Alamediana: A song for Alameda

Alamediana: A song for Alameda

Michele Ellson

Kelly Park. Photo used with permission.

Jazz pianist Kelly Park thought Alameda needed a song of its own. So late one night as he drove home from a gig in San Francisco, he began writing one. Over 24 hours, Park’s 97-second ode to the Island city emerged in four-part harmony, and Park, Kathy Moehring, Bruce Knopf and Bob Brown learned their parts in order to present it to then-Mayor Ralph Appezzato for his final City Council meeting. (When Appezzato died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, his wife asked that they perform it at his funeral.)

The song became popular on the Island and Park – a onetime Berklee College of Music instructor who owned a club on Park Street in the ‘aughts and has performed all over the Bay Area for decades – performed it many times with his group. Moehring said the song was performed at the opening of Trader Joe’s at Alameda South Shore Center.

“We sang at store openings. We sang it for the City Council once. They would have these breakfast meetings for the business associations, and we would sing it at those,” Park remembered.

Moehring said the original group that first brought the song to life is no more, but the song itself lives on. The lyrics are printed below, with permission from Kelly Park; we've also posted the music, with Park's permission.

Alameda, Alameda our jewel by the bay
Full of life, full of spark
From Webster Street to Park
From Crab Cove out to Harbor Bay
(bum, bum, bum, bum)

Island City, oh, so pretty
Surrounded by the sea
You’re the best in the west, Alameda
You’re the grandest place to be

The sun smiles down on Neptune Beach and Crown
Children play by the shore
Trees so green can everywhere be seen
Who could ask for anything more
(bum, bum, bum, bum)

Alameda, Alameda it’s a fact that’s plain to see
You’re the toast of the coast
Little city with the most
You’re the only place to be

So pure and clear the atmosphere
Blue skies stretch out for miles
People ride from far and wide
To see our beautiful isle
(bum, bum, bum, bum)

Alameda, Alameda, our jewel by the bay
Over bridge or by ferry
I will cross the estuary
And in your arms I’ll stay.


Mpomeroy's picture
Submitted by Mpomeroy on Tue, May 28, 2013

Sung to what tune? We need some notes here.

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Tue, May 28, 2013

Hey M,

Got it. Thanks to Jack Boeger for the tech!