My Hawaiian Hanukkah Song

Festival of Lights chart.jpg

Guitar chart handlettered by Alicia Bay Laurel in 2002. 

A couple of days ago I posted my Hawaiian Hanukkah song, Festival of Light, on Pod Safe Music, and already five podcasters have included it in their shows.

Rob Kast Radio from Belgium

The Write Stuff, from a poet in New Hampshire

Loose Ends, a husband/wife team talk and music show from California

X Pat Radio, a British podcaster living in Wisconsin 

Kids Cast, a children's show from the UK

I will continue to add to this list as more podcasters play it.

You can listen to Festival of Light here.

Festival of Light is sweet and sincere rather than humorous, a Hawaiian slack-key-guitar-inspired folk song combining Hawaiian elements (aloha, ocean) with Hannukah elements (the eight nights surrounding the new moon preceeding the winter solstice, family gathering, candles of menorah). I performed two vocal tracks and two guitar tracks (one Hawaiian slack key, one in standard tuning).

Story Behind the Song
Rick Asher Keefer, a producer-recording engineer whose Hoku award winning Hawaiian CDs include those by reknowned Hawaiian artists Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Brother Noland, and Tony Conjugacion, created Old Hawaiian Christmas, a compilation holiday CD, in 2001, and asked me to write and perform (probably the first ever) Hawaiian Hannukah song. The CD (and this song) continues to get airplay in Hawaii every December to this day. Rick engineered and helped me produce my first two CDs at his studio, Seawest, in Pahoa, Hawaii, in 2000 and 2001.

Lyrics to Festival of Light

Verse One
Festival of light on a winter night
Gathering of friends and family
Flickering candles in a row
Shining for a miracle in history

Refrain
All of this on eight starry moonless nights
All of this surrounded by the great blue sea
All in the spirit of aloha
Smiling in the heart of Hawaii

Verse Two
Now is the season for sharing our light
Singing and dancing so joyously
Thanking each other for kindliness
Flowing through our lives so plenteously

Refrain
All of this on eight starry moonless nights
All of this surrounded by the great blue sea
All in the spirit of aloha
Smiling in the heart of Hawaii

(c) 2001 Alicia Bay Laurel, Bay Tree Music (ASCAP)