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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features July 09, 2014


12/24/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaiian for hippopotamus?

Jerry Jackson
Courier columnist


Members of Prescott's H. Edward Reeves Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association and their spouses had their proclivity for festivity satisfied Thursday during a luncheon gathering of some 75 souls at the Plaza Bonita restaurant on East Gurley.

The Gurley Girls, fresh out of their annual Acker action, provided entertainment at the yuletide-themed event. The group included guitarist Jen Harvey, pianist Kerry Johnson, violinist Kay Pifer and vocalist Sheri Schmidt. Their stock-in-trade is summed up in a Facebook reference labeling them as being a "versatile fem-folk pop rock" group featuring "seasonably festive 'tunage' with a deep desire to contribute to our community."

Their first two numbers, which were low-keyed and smooth as silk, were "All Through the Night" and "Still, Still, Still", but then came a raucous selection lamenting that "we haven't got a chim-a-ney" that would allow Santa's entry. Big problem. Then, after catching their collective breaths, they morphed into "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" - which was colored nicely by a bluegrass tinge - and "Hail to the Newborn King".

Capping off their planned string of numbers (an encore of "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" ending in a "twist and shout" beat would follow at the crowd's urging) was that seven-syllable Hawaiian Christmas song - "Mele Kalikimaka." And for that one The Gurley Girls added a ukulele, kazoo and washboard to their instrumentality. Now, how to spell that jumble of seven vowels and a like number of consonants was among the more challenging of challenges, so I decided to consult Bing for help. (Not the late Bing Crosby, you sillies, although he had the most well-known recording of the song "back when." No, instead it was the Bing who's a first cousin of Google on the Internet).

Incidentally, while in the process of calling up the Hawaiian ditty for guidance and inspiration, I went You Tubular in my yuletidiness and happened onto a tune titled "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" that was performed by the incomparable (naw, make that just plain old "comparable" instead) Scooby-Doo Squad. A hip but hippy hippo was the lead singer, and the lyrics outline a real Christmastime dilemma. After all, Santa would have enough trouble sliding down the chimney without a hippopotamus compounding the poundage, although the requesting tyke noted that she has a two-car garage to keep him in and that she would be very good when it came to feeding, washing and massaging him. (Why couldn't she have asked for something more plausible, like her two front teeth? We'll never know). Anyway, here are the first and last verses of the song, which will never make the Hit Parade but has the inside track on the Hip Parade:



I want a hippopotamus for Christmas,

Only a hippopotamus will do;

Don't want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy...

I want a hippo to play with and enjoy.



I want a hippopotamus for Christmas,

Only a hippopotamus will do;

No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses...

I only like hippopotamuseses...

And hippopotamuseses like me too!



Merry Christmas, readers and have a hippy, happy New Year, hear?



Contact the columnist at editorial@

prescottaz.com.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Article comment by: steve chapman

Hippos kill more people annually than any other animal. Ha!



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