I was playing my ukulele this morning as my wife departed for a day of door-to-door re-election campaigning.
She said, “That is such a happy instrument! I love that ukulele!”
When I feel the least bit blue, I grab a ukulele, tune it, strum, and sing out. By some divine magic the ukulele lifts up my spirits and also the spirits of everyone within earshot, even bugs.
Last weekend one of my ukebuds and I carpooled down to San Francisco to add our voices to an immense chorus of ukesters aiming happily to sing our place into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest group of ukulele players ever assembled.
We met many new ukulele friends, all of them happy, and none of them, as far as I could tell, a whole lot better than us——a little bit above beginner.
We saw the movie “The Mighty Uke” and strummed together and sang. Here’s a picture of me taken by Andy Andrews who is one of the “stars” of the movie and of the ukulele movement.
Alas, the world record remains unbroken, but we went home happier than we came. Ukuleles do that.
The ukulele was born more than 140 years ago in the Kingdom of Hawaii as it fell into the strengthening clutches of the U.S. Empire. The ukulele surely helped the Hawaiians cope with depression.
Now the ukulele is born again, growing in popularity as steeply as the United States descends in its manufacturing sector—weaponry of mass destruction excepted. (I, for one, am deeply ashamed to say this, but we Americans can’t crow about our health care system, our public transportation system, our care for the homeless, or our public education, but we got some really fancy weapons of mass destruction, and we've used them before.)
As we languish in our moribund empire, the ukulele’s resurgent popularity is surely an echo of its original birth in Hawaii.
We better sing some songs about peace!
Here’s one of my uke buds singing a classic uke tune.
Here’s a link to a story about our Adventure in San Francisco
Link to Sarah’s campaign