Ukulele Songs of the Hawaiian Islands Review

22 Signed Up for Island Songs

“I changed my doctor’s appointment so I could come to class,” commented a participant after the program.

Twenty two people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Island Songs on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui.

During the new “Hawaiian history moment of the month” I talked about statehood. On August 21, 1959, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation welcoming Hawaii as the 50th state of the union and ordered a new American flag featuring 50 stars. The new flag became official on July 4, 1960. Since 1969, Hawaii has commemorated this anniversary with a state holiday on the third Friday in August which this year fell on August 17th. Read more 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! We continued the routine of learning how to pronounce any Hawaiian words in the songs, the story behind each song whether it was Hawaiian or not, and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.

We sang all ten planned Hawaiian and hapa haole songs during the 75-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums:

  1. State anthem: Hawaii Ponoi – Waltz Variation Strum.
  2. King Kamehameha – I Wanna Rest/4 And Strums.
  3. Island Medley – Hum Ding-Ah/I Wanna Rest Strums.
  4. Big Island: Beauty of Mauna Kea – Latin Strum.
  5. Oahu: Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  6. Oahu: Beyond the Rainbow (Waipio) – Pick in 4/Bossa Nova Strums.
  7. Kauai: Hele On To Kauai – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
  8. Kauai: Hanalei Moon – I Wanna Rest Strum.
  9. What Aloha Means – 2 Waltz Strums.
  10. Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.

Stay tuned for the next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Pop Hits of the 50s and 60s on Thursday, September 6.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele


Mele Fong is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple strumming styles for the 'ukulele. She is an experienced educator with over 50+ years experience playing the 'ukulele and entertaining worldwide. Mele performs with her husband in the duo "The Hawaiian Serenaders" and leads student groups. In 1996, the duo represented the State of Hawai'i in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mele and her husband Richard Tom were both born and raised on Oahu and now reside in Maui.