Alo-ha!

 

Yes, Southwest Airlines may have pursued this adventure of giving their passengers free ukuleles and the instrument covers for the publicity it would garner. Guitar Center provided the ukuleles and a free lesson, too. And yes, there were people annoyed with the disturbance of their precious time on the jet.

But in a world where people take themselves far too seriously and have lost their ability to be playful, I think it was just the right strategy.

*     *     *     *

We had the joy a couple of years ago of seeing a young ukulele master play in Orlando. We’d never heard of him, but I was intrigued at the prospect of seeing the ukulele played in concert. I encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to his playing of “Alleluia”; sit back, take a deep breathe and enjoy.

(He begins to play at 1:50 on the video.)

 

 

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    If anyone would like to put up a video about an instrument we might see as unconventional, or have a comment about one that you play or enjoy hearing, please jump in. 

    • #1
  2. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    I typically love Southwest, and I enjoy flying.  I don’t much care for Hawaii, and I recoil at supposedly professional emails filled with nonsense peasant terms like Aloha, mahalo, ohana, and so forth from government carpet-bagger-surfers who think their laid-back attitude is welcome everywhere.  When I see stuff like that in military emails, I know I am dealing with somebody who does not understand where they are.*

    I went to Hawaii a couple of years ago for a thing, and much of it was magnificent, even from the little I saw.  But none of the magnificence was man-made, neither modern nor aboriginal.  What I saw was strung-out beach-tweakers and frazzled prostitutes taking over the streets (my quarantine/hotel was on Waikiki beach for crying out loud).  The place is a democrat-dominated hate-whitey commune spattered across some of the most beautiful scenery.

    Southwest can keep their ukeleles.  I’d have bailed out like D.B. Cooper, airstair or no.

    * No doubt it’s me who is out of place:

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    We liked Hawaii many years ago, mainly going to Maui and Kauai. We even bought a timeshare in Kona. But we discovered we aren’t travelers who go somewhere to just lay around, nor are we especially interested in seeing the same sites over and over. So we got rid of the condo and spent most of our time traveling internationally. There is great beauty in the world outside of Hawaii; those are the places we loved. Whether we went to Nepal or Bali or Thailand, there was much natural beauty and fascinating cultures. No more Hawaii for us.

     

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    BDB (View Comment):
    Southwest can keep their ukeleles.  I’d have bailed out like D.B. Cooper, airstair or no.

    What a party pooper! 

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Back in 1992 Mrs Rodin and I took a flight from San Jose CA to Maui on Hawaiian Air. It had been a stressful year at work that I dealt with by making a decision to go to Hawaii when the project was done. That decision did wonders for my attitude because whenever things got intense I could remind myself that when it was over I was going to Hawaii!

    What I really treasured was as soon as we boarded the plane the stewards did everything to make us feel that we are already in the Hawaiian experience. That is what I thought about when I heard the story of the ukuleles on Southwest.  Sorry, I think it was a great idea. 

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The first time we went to Hawaii it was on a cruise of most of the islands on a refurbished merchant marine ship (I think). We figured back then it would be a good way to get a sampling. And it was! And everytime we would have a large gathering on the ship, the cruise director would come into the room and call out, “Alo-ha!” and of course all the passengers would call back the same greeting. Yes, it was contrived and overdone (and this was in my younger days), but I enjoyed seeing how much the passengers enjoyed the exchange. I don’t want to be overly psychological, but it seemed to be a good reason to greet the whole world with a single, joyous word. 

    We rarely go on cruises anymore. In fact, our big travel days are probably over. But I did enjoy the adventures!

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    What I really treasured was as soon as we boarded the plane the stewards did everything to make us feel that we are already in the Hawaiian experience. That is what I thought about when I heard the story of the ukuleles on Southwest.  Sorry, I think it was a great idea. 

    And I loved receiving a lei! In fact, I usually bought another while I was there because I love the scent of plumerias. Every time I smell one wherever I am, it reminds me of Hawaii.

    • #7
  8. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    Not quite as reverent as the OP, but SouthWest could have shown some songs by the “Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain” to have set the mood.  For example :Ukelele orchestra

    These guys have several albums and they are all a hoot and surprisingly good

    • #8
  9. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    I like that SWA would do this — I’m just glad I wasn’t there, and I bet I couldn’t even board a plane with a ukelele in hand.

    Here’s another instrument I probably couldn’t get on the plane.

     

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Not quite as reverent as the OP, but SouthWest could have shown some songs by the “Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain” to have set the mood. For example :Ukelele orchestra

    These guys have several albums and they are all a hoot and surprisingly good

    They are terrific! And this video was a perfect complement for the intention of this post. Thanks, Willow Spring! Feel free to embed the video if you wish.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    BDB (View Comment):

    I like that SWA would do this — I’m just glad I wasn’t there, and I bet I couldn’t even board a plane with a ukelele in hand.

    Here’s another instrument I probably couldn’t get on the plane.

    Now that’s the spirit!! (Yes, I can understand your not wanting to be on SW for this event.) And what talent the guy had on this video–woohoo!

    • #11
  12. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Your message reminded me of my all-time favorite quote from Pogo: “Don’t take life too serious, it ain’t nohow permanent.”

    • #12
  13. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Not quite as reverent as the OP, but SouthWest could have shown some songs by the “Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain” to have set the mood. For example :Ukelele orchestra

    These guys have several albums and they are all a hoot and surprisingly good

    You beat me to it!  I get a tremendous kick from them!

    • #13
  14. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    BDB (View Comment):
    Here’s another instrument I probably couldn’t get on the plane.

    Their final selection reminded me of The Lavender Hill Mob.

    • #14
  15. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    If It’s good enough for George:

    • #15
  16. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    If anyone would like to put up a video about an instrument we might see as unconventional, or have a comment about one that you play or enjoy hearing, please jump in.

    Here’s one of my former language students playing a traditional Korean instrument, the gayageum:

    • #16
  17. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    If anyone would like to put up a video about an instrument we might see as unconventional, or have a comment about one that you play or enjoy hearing, please jump in.

    Here’s one of my former language students playing a traditional Korean instrument, the gayageum:

    That is truly awesome.

    I like other songs better on the ukulele. Hallelujah doesn’t show case it very well. I admit, I’m a giant fan of the ukele KE version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

    But this is one of my most favorite strange instruments. Rich Mullins on the Dulcimer:

    As for unusual instruments I have played, the strangest is hand bells, and those aren’t too odd, though they are rare, being quite expensive to supply a full choir.

     

     

     

    • #17
  18. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    It could have been worse.

     

    It could have been a flight to Scotland.

    • #18
  19. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    It could have been worse.

     

    It could have been a flight to Scotland.

    Or Australia.

    • #19
  20. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    BDB (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    It could have been worse.

     

    It could have been a flight to Scotland.

    Or Australia.

    Bagpipe or digeridu? Hmm. Not quite “paper or plastic?”

    Somewhere in the Robert Heinlein novels there is a description of a bagpiper as a man with a cat under his arm, with its tail in his mouth, biting it.

    • #20
  21. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    Bagpipe or digeridu? Hmm. Not quite “paper or plastic?”

    Imagine you walk onto an Air France flights and the flight attendants start handing out accordions.

    • #21
  22. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):
    Bagpipe or digeridu? Hmm. Not quite “paper or plastic?”

    Imagine you walk onto an Air France flights and the flight attendants start handing out accordions.

    Oh, no!  Playing Le Vie en Rose.  Over and over and over again.

    • #22
  23. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    If anyone would like to put up a video about an instrument we might see as unconventional, or have a comment about one that you play or enjoy hearing, please jump in.

    Here’s one of my former language students playing a traditional Korean instrument, the gayageum:

    Playing a traditional Korean folk song.

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    If anyone would like to put up a video about an instrument we might see as unconventional, or have a comment about one that you play or enjoy hearing, please jump in.

    Here’s one of my former language students playing a traditional Korean instrument, the gayageum:

    Playing a beautiful, traditional Korean folk song, Arirang.

    • #23
  24. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOw44VFNk8Y

     

    • #24
  25. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Stina (View Comment):

    As for unusual instruments I have played, the strangest is hand bells, and those aren’t too odd, though they are rare, being quite expensive to supply a full choir.

     

     

    This is amazing.  To do a piece which is in 16-notes throughout, with no conductor, and so flawlessly!  I heard exactly  one mis-strike, the second to final note came a wee bit early (and you can see the second female player in look a little chagrined at the musician to her left).

    • #25
  26. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    BDB (View Comment):

    I like that SWA would do this — I’m just glad I wasn’t there, and I bet I couldn’t even board a plane with a ukelele in hand.

    Here’s another instrument I probably couldn’t get on the plane.

     

    Try this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHLlwiLebkc

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    If anyone would like to put up a video about an instrument we might see as unconventional, or have a comment about one that you play or enjoy hearing, please jump in.

    Here’s one of my former language students playing a traditional Korean instrument, the gayageum:

    It’s almost ethereal, and transports me to the mists of the hills. . . 

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stina (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    If anyone would like to put up a video about an instrument we might see as unconventional, or have a comment about one that you play or enjoy hearing, please jump in.

    Here’s one of my former language students playing a traditional Korean instrument, the gayageum:

    That is truly awesome.

    I like other songs better on the ukulele. Hallelujah doesn’t show case it very well. I admit, I’m a giant fan of the ukele KE version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

    But this is one of my most favorite strange instruments. Rich Mullins on the Dulcimer:

    As for unusual instruments I have played, the strangest is hand bells, and those aren’t too odd, though they are rare, being quite expensive to supply a full choir.

     

     

     

    They must play these instruments in heaven. Just beautiful!

    • #28
  29. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    Southwest can keep their ukeleles. I’d have bailed out like D.B. Cooper, airstair or no.

    What a party pooper!

    @BDB is right.  Unless that was a charter flight where the passengers planned or requested from Southwest that they do that party, Southwest should have simply provided the service it was contracted to provide by its ticketholders.

    I also get annoyed at flight attendant humor on their public address system instead of sticking to the script.  They can save their humor on an open mic night at a comedy store where people can walk out.

    Remember airline flights are enclosed tubes, the air crew has authority over you while you’re in that airplane, and that party was imposed on people who didn’t want anything to do with it.

    Last night I was in a restaurant bar, where the staff decided to sing happy birthday to a guest.  Worse, they wanted everyone to join in.  I ignored them, but more importantly, I had the option to leave my cash on the table and walk out if I had wanted to.  I don’t have that option on an airline.

    • #29
  30. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    Southwest can keep their ukeleles. I’d have bailed out like D.B. Cooper, airstair or no.

    What a party pooper!

    @BDB is right.  Unless that was a charter flight where the passengers planned or requested from Southwest that they do that party, Southwest should have simply provided the service it was contracted to provide by its ticketholders.

    I also get annoyed at flight attendant humor on their public address system instead of sticking to the script.  They can save their humor on an open mic night at a comedy store where people can walk out.

    Remember airline flights are enclosed tubes, the air crew has authority over you while you’re in that airplane, and that party was imposed on people who didn’t want anything to do with it.

    Last night I was in a restaurant bar, where the staff decided to sing happy birthday to a guest.  Worse, they wanted everyone to join in.  I ignored them, but more importantly, I had the option to leave my cash on the table and walk out if I had wanted to.  I don’t have that option on an airline.

    • #30
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