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Numbah One Day Of Christmas – The 12 Days of Christmas Hawaiian Local Style

Back in 1959 three friends, Eaton “Bob” Magoon, Ed Kenney and Gordon Phelps came up with the Hawaiian-Local version lyrics to Twelve Days of Christmas. One of the most popular “Hawaiian Christmas” songs ever, it was written in just 15 minutes while the three friends ate Chinese food in the 3rd floor living room of a Diamond Head home (rich buggahs). Actor/singer Ed Kenney and Gordon Phelps sang the island version of the song. It was copyrighted in 1959 by Eaton “Bob” Magoon Jr.’s Hawaiian Recording and Publishing Co.

Lyrics may vary slightly between the many Hawaii music artist renditions. Although, the overall perception of the song remains in tact; But, have you ever wondered how they came up with the lyrics…

Magoon sang, “Numbah one day of Christmas, my tutu gave to me, one mynah bird in one papaya tree,” and Kenney said “That’s it!” –

1) Mynah Bird In One Papaya Tree – Mynah birds always eating the ripe papaya off the tree.
2) Coconuts – Coconut trees are abundant throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
3) Dried Squid – The dried squid could be found at Marukai store, packaged in three.
4) Flower Lei – No better feeling than giving someone a lei made with your own hands.
5) Big Fat Pigs – Kenney’s ‘ohana raised pigs in Anahola, Kauai.
6) Hula Lessons – You live in Hawai’i, gotta learn hula.
7) Shrimp-A-Swimmin’ – Plenty of shrimp to eat in the ocean (back then).
8) Ukulele – What is modern Hawaiian music without the sounds of ukulele.
9) Pounds Of Poi – Staple of Hawaiian cuisine.
10) Cans Of Beer – Seemed to be the libation of choice for the Local people.
11) Missionary – Part of Hawai’i history; heavy, heavy, hang over thy head.
12) Television – Because that’s what you wanted back then, a TV.

Simple as that, fifteen minutes… pau.