The song featured today for the 2023 Christmas Countdown was written in 1949, the year of my birth, by R. Alex Anderson, who lived most of his life in Hawaii. The song was first recorded by the great crooner Bing Crosby with the amazing Andrews Sisters in 1950.
Anderson recalled the inspiration for writing the song in 1949 while working at Vonn Hamm-Young:
"Well, I'll tell ya, a stenographer in our office, this was just before Christmas, and we are all leaving (5 o'clock), and she was next to me, and she said, "Mr. Anderson, how come there's no Hawaiian Christmas songs?" She said, "they take all the hymns and they put Hawaiian words to the hymns, but there's no original melody." Well, that spurred me right away – I thought, "what a good idea!" I thought this over, and over a period of a few days this came into my head, put it down on paper, and I've been singing it ever since."
This tune became a classic Christmas song recorded by many artists over the years. It is enjoyed every Christmas in millions of homes everywhere. Mele Kalikimaka is the Hawaiian word for Merry Christmas. Enjoy today's featured tune from a trio of amazing singers, The American Sirens, along with incredible bass singer Geoff Castellucci.
And, because it's Christmas, you must enjoy the one and only Bing Crosby and the great Andrews Sisters performing the original Mele Kalikimaka. The video is, obviously, not the original. But it's a cool video none the less.
So, if you are in Hawaii for Christmas, enjoy the ocean, the sun, and the breeze. And no matter where you are - Mele Kalikimaka!