Song of the Day: Mele Kalikimaka by Robert Alex Anderson ( covered by Mina )

Christmas Pug by hellcorpceo

Mele Kalikimaka” is a Hawaiian-themed Christmas song written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson. The song takes its title from the Hawaiian phrase, “Mele Kalikimaka,” meaning “Merry Christmas”

Lyrics:

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas
A very Merry Christmas
A very, very, Merry,Merry Christmas to you

The phrase is borrowed directly from English but since Hawaiian has a different phonological system – Hawaiian does not have the /r/ or /s/ of English and its phonotactic constraints do not permit consonants at the end of syllables or consonant clusters – “Merry Christmas” becomes “Mele Kalikimaka”. One of the earliest recordings of this song was by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters in 1950 on Decca 27228 (78 rpm) / 9-27228 (45 rpm) and it has been covered by many artists. The song is notably featured in the films L.A. Confidential and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

The Beach Boys recorded a song of the same name for their album Ultimate Christmas, but it contains lyrics and music completely different from the song written by Robert Alex Anderson.

Notable versions

  • Bing Crosby and the The Andrews Sisters
  • Blue Hawaiians, from Christmas On Big Island
  • Jimmy Buffett, from Christmas Island
  • Teresa Carpio
  • The Good Lovelies
  • Hawaii Calls
  • Nick Hexum
  • Don Ho
  • Chris Isaak
  • Davy Jones
  • Genoa Keawe & her hula maids, on the compilation album Vintage Hawaiian Treasures, Vol. 8: Santa’s Gone Hawaiian!
  • Arthur Lyman
  • Bette Midler, from Cool Yule
  • Mina
  • Jake Owen
  • Poi Dog Pondering
  • The Puppini Sisters, from Christmas with The Puppini Sisters
  • Reel Big Fish
  • KT Tunstall
  • Walk off the Earth

Mina

Birth name Anna Maria Mazzini
Also known as Baby Gate
Born 25 March 1940 (age 73)
Busto Arsizio, Italy
Origin Cremona, Lombardy, Italy
Genres Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Euro-Pop, Rhythm and Blues, Canzone Napoletana, Bossa Nova, Dance
Occupations Singer
Years active 1958–present
Labels Italdisc, Ri-Fi, PDU, EMI
Associated acts Lucio Battisti, Bruno Canfora,Adriano Celentano, Gianni Ferrio,Giorgio Gaber, Augusto Martelli,Pino Presti
Website http://www.minamazzini.com

image by hellcorpceo

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