Ai caramba! Spanish songs have heart(s)
Welcome to the Tuesday Lite Notebook, where we are living la vida loca, dancing la bamba and, cielito lindo, our hearts are happy from singing.
I seem to have woken with a song in my heart. A Spanish song. Several, in fact.
It goes back to my college days when I actually took a Spanish singing class for one credit. The class would meet in a tavern one night a week, and we'd all get drunk and sing "porque cantando se alegran, cielito lindo, los corazones." Which, in English I think means, "Man, what a great way to meet chicks AND pad my grade point average with an easy A."
I learned two things from that Spanish singing class: Spanish-language songs have a lot of hearts. Literally. It must be a law that all Spanish songs contain at least one reference to "corazon," or heart. The other thing I learned was that someone actually wrote a song about a cockroach who smokes marijuana.
You'll recognize it as: "La cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar. Porque no tiene ... marijuana que fumar!" (How it became the theme song for Speedy Gonzalez cartoons is a mystery.) They just don't write enough songs in any language about dope-smoking insects anymore.
Speaking of songs, reader Dawn Stephens asks if anyone can remember the song that Don Ho sang in "Jeannie Goes to Honolulu," an episode of TV's "I Dream of Jeannie."
"Something in the back of my memory tells me his song might have something to do with 'father and son' but nothing (on the Internet) comes up with that," she said.
Every TV series from "The Brady Bunch" to "Sanford and Son" shot at least one Honolulu-based episode, and Don Ho sang in just about all of them. My favorite was a "McCloud" episode, "A Cowboy in Paradise," in which Don played a character named -- I kid you not -- "Al Moana." As I recall, he sang "La Mangosta," a song about a mongoose who smokes pakalolo and whose "corazon" is broken by a meerkat that escaped from the Honolulu Zoo. Or maybe it was "Tiny Bubbles."
Honolulu Lite Department of Corrections: In a recent column on the best free attractions in Hawaii, a reader suggested the "Mormon Temple in Kaaawa," which we duly included in our Top 10 list. I then heard from about 23,639 members of the Hawaii Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informing me that the beautiful temple in question actually is located in the bustling metropolis of Laie, which, I believe, is about 326 feet north of Kaaawa.
Keeping towns on that stretch of the Windward coast straight (i.e., Kaaawa, Punaluu, Hauula, Laie and Kahuku) can be confusing to some. (I believe the slogan for that part of the island is "More Vowels Than People.") But we regret the error. If you find yourself in Laie, you definitely should visit the Mormon Temple where, I believe, the congregation sings such old spiritual favorites as "I Left My Corazon in Kahaluu" and they dance the "Malaekahana Macarena."
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org