Island Mele: Frank De Lima’s newest parody turns focus to impeachment
Impeaching the president of the United States has never been a laughing matter for the politicians participating on either side of the process, but not for Frank De Lima.
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“12 DAYS OF IMPEACHMENT”
Frank De Lima (Pocholinga Productions)
Impeaching the president of the United States has never been a laughing matter for the politicians participating on either side of the process, but when Frank De Lima, nine-time winner of the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for best comedy album, was listening to the nightly news as the House of Representatives moved step-by-step toward impeaching President Donald Trump, he heard the makings of another topical song parody. De Lima wrote the lyrics, asked his longtime collaborator, Hoku Award-winning lyricist Patrick Downes, for a second opinion, and then scheduled time with veteran studio musician/arranger David Kauahikaua. “12 Days of Impeachment” was the result.
The much-loved Christmas standard, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” provides the melody and the structure for De Lima’s look at the things that got Trump impeached. Participants mentioned include “doubtful diplomats,” “prim professors” and “long-winded lawyers.” Among the key bits of testimony are, “She said she heard he said,” “I don’t know what he said,” “I assume that’s what he said” and “I’m not sure he said what he said.”
There are also “five quid pro quo…”
De Lima doesn’t comment directly on the merits of the case, but the No. 1 thing — mentioned 12 times — is “One whistleblower that we all no can see.” By the time De Lima finishes counting down all 12 days in rapid-fire order it’s easy to draw conclusions. Or maybe not.
Whatever De Lima’s personal opinion may be, he and Downes have been addressing hot-button political issues for more than two decades.
A Gilbert & Sullivan operetta provided the melody when they commented on the financial benefits of being an scandal-era Bishop Estate trustee. The “Gilligan’s Island” theme became a song about the opposition to inter-island ferry service. “Born in the U.S.A.” was the vehicle for a download-single about fringe groups’ claims that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya; and Johnny Cash’s longtime musical signature, “Folsom Prison Blues,” provided the melody for a commentary on the increasingly bitter controversy surrounding what was then a $5.27 billion rail project with “Da Rail Blues.”
Whatever happens next year, “12 Days of Impeachment” shows that De Lima is still tops locally when it comes to commenting musically on current events, when the mood is right and a subject inspires him.
“12 Days of Impeachment” is available for free as a download at frankdelima.com, but a payment of any amount supports his nonprofit Frank De Lima Student Enrichment Program, so help a fellow out and pay at least the standard 99-cent download rate for the song.