A Hawaiian Christmas

by Karl Hitzemann

We sure have been having a lot of fun with our Hawaiian music. Our latest Hawaiian song is called "A Hawaiian Christmas." We think you and your singers will enjoy the challenge of learning how to say "Mele Kalikimaka" and "Hau'oli Makahiki Hou." Don't worry, it's not as hard as it looks. And we've provided a handy pronunciation guide that is available to you on our web site. (See page 77.) The words are spelled out phonetically in the piano/vocal score as well. By the way, the exact translation for the lyrics – "Mele, mele Kalikimaka. Hau'oli Makahiki Hou" – is "Merry, merry Christmas. Happy New Year." Also, the second time at measure 20, be sure to pronounce "ukuleles" like this: "oo koo lay lays." (That's also noted in the piano/vocal score.)

Christmas in Hawaii is a big celebration. Hawaiians love to put up lights and decorations and have festive luaus. Even Santa Claus gets into the Hawaiian spirit – he arrives each year in a magic canoe, barefoot and wearing bright colored clothing. You could have a lot of fun talking about the music and culture of Hawaii with your classes. For a performance, it would be great to have some hula dancers with grass skirts, and other singers wearing Hawaiian shirts and green and red leis.

We made the accompaniment for this song sound very Hawaiian, of course, complete with slide and acoustic guitars, bass, and ukulele (that's oo koo lay lay!).

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.