Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” on a Kalimba Sounds Kind of Awesome

Can’t Help Falling In Love was originally written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss. It was performed by Elvis Presley for his movie Blue Hawaii in 1961. By the next year his version of the song had topped the British charts and become a huge sensation in England and in America. Elvis Presley’s voice was loved just about everywhere he went, and this song was eventually sung by other groups that put their own spin on the tune, such as UB40, a British reggae band that topped the US and UK charts with this song in 1993.

Since then it’s been widely used in TV and film throughout the years, usually as background or in a very purposeful manner that conveys the meaning of the song and the emotion behind the words. It’s a nice love song and something that can be used for a romantic occasion or just to be extra sappy when you want to be. When sung however it tends to go better if the vocalist can actually sing rather than just warble the words. But definitely give people credit for trying since it is a touching song.

The music item used in this clip is called a kalimba and it is an African instrument. The word actually means ‘little music’ which makes sense given its size. The instrument is little more than a wooden board that has a resonator attached to it and features many long metal tines that are arranged in a staggered manner so as to make them easier to pluck and give them different sounds. A person plays this instrument with their thumbs, which is why people also call this a tiny thumb piano, since the movements are similar.

It goes without saying that one has to know something about music and how to pick out certain tones in order to make something like this work. That doesn’t make it any less impressive, in fact it makes it even more so since it’s not just anyone that can do this. How one would go about playing different tunes on a kalimba when it seems as though they’d have to familiarize themselves with the instrument first is amazing, especially since in the US I would feel comfortable stating that nine out of ten people wouldn’t even know what this instrument is.

It’s not a bad thing really since the kalimba is one of those oddball instruments, at least in the US, that it would take a great deal of knowledge to know about and even more to know how to play. A music major would likely know just what it was all about without fail, but the average person would probably look at it funny and ask someone what they were looking at. The selected tune comes through great on the kalimba and despite sounding a little different is easy to identify. The person’s dog even seemed to like it which is nice.

It’s always interesting to hear classic songs on different instruments that aren’t seen all the time.


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