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Mele Kalikimaka

December 25, 2021

From the Images of Old Hawaii website

“In every note I’ll tell of the spell of my islands, for then I know that you’ll be in love with them too.” (Last two lines in Haole Hula by Robert Alexander (Alex or Andy) Anderson, Hnl Adv, June 5, 1984)

Anderson wrote around 200-songs, “He has a fond story for nearly every melody he’s composed.”

“Of ‘Lovely Hula Hands’: ‘It’s the result of a chap watching a hula dancer, and commenting, ‘Aren’t here hands lovely?’ That was the key line, and when I went yachting in New Zealand, I saw these gulls flying over the yacht – an observation that became part of the finished song.’”

Of ‘Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai’: ‘The song was written for a party honoring Warner Baxter (a film star of the 1930s) on Molokai: I thought ‘Kaunakakai’ and ‘cockeyed’ and created that one for a crazy occasion.’”

But this is about another of Anderson’s songs, ‘Mele Kalikimaka’. Of that he noted, “‘My stenographer at Vonn Hamm-Young told me that there was no Hawaiian Christmas song, and that was inspiration enough.’” (Anderson, Hnl Adv)

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Robert Alexander Anderson (the song writer) was a fighter pilot in World War II. His son, Robert Alexander Anderson Jr., flew with the 199th Fighter Squadron. He passed in 2021. Earlier Retiree News post

From → History

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