“I like the different rhythms,” commented Father Roland, a new participant after the program.
Thirty people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – International Songs on Friday, October 25, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center. I wore a traditional Chinese dress (bought while touring China in 2002) with Hawaiian bag (to hold the controls for my wireless headset) to reflect my Chinese-Hawaiian heritage for the event. We sang 11 songs from around the world (mostly in English) to celebrate World Singing Day and United Nations Day that occur in October.
World Singing Day is a global sing-along for everyone on the 3rd Saturday of October when people from all over the world gather in groups of all sizes to sing all kinds of songs plus one song that everyone sings. A non-profit began in 2012 with the slogan “sing together-unite the world.” Their website provides inspiration and resources on how to participate.
The 24th of October has been celebrated as United National Day since 1948. United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the UN Charter and the founding of the international organization in 1945 after World War II ended and nations were in ruins and the world wanted peace. There are currently 193 Member States.
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 1-hour and 20-minute program. Here is the song list by country, title, and names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:
- Japan. Beautiful Sunday – Tom Tom Strum.
- Austria. Edelweiss – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Australia. Waltzing Matilda – Swing Strum.
- Italy. Arrivederci Roma – Bossa Nova Strum.
- Israel. Hava Nagila – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Ireland. Medley: My Wild Irish Rose/When Irish Eyes Are Smiling – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Germany. The Happy Wanderer – Tom Tom Strum.
- Greece. Never On A Sunday – Latin Strum.
- Sing – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- It’s A Small World (After All) – Pick in 4/Tom Tom Strums.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – American Classic Songs is Thursday, November 21.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele