Well there’s no hiding from the fact… IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!!!
Well nearly anyway, and “nearly” is the time for new Christmas releases to appear and we’ve got two candy caned corkers for you from the extreme ends of the ukulele musical spectrum!
The Ukelites – Mele Kalikimaka
Written way back in 1949 by Hawaiian songwriter Robert Alexander Anderson, Mele Kalikimaka (“Merry Christmas”) is just the kind of traditional song I love to see performed by The Ukelites. This is a song that has been recorded many many times most notably by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters and even by Seth MacFarlane. It also turns up in the movie of the Griswold’s Christmas mishaps, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. Any song that’s recorded so often, is usually a good one!
I’m happy to report The Ukelites version is, as totally expected, completely up there with the best of them. A perfect toe tapping tempo, utterly sensational slide guitar (is there anything Steffan cannot play?) and a delightful lead vocal. Miriam’s highly authentic ukulele strumming is also simply perfect and the key change cannot help but lift your Christmas spirits. The most treasured part of this wonderful video is the ukulele solo… it’s just delicious!
I’m going to keep playing this again and again over the Christmas period and here’s hoping we all get to unwrap a ukulele on Christmas Day! Mele Kalikimaka everyone!
The Pukes – Exmas
London based punk-uke band The Pukes have released “Exmas” as a charity Christmas single with all proceeds going to Rock ‘n’ Roll Rescue in Camden, a charity shop set up to help those “at the bottom of the welfare system”. That alone surely makes the wee pound it will cost you to buy the single more than worth it!
First and foremost what I love about this single is the title and theme of the lyrics. Just when I thought every Christmas computation had been done, song writer Clara Wiseman has come up with an original twist contemplating the idea of hosting your “ex” at Christmas time allowing for the pun-tastic title, “Exmas”.
The song itself has everything you need from a Christmas tune… sleigh bells, a happy hand clapping tempo, a sing-a-long chorus and a silly video. As with their debut album, The Pukes prove again they’ve got some great originality and their talents have effortlessly graduated into a highly skilled party of a band.