“I signed up for your class before I left California to come to Maui,” commented a new program participant.
Twenty people signed up for my new monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Flower and Lei Songs on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We sang Hawaiian and hapa haole songs to honor the tradition of May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i.
During the “Hawaiian history moment of the month,” I talked about the origins of May Day in Hawaii that was invented in 1927 to celebrate the Hawaiian custom of making and wearing lei. The first lei day was held on May 1, 1928 in Honolulu and everyone was encouraged to wear lei. Learn more about the origins of May Day in Hawaii here.
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 11 songs during the 70-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:
- May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Sweet Leilani – I Wanna Rest Strum..
- For You a Lei – Bossa Nova/Latin Strums.
- Ka Pua E – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
- Pua Lilia – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Pretty Red Hibiscus – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
- Maile Lei For Your Hair – Bossa Nova Strum
- My Yellow Ginger Lei – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Song of Old Hawaii – Swing Strum.
- Pua Ahihi – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Small Kid Time Songs is Thursday, June 6.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele