounce any Hawaiian words in the songs, the story behind each song whether it was Hawaiian or not, and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.
We sang all ten planned songs including one traditional Hawaiian song. Here is the song list with my unique ‘ukulele strums:
- Yankee Doodle – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- America the Beautiful – Pick in 4 Strum.
- Medley: Yankee Doodle Boy/You’re A Grand Old Flag – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- My Country ‘Tis of Thee – Waltz Variation Strum.
- Camptown Races – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- God Bless America – Swing / Pick in 4 Strums.
- Home on the Range – 2 Waltz Strums.
- When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- This Land is Your Land – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hawaiian Island Songs on Thursday, August 16.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele