1. "Mele Kalikimaka" is the translation of "Merry Christmas" into the Hawaiian language.

 

2. It sounds so different than the English phrase because the Hawaiian language only has 8 constanants, and "r," "s," and "t" are not included.

3. The song belongs to the genre of Hawaiian music called " Hapa-Haole." Hapa means part or half, and Haole spefically means part caucasan/ white. 

4. Hapa-Haole music consists of Hawaiian themes and subject matters but uses primarily English lyrics.

5. The song was made famous by Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters in 1950, just one year after it was written. 

6. The composer, Robert Alex Anderson, who was from Honolulu, Hawaii, wrote over 125 songs in his lifetime.

7. Anderson and Obama went to same Hawaiian school. It was known as Oahu College in Anderson's time, but the school changed its name to Punahou School in 1934.

8. One of the first songs Anderson wrote was for the school's football team.

9. Although Anderson wrote many wellknown songs, he did not have formal training as a composer. He studied electrical and mechanical engineering at Cornell University, and workedworked in the refridgeration industry after graduation and World War I.

10. Anderson framed the letter that Bing Crosby wrote to say that he loved "Mele Kalikimaka" and was going to record it.

 

 


 

Sources:

https://www.apnews.com/d4fee337aa30f32f272a15ac0cb651e1

https://daily.jstor.org/mele-kalikimaka-say-merry-christmas-hawaiian/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haole

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punahou_School

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Alexander_Anderson_(composer)

http://www.honolulumagazine.com/core/pagetools.php?pageid=8151&url=/honolulu-magazine/november-2010/100-years-of-hawaiian-music/&mode=print

https://mauimagazine.net/hapa-haole-music/

http://www.outriggercanoeclubsports.com/occ-archives/oral-histories/robert-alexander-anderson-margaret-leith-center-anderson/

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/bing-crosby/mele-kalikimaka

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdAxlIJg9U8