A wishful beginning

Let’s start the new year on a wishful note — here’s hoping we have a wonderful 2008 with a sweet song from Israel KamakawiwoÊ»ole.

If you’d prefer the classic version, here’s Judy Garland and Sarah Vaughan. I had to go with Iz, though, just because tropical islands and ukeleles are about as un-Morris-like as you can get.


  1. Josh says

    Don’t tell me everybody else is too busy partying to comment…

    Happy New Year, guys!*

    *Of course, it won’t really be the new year until an hour from now. ;-)

  2. Carl from Maui says

    Good choice PZ. Iz epitomizes why I moved to Hawaii so many years ago, and why I love it here so much. The Hawaiian people.

    Happy New Year!

  3. autumn says

    Great of you to put a bit of Bruddah Iz into the P-Zed people. I can not recommend highly enough the talent and heart of this artist. I have, coincidentally, been playing “Iz, The Man and His Music” in my car’s CD player for a couple of weeks. I only happened upon him because my brother in the US Navy (I disagree with his politics completely, but will never stop bragging on his commitment and courage to serve his country and its often unknowing and unappreciative populace) hooked me up with the CD during his tour in Hawai’i.
    Everyone needs to get their fill of Iz.

    Iz is why Snoop Dogg put “izzle” in everything (not, to my knowledge, really, but with Bruddah Iz’s commitment to Hawai’ian independance and soverignty, it would make sense).
    To all Pharyngulites: listen to some Kamakawiwo’ole, and close your eyes. Try and tell me that you didn’t just believe that you were actually lounging on a cot in Islands.
    Much love to everyone for the new year.

  4. Nemo says

    Funny, they also played this in Times Square — I heard it in the background during New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

    It’s a nice performance in many respects, but his mangling of the lyrics bothers me.

  5. David says

    I had to read the artist’s name five times before I realized you were talking about Japan’s neutrino detector.

  6. Lyle says

    Welcome to the new year! Same as the old year!

    No optimist is complete without a pessimist.

  7. Scrofulum says

    What a coinkydink. I was just showing some colleagues that very video a couple of days ago(to explain why I was tuning up my uke on a night shift).

    Happy new year, pharyngulons, and may all your wishes be rational.


  8. Monoglot says

    One of my favorite versions of those songs…..

    And the photos are such a nice reinforcement of that old Douglas Adams quote:

    Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

    Have a lovely 2008,

  9. Jeffrey Shallit says

    And, of course, the lyrics to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” were written by E. Y. (“Yip”) Harburg, a freethinker who also wrote the poem, “Atheist”:

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree;
    And only God who makes the tree
    Also makes the fools like me.
    But only fools like me, you see,
    Can make a God, who makes a tree.

  10. Science Goddess says

    I always spend New Year’s Day planning my garden. I look at seed catalogues, decide what delicious varieties to plant and plan out the various patches. It always makes me happy to think I’ll live another year to harvest all that stuff.

    Happy new year, all!


  11. HP says

    By an odd coincidence, I spent the weekend looking up uke music on YouTube. Check out the Sweet Hollywaiians playing Sol Ho’opi’i’s Hula Girl:

    These guys are “the shit,” as we say in the music bidness. No disrespect to Bruddah Iz, but you gotta give it up for the Japanese.

    Any Pharyngulites in Osaka? Man, I’d give anything to hear these cats live.

  12. Nadeen says

    Sorry to be off topic, but Jeffrey Shallit reminded me of this wonderful parody of Kilmer’s TREES.


    i fear that i shall never make
    a poem slippier than a snake
    or oozing with as fine a juice
    as runs in girls or even spruce
    no i wont make not now nor later
    pnomes as luverlee as pertaters
    trees is made by fauns or satyrs
    but only taters make pertaters
    & trees is grown by sun from sod
    & so are the sods who need a god
    but poettrees lack any clue
    they just need me & maybe you

    Earle Birney

  13. CalGeorge says

    We’re already off to a bad start:

    PageOneQ: Pope Benedict ushered in the New Year on Tuesday by criticising policies that undermine the traditional family, saying they eroded one of the most important foundations for peace in the world.

    I’ll start off the New Year by saying, fuck you, Mr. Supreme Pontiff.

  14. Todd says

    Iz’s version is great. You should also check out the 2005 version by Kaulana Kanekoa & Vince Esquire.

  15. Espadre says

    Man,this video brought a tear to my eye. How much of a wuss does that make me?

    Here’s wishing you all a peaceful, joyful, new year!

  16. LeeLeeOne says

    Ahhh, sweet sweet Sarah Vaughan, that beautiful voice that made me fall in love. Brings back wonderful memories sitting in front of the turntable watching my mum and pop dancing in the parlor.

    Thanks PZ!