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Posts Tagged ‘Mele Kalikimaka’


Tuesday, December 25, 2012


This year, we are spending Christmas with the family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  It’s always a treat to be back where I spent a good part of my “growing up” days.

And it’s always a blessing to be with family.

Over the years, “family” has come to mean so much more than just related-by-blood.  I am so thankful for the family that I was born into, as well as the family that we’ve adopted–or been adopted into!  Ha!

Wishing you all a day of peace.

And may we all pause to think of what we’re grateful for.  To count our blessings.

Right on.


When folks know you as “The Accidental Hawaiian Crooner(and you tell people that you carry your ʻukulele with you everywhere you go), it’s not uncommon to be asked to share a song or two.

I mean sharing a song between friends, kanikapila-style/jam session-style–not breaking any of the copyright laws!  (That would NOT be a good thing.)

And because I’m a believer of Showing Up and Saying “YES!”, I’m happy to honor a request.

When the holidays come around, I know to expect to be asked to share a song at the parties we attend.

Of course, there’s the hapa-haole classic, “Mele Kalikimaka.”  In fact, that’s what most people request.  And I’m happy to strum and sing it for my friends.  Written by Mr. R. Alex Anderson in the late 1940s, the song has become somewhat synonymous with Christmas and the ukulele.

However, I wanted to expand my repertoire a bit.

Jumpin’ Jim Beloff has compiled a great book of Christmas songs called Ukulele Christmas. (He doesn’t use an ʻokina in the spelling.)  It’s got 30 songs and they’ve all been arranged for the ʻukulele–complete with chord charts and everything you need to get you up and strumming quickly.

And to help me out with Hawaiian translations of some “traditional” Christmas carols, I looked to the book NĀ MELE O HAWAIʻI NEI (collected by Samuel H. Elbert and Noelani Mahoe.)  There’s a whole section devoted to Christmas songs at the end of the book.

And then I started combing through my CD collection to pull songs that I love.  Classics like “Christmas Lūʻau” and “Christmas Island” need to be added to my repertoire, don’t you think?

Now, I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas.  But I’m happy to have a few songs in my book, ready to strum at a friend’s holiday gathering.  Just in case…

What songs are YOU strumming and singing these days?