“Mele and Richard, Thank you for the joy you have given me,” wrote Gail Ainsworth in the autographed copy of her book Maui Remembers A Local History which she presented to me before the program. Gail is a retired librarian and her book is in its 10th printing. “You just extended my life by a year; singing is when words aren’t enough,” commented John Murphy after the program. John loves to sing.
Twenty-six people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Maui Nui Songs on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. Maui Nui refers to Maui County (Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe). We started the program by talking about the significance of wearing the color pink (Maui’s color) as every island has its own color and flower. During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about the royal birthdays of Queen Ka’ahumanu on March 17 and Prince Kuhio on March 26. Read more about their legacies by clicking here.
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! New this year I also added an additional slide showing the strum graphic and ukulele chord shape images for each song. We continued the routine of learning how to pronounce any Hawaiian words in the songs and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.
We sang eight of the ten songs that we had prepared for the 75-minute program including Hawai’i Aloha (in the Hawaiian language) that is traditionally sung to end a public event in Hawai’i. Here is the song list with my unique ‘ukulele strums:
- Medley: Maui Boy/Maui Girl – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Medley: Sea Breeze/Puamana – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Lahaina – Latin Strum.
- Maui Waltz – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Hasegawa General Store – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Maui – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Lahainaluna – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Hula Songs on Thursday, April 5.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele