“You brought tears to my eyes – tears of joy – as I recalled songs I used to sing with my parents,” commented a new participant after the program. Three new people from Kaunoa’s Assisted Transportation program joined our monthly program. A returning participant gave us fragrant puakenikeni leis that she sewed.
Thirty people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hawaiian Party Songs on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. This was the largest turnout we had so far during the year.
During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about Princess Ka’iulani’s birthday on October 16, 1875. She was second in line to the throne of the Hawaiian kingdom, but never became queen. Ka’iulani broke the stereotype of Hawaiians being “savage” as she as a beautiful hapa-haole woman (part Scottish and part Hawaiian) who wore elegant Paris gowns and spoke English eloquently as she gave public speeches denouncing the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893 and pleaded to no avail with U.S. President Grove Cleveland to restore the monarchy.
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! Our wireless headsets and wireless instrument inputs made it possible to move around without being attached to cables to the amplifier. We continued the routine of telling the story behind each song and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.
We sang all ten planned songs during the 70-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums:
- Koni Au I Ka Wai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Manuela Boy – Latin Strum.
- The Pidgin English Hula – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
- Tiny Bubbles – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Princess Poopooly – I Wanna Rest/4And Strums.
- U.S.E.D. – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Red Sails in the Sunset – Latin Strum.
- Pearly Shells – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Ukulele Lady – Swing Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – (Early) American Classics on Thursday, November 8.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele