Just asking…

Are there specific songs that you associate with the appropriate holiday or season in Hawaii?

Radio would be the prime source of listening to thematic music, unless you have a phonograph or CD player.

For the yuletide, KSSK has the lion’s roar, for its day-and-night programming of Christmas tunes all month beginning in November and concluding during Christmas weekend.

Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” 78 rpm disc.

That’s sweet.  And a lot of merry mele.

So I was wondering, what essential tune would you associate with Hawaii right now? I suppose “Mele Kalikimaka” is our logical anthem. Written by a local, Andy Anderson, but popularized initially by Bing Crosby (with assist from the Andrews Sisters) because it was the flipside of his megahit, “White Christmas.”

I yearn to hear Don Ho’s “Silent Night,” aka “Po La‘i E,” because he sang it in English and Hawaiian in his inimitable style; I no longer possess the LP on which he performed that tune.

What about other key holiday songs would you expect to hear throughout the year? My thoughts:

  • For New Year’s, “Auld Lang Syne.” Barbra Streisand and Mariah Carey have separate, powerful versions of this New Year’s Eve fave,  its turn-the-clock and calendar implications.
  • For Valentine’s, “At Last” by Etta James or “Close to You” by the Carpenters.Either exudes a strong aura of romance.
  • For Easter, “Easter Parade,” with Bing Crosby delivering the classic, timeless version.
  • For Fourth of July, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” by Lee Greenwood or “God Bless America” by Kate Smith. Patriotic to the max.
  • For Halloween, “Monster Mash,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s silly but a seductive novelty.
  • For Thanksgiving, “Autumn Leaves,” with Nat “King” Cole delivering the original vocal, and Roger Williams doing the precise instrumental version. Even if our trees don’t change hues.

Any thoughts to share?

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