Twenty-two people signed up for my new monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hula Songs on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We sang Hawaiian and hapa haole songs about or for hula dancing spanning the 1880s to 1990s.
During the “Hawaiian history moment of the month,” I talked about the 56th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long event held every April during the week after Easter in Hilo, HI. The festival honors King David Kalākaua who was called the Merrie Monarch for his support of the arts, especially music and dance. Many hula halau (schools) come from all over the world to participate in the exhibitions and competitions in solo, traditional (kahiko), and modern (auwana) hula. The festival is known as the world’s superbowl of hula.
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. Note Rich’s t-shirt showing an images of 13/8 and 6/4 time signatures with slogan “These are Difficult Times” – get it?
We sang 10 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:
- Keep Your Eyes on the Hands – I Wanna Rest Strum and 4And Strum.
- E Huli Makou – ‘Ōlapa Strum.
- Little Brown Gal – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Sophisticated Hula – Boom Shaka I Wanna Strum.
- Hapa Haole Hula Girl – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Ka Ulu Wehi O Ke Kai – Latin Strums.
- Haole Hula – I Wanna Rest Strum. (replaced Papalina Lahilahi)
- Hukilau Song – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Lovely Hula Hands – I Wanna Rest and 4And Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Flower and Lei Songs is Thursday, May 23.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele