“Here is a puakenikeni flower lei I made for you,” greeted student Dolly Ching before the program. After we sang the song My Blue Heaven, a woman originally from Japan commented “we sing My Blue Heaven in Japanese.”
Thirty-three people signed up for my new monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Broadway Show Tunes on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We sang songs that were popular from vaudeville days to the 1960s.
During the “Hawaiian history moment of the month,” I talked about the birthdays of two Hawaiian alii (royalty) that are celebrated in March. Queen Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of King Kamehameha, was born on March 17, 1768, and celebrated with a public program by the Ahahui Ka’ahumanu at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center on March 15. Prince Jonah Kuhio, Hawaii’s longest serving territorial representative to congress, was born on March 26, 1871, and celebrated with a state holiday. Learn more about these two Hawaiian leaders.
We continued the “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room for singers and ‘ukulele players to see. We also continued the routine of telling the story behind each song and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.
We sang 12 happy songs during the 75-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:
- Give My Regards to Broadway – Bossa Nova Strum.
- DO-RE-MI – Latin Strum.
- Getting to Know You – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Oh What a Beautiful Morning – 2 Waltz Strums.
- I Whistle a Happy Tune – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Summertime – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- I Could Have Danced All Night – Latin Strum.
- Sound of Music – Pick in 4 Strum.
- Singing In The Rain – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- My Blue Heaven – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
- Moon River – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hula Songs is Thursday, April 18.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele