Mele Kalikimaka ʻUkulele Tab by Bing Crosby

I’m not a big fan of Christmas music, but out of all the sappy, December 25th tunes you can play on your ʻukulele, Mele Kalikimaka is my favorite. Here’s a tab for it.

I grew up listening to Jimmy Buffett singing this song on his album, Christmas Island. But he actually recorded the song again in 2016 for Tis the Season with Jake Shimabukuro – who’s featured on an ʻukulele solo.)

Bing Crosby was the first to play Mele Kalikimaka in 1950 and his probably remains the most famous version.

bing crosby merry christmas album coverA study in fantastically clever melody writing, Mele Kalikimaka is an apparently simple tune with many twists and turns that milk the power of “wrong” notes throughout. I mean, who uses a C# melody note over a G7? Composer Robert Alex Anderson, apparently.

There’s not much to it if you take your time and watch out for trouble areas, namely measures 11, 19, 21, and 23, which have some oddball notes. I’ve included the ʻukulele chord diagrams and lyrics for easy strumming if you want to just sing along at your Christmas gathering(s).

Take it for a spin and spread the good cheer!

Mele Kalikimaka ʻukulele tab PDF download

By Brad Bordessa

I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honoka’a, Hawai’i, where I run this site from a little plantation house in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once borrowed a uke to jam with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me

brad bordessa avatar