We conclude the “Holly Jolly” part of our month-long celebration of holiday music with five more videos submitted by Ukulele mag readers. Three of them are fun originals, two are popular tunes most of you know. Thanks to everyone who participated! You definitely brightened our holidays!
‘The Christmas Eve Shoppers’ by Steven Hardy
This original song by the London, Ontario-based Mr. Hardy actually dates back more than a decade, and was even a Top 20 finalist in the Unisong International Songwriting Contest. (Steve is coordinator of the London Regional Writers Group of the Songwriter’s Association of Canada—in other words, a pro!) Anyway, of this clever tune he writes, “Christmas Eve Shoppers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from Christmas Eve Shopping.”
‘Sleigh Ride’ by Jiggy With Viggy
Middle Island, NY, resident Viggy (aka Jiggy With Viggy!), specializes in writing fingerstyle instrumental ukulele arrangements of a wide variety of tunes, which she posts on her YouTube channel (don’t miss her cool take on Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer“). Here, she tackles the oft-covered winter chestnut “Sleigh Ride,” penned in 1948 by Leroy Anderson, with lyrics (not sung here) by the great Mitchell Parish in 1950. That’s a Flight Mustang tenor uke Viggy plays in the video.
‘Les Issambres’ by Sebukulele
And now for something very different: Sebukulele (Sébastien Tailhandier) lives in Paris and this original tune (in French) is an ode to a beach town in the south of France near Saint-Tropez, called Les Issambres. “It’s about a man who remembers when he was on the beach of Les Issambres playing ukulele,” Sébastien tells us. “He stayed with a girl, playing Iz’s songs on the beach, dancing and singing all night long. The sun was shining, it was hot. But now it’s just a memory, so I was thinking it could work in winter like something in nostalgia.” Thus we have a song about the warmth of summer accompanied by the artful use of visuals from old cartoons depicting winter scenes! Sébastien plays his cherished Kamaka Blue Label pineapple uke on the song.
‘Mele Kalikimaka’ by Steven O. Sellers
Are you ready to hear the most famous Hawaiian Christmas song… performed with a puppet? Actually, the googly-eyed Muppetoid Redford (Randy Gentry) mostly joins San Antonio’s Steven Sellers for moral support and encouragement on this brief but spirited version of the tune. Fun fact: Steven was inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame back in 2016, the same year he put out his Dream Big children’s music album, containing such tunes as “I Love to Play Ukulele in My Jammies,” “Ukulele Hedgehog,” and the immortal “When You Eat Lasagna Don’t Get Any on Ya!”
‘I’m Gonna Fill Your Stocking’ by Scott Mead
We end with this catchy, shamelessly uplifting, self-consciously sappy original holiday song written by San Clemente, California’s Scott Mead and performed with his wife Teresa Young. It’s a feel-good, borderline tongue-in-cheek tune featuring tenor and bass ukulele only—”no guitars were hurt in this production,” Scott declares. By the way, there’s something a little twisted about Scott Mead: How else can you explain his Halloween and pumpkin spice obsessions, as shown in his plethora of parodies and originals such as “Spice, Spice Baby,” “2 Buckets of Pumpkin Spice,” “50 Ways to Carve a Pumpkin,” and “Pumpkin on the Brain”?