Songs of Christmas from Hawai`i

  • Halelu celebrates the season with the voices and music of the various Ululoa artists performing their favorite Christmas mele.  The first songs were recorded several years ago for a Christmas season tour in Japan.  Then Lei`ohu recorded Taro Patch Christmas, her song of childhood memories of family gatherings.  With such a fine start, it was just a matter of time before Ululoa decided to produce a Christmas CD and solicited the other artists for contributions.  The biggest surprise came when Liz and Joni of  Ahumanu were asked to do a Christmas song and Joni proceeded to compose her first mele, E Halelu!, which became the title track for the project.  Other magic happened, and the result is a distinctly Ululoa celebration of the season.

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Song Samples

Halelu: Songs of Christmas from Hawai`i – the songs:

  1. Po La`i E/Silent Night
    Performed by Pueo Pata and Leimana Abenes, their soaring falsetto voices captivate as   they sing this standard first in Hawaiian and then in English.

  2. Winter Wonderland
    Ata Damasco charms us with his distinctly Hawaiian voice singing about snow and sleigh rides!  Pueo and Kai back him on harmonies and instrumentation. 

  3. E Halelu!
    In her first ever song composition, Joni set to music a Bible passage rejoicing in the birth of Christ:  “E halelu aku ia Iehova, e na mea mai ka lani mai, e halelu aku ma na wahi ki`eki`e” – Praise the Lord, from the skies, praise him high above the earth.  Performed with her Ahumanu partner, Liz Morales.

  4. Mele Kalikimaka
    (Alex Anderson)
    “Mele Kalikimaka” is how we say “Merry Christmas” in Hawai`i!  Performed by Leimana Abenes.

  5. Song of Christmas
    (Kui Lee)
    Hawaii’s beloved singer/composer Kui Lee wrote this song while in New York.  Performed by the Hula Honeys with Bobby Ingano on steel guitar and Cliff Collins on upright bass.

  6. Hanau `Ia `O Iesu/Jesus Was Born
    Performed by Kaiolohia Funes Smith.  Kai learned this song for a Christmas program at Hana Elementary School, and it’s been a favorite of his ever since. 

  7. Poli`ahu
    (Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett)
    This mele honors the snow goddess of Mauna Kea on Hawai`i Island.  Although not composed as a Christmas song, its images of snow and Bulla’s moving vocal and guitar arrangements make it a fitting contribution to this project.

  8. Taro Patch Christmas    
    (Lei`ohu Ryder)
    Lei`ohu shares memories of her childhood Christmas celebrations on the family’s ancestral land on the windward side of O`ahu.  Music and local delicacies were a big part of the festivities.  She is joined by some of her 7th grade students at `Iao Intermediate School.
  9. Mele Kalikimaka Ia `Oe
    (Mary Kawena Pukui)
    A lively song of the season performed by Pueo.

  10. Sleigh Ride
    Performed by Gypsy Pacific (Tom Conway, Willy Wainwright, Phil Benoit & Marcus Johnson).  Fasten your seatbelt as Gypsy Pacific takes you on their version of a sleigh ride!