The sun is high up in the sky as the bus makes it's way along the coastline of the eastern part of Tongatapu. The scenery changes and seems to be set to a rhythm: village, bush, village, bush... The faint outline of an island perched on top a turquoise sea appears between palm trees as the old bus makes its way to Fatumu. The wind is blowing my hair as I am forcing myself to keep my eyes open. The mixture of humidity and spending entirely too long in the sun has gotten the best of me and I am looking for a place - a moment, a shoulder, maybe - to rest my head. Along with trying not to fall asleep I am doing major thigh clenches because I have chosen a poor place to sit. The bench seat that Alissa and I are sharing is slowly sliding off of it's metal frame and we are gradually sinking to the floor of the bus. I'm coaching myself to stay awake because if I were to fall asleep my head would, without any doubt, flop to the left and find its home on the backside (or as my Grandma P. use to say "tushy") of a very tall Tongan man with a rat tail who happens to be wearing purple glitter flip flops. He's helping me stay awake by playing songs on his blue Nokia cell phone. He is moving and grooving to his own beat. After one very close call, I fight the urge to take a nap and we press on towards Fatumu. As we get further down the road more and more passengers exit until only Alissa, Mark and I remain. We are now listening to the driver's choice of music - a mixture of gospel, hardcore rap and hip hop. After a particularly intense rap song (there was at least one not-so-kind word) the music changed and I was introduced to my new favorite song.
I knew after the first note that this was going to be a Christmas song. I am hyper sensitive to these things. It's a gift. Well, it was a version of "Joy to the World" that I had never heard before. After the first verse I was jamming along to the melody. I'm getting so into it that my foot is tapping along to the beat and then a curve ball... instead of moving into the second verse (Joy to the Earth, The Saviour Reigns...you know the rest), the song transitioned into "The Macarena". The Macarena? You mean the same song you use to dance to at elementary school assemblies? The one with the special line dance that has you swivel your hips and clap? Yep. That one. So instead of "Joy to the World", the song was a mash-up of all the greatest Christmas songs ever written and "The Macarena". Mark, Alissa and I were laughing so hard there were tears. We hurried off the bus, into the blazing pupuha (sweaty) heat and walked home slowly with the song still stuck in our heads.
I must get my hands on this song and when I do, you can bet that it'll be part of my 3rd annual Christmas album. And I thought the Mariah Carey thing was awesome.