I just wanted to provide a little information regarding the music we are working on for our upcoming Cousin Camp. The hula lessons are going well. I can't say enough wonderful things about Ann Tom, our very gracious and patient hula instructor. She has the hula girls working on several different numbers. I thought it might be nice to make sure everyone has the music available to them. So far I think I have been able to download all of the songs Ann has suggested. I would like to provide them to everybody else, but I'm not sure how to buy a song on iTunes for someone else. I've decided instead to simply make sure everybody knows what the songs are so they can download them for themselves. In some cases you may want to download the entire album as some of them are quite wonderful. However, it only costs 99 cents to download one song so the entire repertoire of seven songs shouldn't break the bank for anyone.
Kanaka - This is a song about gathering seaweed in the surf. The particular version Ann is using is sung by Amy Gilliom on an album entitled "Pu'uhonua". I found some lyrics on the internet for any hardy souls who are up for learning the words. I found it relatively easy to sing the words when I could follow along and read the lyrics. Hopefully I will outgrow that crutch soon.
Pupu Hinuhinu - Ann is using this song for a simple sitting dance for the younger girls. ("sitting dance" sounds like a serious oxymoron). This song would be very easy for the kids to learn to sing. The version we are using is sung by Tia Carrere on an album entitled "Hawaiiana". That album also includes a beautiful Hawaiian version of Silent Night.
Lovely Hula Hands - This song is in my ukulele book, "Jumping Jim Goes Hawaiian". I downloaded a version from an album entitled "Blue Hawaiian" by the Polynesians.
My Little Grass Shack - also in my ukulele book and also on the "Blue Hawaiian" album.
Mele Kalikimaka - Chloe is learning to play this on the ukulele. I think I should let her pick which version she likes. iTunes has numerous versions from which to choose. This song is also in my ukulele book
Pearly Shells - I downloaded a version of pearly shells sung by Randy Lorenzo on an album entitled "Na Mele Hula". One reason I like this version is that he also sings it in Hawaiian. I can play this song on the ukulele if I cheat on a few of the harder chords.
Hawaiian War Chant - The version of Hawaiian War Chant that I like best so far is by the Don Ralke Chorus. although I really like the muppets version on YouTube. I can play this song on the ukulele and sing the Hawaiian lyrics although I doubt I am pronouncing all of the words correctly. Those are all of the songs we have selected so far. I hope the kids will learn to sing at least some of the songs in Hawaiian. Pearly Shells, My Little Grass Shack, and Lovely Hula Hands are all in English.
We're still planning to use the Hawaiian War chant as the basis for our cousin camp theme song. Everyone is welcome to submit verses. If you don't make up a verse for your family prior to cousin camp you may get stuck with the verses I make up at camp. A grandpa with idle time on his hands can be pretty dangerous. Annika provided some very helpful assistance with the lyrics while we visited the Romeros over Christmas. We came up with the second and third verses (of course subject to ongoing revision). The first verse will be the actual song in Hawaiian and we will use the real song's chorus. Lilly and Elise both have the chorus down. The finished verses thus far go as follows:
Here we are once again at Cousin Camp
On the beach, though the weather's kind of damp.
We don't care what the weather's gonna be
We're gonna go Hawaiian all the same.
Romeros came all the way from Maryland
Kangs and Wessels driving up from Oregon
Tunnells and Veatches practicing their hula dance
We're gonna go Hawaiian all the way
We're also counting on a very active percussion section to liven up our music. In the mean time keep checking the thrift stores for any suitable Hawaiian clothing.