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Hawaiian Christmas Songs

Posted on December 05, 2016 by Scott Nagata

Christmas in Hawaii isn't complete without the fun and festive holiday Hawaiian music. It's the traditional with a definite island twist. Filled with lyrics in both Hawaiian and English, these songs are a joy for anyone wishing to remember and reminisce about the holidays in Hawai'i Nei. Mele Kalikimaka!

Here's a couple of our favorite modern Hawaiian Christmas songs and fun videos.

 

Kacey Musgraves - Mele Kalikimaka (Live from CMA Country Christmas)

Mele Kalikimaka (1949)
R. Alex Anderson

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."

(Repeat)

The words "Mele Kalikimaka" are a phonetic translation. When the missionaries and other Westerners first brought the custom of Christmas to the islands the Hawaiians had difficulty pronouncing Merry Christmas and turned it into words that rolled more easily off their tongues.

 

 

(The above video version of Numbah One Day of Christmas is a family friendly version of the original performed by Na Leo Pilimehana, Video by Corinna Gandara)

Numbah One Day of Christmas
(The 12 Days of Christmas local style)
Eaton B. Magoon Jr., Edward Kenny, Gordon N. Phelps

Numbah One day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
One mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Two day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Two coconut, an' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Tree day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Foah day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Five day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Seex day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg (that make TEN!),
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Seven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson,
Five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Eight day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson,
Five beeg fat peeg (that make TWENNY!), foah flowah lei, tree dry squid,
two coconut, An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Nine day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin',
Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah let, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Ten day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Ten can of beer, nine pound of poi, eight ukuklele, seven shrimp a-swimmin'
Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg,
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Eleven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Eleven missionary, ten can of beer, nine pound of poi,
Eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson,
Five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

(Numbah Twelve day of Christmas the bes', and the bes' stuff always come las'...)

Numbah Twelve day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Twelve TELEVISION, eleven missionary, ten can of beer,
Nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin',
Seex hula lesson, FORTY steenkin' peeg,
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree!

© 1959 Hawaiian Recording and Publishing Company, Inc.

 

 

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