“Singing is good for the soul,” I overheard one of my ‘ukulele students saying after my NEW Hapa Haole Songs Sing-Along program on Thursday, June 16 from 10:00 a.m. – noon at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults age 55 and better.
Twenty-six people signed up for the program, the fifth after the four major Hawaiian Islands Sing-Along Series. I planned to teach 11 songs, but time allowed only 9 songs (always better to have more songs ready to go than to be short). My original PowerPoint presentation was 73 slides and took 1 hour and 25 minutes. As I did before, I told the story behind each song in keeping with Hawaiian oral history traditions. Two of the songs had Hawaiian lyrics, and thus I taught how to pronounce the lyrics and the translation while using the red laser pointer feature on the remote control to advance the slides on the screen. The experience is getting to be more and more like the days of “sing along with Mitch Miller” minus the bouncing ball on the screen. We all had fun singing while I played my ‘ukulele and my husband Rich accompanied the group on his u-bass. There seemed to be more ‘ukulele players this time, and some new folks who might bring their instruments to the next program.
Here are the 9 Hawaiian and hapa haole songs we learned:
- Song of Old Hawaii – by Gordon Beecher and Johnny Noble, 1938.
- Lovely Hula Hands – by R. Alex Anderson, 1940.
- Manuela Boy – by Johnny Noble, 1938.
- Hukilau Song – by Jack Owens, 1948.
- Princess Pupule – by Jack Owens, 1948.
- Medley: Tiny Bubbles / Pearly Shells – Tiny by Leon Pober, 1966; Pearly by Webley Edwards and Leon Pober, 1962-1966.
- My Yellow Ginger Lei – by John Keawehawaii, 1940s.
- Blue Hawaii – by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger, 1937.
- Hawaii Aloha – by Rev. Lorenzo Lyons, 1800s.
My selection of songs included two naughty songs – Manuela Boy and Princess Pupule – that are often sung at parties. It was fun to sing some of the songs we grew up with in Hawaii, as hapa haole songs were popular. Please note that in Hawaii we always close public events by singing Hawaii Aloha in the Hawaiian language, and thus we did.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along program coming on July 18 for the NEW Summer Sing-Along Series about the golden age of American songs found in The Great American Songbook and the American Song Treasury.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele