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Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs

02 Oct 01 - 05:54 PM (#563712)
Subject: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

I have been fooling around with my Ukulele lately and am looking for a few more Hawaiian songs to play--slave that I am to the opinions of others, I am curious as to your favorite Hawaiian tunes--either English or Hawaiian is fine, though the Hawaiian lyrics are a bit difficult for a Haoli at my time of life--

Mahalo nui loa,


02 Oct 01 - 07:59 PM (#563799)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,Adrienne

Does "Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian" count? That's my favorite. Or are you thinking more traditional?

02 Oct 01 - 08:26 PM (#563821)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

Anything counts--

02 Oct 01 - 08:50 PM (#563836)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,honestfrankie

I play at old folks homes once in a while using a ukelele and have found that Ukekele Lady was a big hit. Some of the Elvis "Blue Hawaii" album stuff. I've heard a guy on radio, somebody Shaw who has a new uke disc "King of the Ukelele" (?). A good site is Have fun

02 Oct 01 - 11:23 PM (#563928)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,Adrienne

What is the real name of the old C&H Sugar commercial song? It's a beautiful tune, and I'm sure it's a famous Hawaiian song.

03 Oct 01 - 12:15 AM (#563961)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

Links, I can find.I want to know what you like--"Ukulele Lady" is indeed a big hit, though it was written by Michigan boy, Richard Whiting--a number of years ago, I ran into someone who had gone to see Manuel Nunes granddaughter in a nursing home in Santa Clara, she was then over a hundred years old--he said she had a Nunes uke on the wall, which she took down, and played "Ukulele Lady", and he said she was great--Wish I'd have been there! But it is a great reason for visiting the folks in nursing homes--many of them played, and maybe still play the ukulele!

03 Oct 01 - 02:01 AM (#563999)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Mudlark

Hilo Hattie used to sing a nifty little ditty about fishing...Oh, we're going to a hookilau (sp. questionable)
hookie, hookie, hookie, hookie, hookie hookielau
Oh, we'll throw our nets out into the sea
And all the uma uma come a swimmin' to me
Oh, were going...etc.

As a kid I loved Hilo Hattie...she was the consumate grandma...was anything but svelte but could still do the moves! On the "come a swimmin' to me" part she would put one hand on top of the other and revolve her thumbs...

I also like Leon Redbone's Christmas on Christmas's on his Christmas album...which I have but can't find..maybe not Hawaiian, but at least island....

03 Oct 01 - 03:11 AM (#564028)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Mark Cohen

The Huapala website is a treasure. It has both traditional Hawaiian songs and the composed "hapa-haole" songs of the 20s and 30s. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any tunes. I've been in touch with the woman who put the site together, and she doesn't have the time or finances to index the songs by author or add tunes. If anyone would be interested in working on this project, send me a personal message and I'll put you in touch with her.


03 Oct 01 - 04:01 PM (#564405)
From: Genie

Not authentic Hawaiian, but I just love "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii," because it's so much fun to sing
"Homo mai no ka'ua i ka hale wela ke hau (sp?)
"humu-humu nuku=nuku a pua'a"*

*Hawaii's state fish, I am told.

I also like the Hawaiian version of the newer version of Hawaiian Wedding Song. (There is an older, more 'authentic' Hawaiian song on which the popular song was based.)

 Hawaiian Wedding Song

This is the moment I've waited for;
E - i -a a - u ke ka-li nei

I can hear my heart singing;
A i-a la i he-a

Soon bells will be ringing
Ku - u a --- lo - ha.

This is the moment of sweet aloha.
E - i - a a-u ke hu-li ne-i.

I will love you longer than forever.
A lo - a - a a - e ka ma-na-o

Promise me that you will leave me never.
Ma - ha ka i - i - ni a ka pu-u-wai.

Here and now, dear, all my love I vow, dear.
U - a si - la pa - a ia me o - e

Promise me that you will leave me never.
Ko a - lo - ha ma - ka mae e i-po

I will love you longer than for-ever.
Ka'u ia e le - i a - e ne-i-la

Now that we are one, Clouds won't hide the sun.
Nou no ka i - ini A nou wa - le no

Blue skies of Hawaii smile
A o ko a-lo-ha ka'u

On this, our wed-ding day.
E hi - i - po - li mau

I do love you With all my heart.
Na'u oe e lei, na'u oe e lei.
I doubt that the English words correspond closely in meaning to the Hawaiian ones. I just put them in to show metric correspondence. However, my spacing between words may disappear when I post this, so it may not work.


03 Oct 01 - 04:05 PM (#564406)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Genie

Well, the formatting sort of worked. If you back space two or three spaces on the Hawaiian lyrics, they'll be about where they should be in relation to the English words.

03 Oct 01 - 05:38 PM (#564477)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

Alway liked Mahi Beamer's version of the "Wedding" song, with the wonderful voice breaks. Anyway, I think that "My Little Grass Shack..." is a real Hawaiian song--here is the note on the lyrics at the Hula Archive(Huapala) linked in Mark's post--

Source: Noble's Hawaiian Favorites, Copyright 1933, 1961 Miller Music Corp, Hawaiian Music and Musicians by George Kanahele, University Press of Hawaii, Library of Congress Catalog #79 14233. - Based on an old song "Back in Hackensack, New Jersey", composed by Art Beiner and Dan Russo in 1924, this was first heard in Kona, Hawaii at the July 4th canoe races, 1933. Harrison gave the song to Johnny Noble to publish, who revised the music to give it an almost new melody without changing Cogswell's words. This was done to dispel the claim that others had written the song. Once published, the song became a smash hit. Noble turned over the royalties to the Sherman Clay Co in San Francisco for $500.00 advance royalty, giving the credit to Cogswell and Harrison. Kealakekua is the bay where Captain Cook was killed in 1779. Honaunau is the ancient City of Refuge and Kona is the district where both are located on the Big Island.

03 Oct 01 - 08:54 PM (#564603)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,Genie

'preciate the background info, M. Ted.

03 Oct 01 - 10:54 PM (#564669)
Subject: Lyr Add: ADIOS, ADIOS, KE ALOHA (Leleiohoku)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Adios, Adios, ke aloha, by Leleiohoku (rev. Lili'uokalani?) is my favorite. In this song, the Hawaiian is not difficult to pronounce (vowels as in Spanish). The first hapa haole song?

Eku'u belle o ka po la'ila'i
Ka lalawe malie a ka mahina
Koani mai ana e ke ahe
Ahea la 'oe e ho'olono mai?
Ahea 'oe. ahea 'oe
'Oe e ho'olono mai?
I neia leo nahenahe
Adios, Adios ke aloha
Adios, Adios ke aloha
E ka hau'oli 'iniki pu'uwai
E ke aloha e maliu mai 'oe
Ke ho'olale mai nei e ke Kiu
Ua anu ka wao i ke ua

Ho'okahi kiss dew drop
he mau ia
E ka belle o ka noe lihau
Ka huli ho'i nei me ka neo

Oh my belle of the quiet night
As the moon moves slowly by
The breeze blows gently forth
When is it that you will listen to me?

When, when
When will you listen to me?
To this gentle voice
Adios, Adios, my love
Adios, Adios, my love
O happiness that tugs at my heart
O my love listen to me
For the Kiu wind is pushing along
And the forest is chilled by the rain

One kiss of a dew drop is better
Than nothing at all
O belle of the gentle rain
Here I am, my love
As I turn back empty handed.

This song was written in the late 19th Century in appreciation of the paniolos, or Mexican cowboys brought in to round up the cattle left on the Big Island by Vancouver and others. The last names of some of the paniolos are lost, but a number of families on Hawai'i and Moloka'i bear the name Espaniola. These vaqueros, little known on the Mainland, were in Hawai'i before the cattle days of the American west. The song thus has a good story to go along with it.

03 Oct 01 - 11:09 PM (#564673)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: catspaw49

Helluva' thread here Ted............Obviously I am not the only one who is completely ignorant of Hawaiian music! Geez man, I even thought "Tiny Bubbles" was Hawaiian...........


03 Oct 01 - 11:45 PM (#564687)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Mark Cohen

'Spaw, aren't Tiny Bubbles what follows behind you when you go snorkeling...? And speaking of snorkeling, here is the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. I see these all the time when I go snorkeling at Honaunau, which is just a few miles south of Kealakekua.

And as far as hapa-haole songs go, I vote for "Sweet Leilani"--even if she does have blue eyes!


04 Oct 01 - 12:05 AM (#564697)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

"Tiny Bubbles" counts--most definitely! Don Ho is Helu `ekahi!(Number One!)

04 Oct 01 - 12:32 AM (#564705)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Margaret V

Okay, I guess he counts more as pop than folk but I have an interesting album called "Facing Future" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. He plays ukelele but the album is a mixture of regular-sounding fare (you might want to listen to/learn a very pretty song called Kuhio Bay -- it has a great melody, sort of yodel-ish) and more unusual stuff. The main reason to listen to the album, I think, is his song Hawaii '78. His voice is beautiful, ethereal, floating over strings and very delicate uke. Hard to explain, and probably not to everyone's liking... have fun. Margaret

04 Oct 01 - 12:51 AM (#564709)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,ponytrax

Oops. lost my cookies. Favorite Song #1 (current, listening to): Well, a while ago I found this CD called (the accents are missing)

Kiho'alu Christmas (Dancing Cat Records 08022-38037-2 copyright 1996, distributed by Windham Hill)--Dancing Cat had a website is from the CD notes)

Anyway, it has a cut recorded by Rev. Dennis Kamahaki "Christmas Memories"--I listen to this all year 'round because it speaks of home to me. And I am a white California born, bred & living girl...

Dancing Cat has (had?) more CDs, mostly about slack key.

Favorite Song #2--"Welcome to the Islands"

I am pretty sure this is a composed song, not a folk song; anyway I heard it first played for me and my sisters in about 1967 at a party my Auntie Peggy Mae had organized for us on the Big Island, played by local folks and the local ladies danced also the hula that went with that song.

Then I heard it again played in 1983, probably, at the Mauna Kea of all places (superfancy resort hotel) by the luau musicians. Well, Auntie PM was well known in the district, and we were staying there, and my nephew Jesse was about 5 and his first visit to the Islands, and Auntie PM was ill, and she wanted to dance that hula for him, and so the musicians played and Auntie PM danced and we loved it.

There you go.

04 Oct 01 - 12:54 AM (#564712)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Mark Cohen

Iz is a cultural icon here in the islands, Margaret. He died in 1997, of complications related to his extreme obesity, but his voice was absolutely angelic. He was a founding member of a seminal Hawaiian group called "Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau" before he went solo. Here's a link to articles (including a discography) that appeared in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin when he died.


04 Oct 01 - 01:21 AM (#564722)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Margaret V

Ah, thanks, Mark, I'll look forward to reading them! Margaret

04 Oct 01 - 06:55 AM (#564832)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Airto

Melinky linky waka is the thing to say, on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day...according to Bing Crosby anyway.

04 Oct 01 - 10:09 AM (#564935)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Dave the Gnome

A google search for Spike Jones' Hawaiin War Chant (one of my favourites) brought up that one and tons of others. Dunno if they are any use though.

"And now we approach the Island of LuLu. Spelt bckwards uLuL..."



04 Oct 01 - 10:15 AM (#564943)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Callie

I did a two part vocal arrangement of a song called Kawaipunahele by a current Hawaiian singer (can't remember his name though!) I imagine it wouldn't be hard to find. If you're interested, I'll look further.


04 Oct 01 - 12:52 PM (#564975)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

Airto, it is Mele Kalikimaka-- Kawaipunahele is by Keali`i Reichel--Dicho, is there anywhere I can hear that song?

I appreciate everyone's input--Margaret, my wife has got my copy of "Facing Future" at work, and she doesn't want to give it back! Mark, thanks for the link about IZ--I was talking about him with a couple of Hawaiian people at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this Summer, and they were upset about some sort of a conflict that took place on AOL related to him--they said that many people in the Islands were angry-- Do you know anything about that?

04 Oct 01 - 02:16 PM (#565058)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,mrr

I remember being appalled a few years back when Johnny Carson, unless it was already Jay Leno, was playing "stump the band" and the audience member won with Ukelele lady! I thought EVERYBODY knew that one!

Sorry, no other suggestions. The only thing I think I remember about Hawaiian is what Dave Barry said, about how when the first humans headed into those islands from the Pacific, there was a terrible storm, or something, and all their consonants got washed overboard...

04 Oct 01 - 03:39 PM (#565109)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Adios ke aloha is on "Na Mele O Paniolo," Warner Western cd, # 9 48561-2, and "Palani Vaughan's Best, vol. II (Hele 'Elua)" PV Best 2, Nakahili Prod., Honolulu. I have others, but I believe they are no longer available. The 2 listed are available from
Some good 'ukulele playing is on "On Fire," Ka'au Crater Boys, RS 4707, Roy Sakama Prod. Troy Fernandez can really motor on his 'uke. Tape and now, I think cd.
A good song in English is "My Yellow Ginger Lei," on "Mahalo, Ke Akua; Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau." Tropical Music SPC-9038, tape.
On pronounciation, beginning books with tapes are listed in Univ. Hawai'i Press: Learn Hawaiian at Home, $45.95, Cat. 1-880188-21-X, and one for kids, Hawaiian Word Book, $25.95, 1-880188-60-O. Shipping is $5 for 1st book in USA, $7 for Europe, with warehouses in PA, HI and UK. Univ. Hawai'i Press, 2840 Kolowalu St. Honolulu HI 96822-1888. Maybe Mark Cohen could look at the one for kids, it may have enough to get the pronounciations.

04 Oct 01 - 04:18 PM (#565158)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,John Leeder

My dad played the Hawaiian music that was popular in the '20s, when he started learning to play. He never gave it up; although he broadened out to many other kinds of music, I think the Hawaiian stuff was always his favourite, and when I learned to play I chorded for hours to all those old songs. Most were from Tin Pan Alley, some based on actual Hawaiian songs (I would guess). It's hard to say which are my "favourites", as I got heartily sick of most of them at the time (but I'd give anything to hear him play again -- he lost his faculties to Parkinson's Syndrome in the last years of his life).

The ones I remember most, I guess, would be "Aloha Ohe", "Little Grass Shack", "Malahini Mele", "To You, Sweetheart, Aloha", "I'd Like to See Some More of Samoa", "Hawaii Calls" (the theme song of the radio show and movie), "Beyond the Reef"... That'll do for now. I'm sure I could dredge out many more.

04 Oct 01 - 05:00 PM (#565185)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Bob P

Prine's "Lets Talk Dirty . . . is best.

Redbone/Star duet on "Li'l Grass Shack" is runnerup . . .

& Redbone solo on Christmas Island is honorable mention

Tiny Bubbles is on my list of songs to throw darts at. Says me.

04 Oct 01 - 06:25 PM (#565247)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

Oh, now I remember that song--and who can forget all those old, dumb jokes about King Kumona Wana Lei-a? Sorry I mentioned it, maybe some of you had--One has to admire Leon Redbone, if for nothing more than his taste in music--I must admit to liking Bob Brozman's approach a bit better, which was to get together with the Tau Moe family, and help them to recreate their music as they had originally played it in the twenties and thirties--

08 Oct 01 - 08:37 PM (#567847)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,Genie

Are there Hawaiian language lyrics to Beyond The Reef, Sweet Leilani, and Song Of The Islands?

I know the Hawaiian words to Aloha Oe and some Hawaiian lyrics to Tiny Bubbles, but I wonder if anyone knows the Hawaiian words to some of these other songs that were popular in the early part of the 20th Century.

08 Oct 01 - 08:59 PM (#567855)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Cap't Bob

"The Hawaiian War Chant" makes a pretty nice instrumental for the ukelele. When I do this as a performanace I usually make up my own version of the Hawaiian language and at various spots in the song I throw in little bits like. "I'm no virgin"... "The Gods Will be angry".... "I wanna go home now!"... "The volcano's too hot".... etc. etc. whatever comes to mind. Lots of fun ann the audience usually cracks up.

Oh Well Cap't Bob

08 Oct 01 - 10:01 PM (#567887)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: M.Ted

I think that those songs were originally written in English, Genie, although there are probably Hawaiian lyrics that have been written to them somewhere--

08 Oct 01 - 10:28 PM (#567909)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: BluesMojo

My favorite Hawaiian tune is "Kawika," by the Ka'au Crater Boys. I don't understand a word of it and really wish I could read the lyrics. It's got an absolutely gorgeous melody. Wish I could play guitar like that!

09 Oct 01 - 12:59 AM (#567984)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Haruo

The classic Hawaiian Christmas carol is Nu Oli. The Cyber Hymnal gives three verses in Hawaiian but only one in English. Anybody know the rest of the English ones? (It's supposedly a Fanny Crosby text with a Robert Lowry tune, so you'd think it'd be extant somewhere, in toto, in English.) Laiana, who did the translation, is the great name in classical Hawaiian hymnody. (Another good Christmas song is the version of "The Friendly Beasts" in the Hawaiian Congregational Hymnal (Na Himeni Haipule Hawai'i, 1972).

My online hymnal has two Hawaiian texts, Aloha au kou aupuni (a recent Hawaiian translation of Timothy Dwight's "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord", which may well have been the first hymn sung in English by a Hawaiian), and O kou aloha no by Liliuokalani (she wrote both text and tune). The latter is also in The Cyber Hymnal.


09 Oct 01 - 01:06 AM (#567986)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Haruo

An English prose version of the text of "O kou aloha no" can be found in the New Century Hymnal of the United Church of Christ, 1995.


10 Oct 01 - 01:45 AM (#568745)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

Nu 'Oli has not been much recorded on Hawaiian Christmas albums, but there are two good, quite different recordings available. The Brothers Cazimero have a clearly enunciated version on the cd "Cazimero Christmas Favorites." The Sons of Hawai'i with Eddie Kamae have a performance more to the Hawaiian taste on the cd "Christmas Time." The favorite Christmas song in Hawai'i for the last few years is Willie K. (Kalikimaka) performing "O Holy Night." Riveting!

15 May 02 - 07:51 PM (#711229)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Margaret V


15 May 02 - 08:10 PM (#711241)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

The thread today on Iz Kamakawiwo'ole and his "Over the Rainbow" brought to mind his "E Ala E" on the album of the same title- a song telling Hawai'ians to rise up- his emotion, and the response from the crowd, is electric. This is his most Hawai'ian cd/tape (1995). Available from

16 May 02 - 04:18 AM (#711414)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: reggie miles

"Look Out For The Girl In The Hula Skirt" is my all time flavorite but I'm also partial my song, "Ahukahubba How 'Bout You?" An escapist number that has much of the same feeling as the songs from the first great depression, (There's more than one? Yup. Or maybe I just haven't recovered yet from the first one.) where folks longed to leave their worries behind and find themselves on a tropical beach somewhere soakin' up the sun. Kind of a universal yearning I think, especially today with the pace of things being so demanding, layoffs, downsizing, jobs moving overseas, recession, wars, terrorists, cars throwing rods through blocks (it just happened to me), gas prices going up.... Need I go on? I think you get the picture. We could all use some heavy-duty r&r.

16 May 02 - 09:37 AM (#711552)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy

definite favorites are

Beach on Waikiki (Honi Kaua Wiki Wiki)

Hula Girl

Hano Hano Hawaii

Sweet Lailani

and close, Polynesian, the Maori Farewell Song, Now is the Hour (Po Ataru or Haere Ra)

has anyone out there in LA heard Janet Klein perform? ukulele and songs of 20s & 30s, backed up by Cheap Suit Serenaders, I think, or members thereof & others

16 May 02 - 01:58 PM (#711733)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)

And who could ever forget Sol. K. Bright and his Hollywaians and his incomparable "A Wee Doech an' Doris," recorded in 1934 !

16 May 02 - 03:31 PM (#711803)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Lonesome EJ

Ah yes, Mudlark. Hilo Hattie and Harry Owens were a regular feature on my family's black-and-white tv in the late 50s. Here's a site that tells about how she got her name. Hilo Hattie.

17 Aug 03 - 02:23 AM (#1003482)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: GUEST,

Aloha, I am looking for the oli that is in the song "Hawaii 78 that Izzy recorded. Anyone know? Also, where I could find the lyrics for it. Mahalo

17 Aug 03 - 03:09 AM (#1003488)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Mark Cohen

I believe the words you're looking for are: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono o Hawai'i. That's the state motto, and is usually translated "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." A quote from King Kamehameha I, I think. Here are the lyrics for Hawaii '78, which was written by Mickey Ioane and performed by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.   


17 Aug 03 - 03:10 AM (#1003489)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Mark Cohen

Clarification: the "O Hawai'i" isn't part of the state motto. Artistic license.


17 Aug 03 - 06:30 AM (#1003532)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Great thread! And just in time, as the school year will begin next week and I'm getting ready to introduce the uke to the kids at school!

17 Aug 03 - 01:53 PM (#1003626)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs

The site posted by Mark also has words to the song E Ala E composed by Iz Kamakawiwi'ole. Iz singing this song and his interaction with the audience on the cd of the same name is breath-taking.
His death was a great loss to Hawaiians.

28 Aug 09 - 01:29 AM (#2710402)
From: Genie

I am trying to find the songwriter for "Song Of The Islands" -- the one I sing (which was recorded by Marty Robbins, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, and a slew of other people). It's a very well-known Hawai'ian melody but hard to find online, because there are other songs with the same title. I've been going around in circles on "the google" and Wikipedia (and here), to no avail.

Apparently the "Song Of The Islands" written by Charles E King II (Na Lei O Hawai'i) is a completely different song.

The lyrics to this one are as follows:

Islands of Hawaii,
Where skies of blue are calling me,
Where balmy air and golden moonlight
Carress the waving palms of Wai KiKi.

Your valleys with their rainbows,
Your mountains green and deep blue sea,
Your fragrant flowers and dreamy music
Unite and sing a alohahi to me.


Hawai'ian isles of beauty,
Where skies of blue and love is true,
Where balmy air and golden moonlight
Carress the waving palms of Honolulu.

Valleys with their rainbows
Your mountains green, your azure sea,
Your fragrant flowers, enchanting music
Unite and sing "Aloha Oe" to me.

I think the lyrics to this song may have been written by Harry Owens but I'm not sure.

28 Aug 09 - 10:26 AM (#2710622)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs

For Genie (and others)

Amy Hanaiali'i and Willie K have a CD "Nostalgia" which includes Hawai'ian language versions of many of the old hapa haole songs -- including "Beyond the Reef" and "Sweet Leilani". They've also got a version of "My Little Grass Shack", which is great fun to sing in Hawai'ian. Liner notes include the Hawai'ian text.


28 Aug 09 - 09:31 PM (#2711252)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Can't help on your song; it is not the Charles E. King song which is colloquially known as "Song of the Islands" but in "King's Book of Hawaiian Melodies" is properly titled "Na Lei O Hawai'i."
King provided Hawaiian words only but it has been variously translated by others; Harry Owens played the melody on "Hawaii Calls." Believe it or not, Louis Armstrong recorded it.
You can hear the melody on youtube played by Rick Alexander: http"//

Onni Gideon, a Finnish steel guitarist who formed the "Oahu Trio" (before 1950) and the group "Aloha Hawaii", wrote a "Song of the Islands", originally called "Saarten Laulu" but I can't find lyrics.

There was a film, "Song of the Islands," in which Harry Owens and His Royal Hawaiians appeared, but I don't know the songs. Hilo Hattie was also featured in this Grable-Mature flick. "Blue Shadows and White Gardenias" by Mack Gordon and Harry Owens was one of the featured songs and "Song of the Islands" was background music.

Can't find anything more in Kanahele, "Hawaiian Music and Musicians."

29 Aug 09 - 12:46 AM (#2711321)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: My Consistent ID

sort of..

The Turtles "Battle of the Bands" LP

I'm Chief Kamanawanalea (We're the Royal Macadamia Nuts)

29 Aug 09 - 06:24 PM (#2711745)
Subject: Song Of The Islands - who wrote it?
From: Genie

Checking YouTube, I found lots of versions of this particular "Song Of The Islands," but all except one were instrumental only. Some versions were waltz time, some 4/4, and even one a rather lively fox-trot temp (except that it sounded more 2/4 than 4/4).

The only vocal version had different lyrics than I'm familiar with.

This seems to be a very well known "Song Of The Islands," but as Q's post illustrates, it is hard to research it online because the title is so common and is used for other songs too

Song Of The Islands - 1928 Colonial Club Orchestra different lyrics, waltz time
Vocal chorus by Harold Scrappy Lambert

another instrumental version in waltz time
then changes to 4/4 time

4/4 time slow, band w trombone, banjo, clarinet etc

instrumental w 2 ukes

uke pedal steel guitar bass
slow 4/4 time

Louis Armstrong 1930
faster 2/4 time - Louis just scats and plays trumpet

Brother Oswald - medium slow 4/4 w steel guitar

29 Aug 09 - 07:41 PM (#2711788)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin) lists 238 recordings of "Song of the Islands." All, except one, are credited to Charles E. King.
The exception actually is an arrangement for 50 guitars, Barry Gordon.

Among those crediting Charles King are Burl Ives, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ray Charles, Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, Earl Hines, Duke Kamuku, Bing Crosby, Martin Denny, Benny Goodman, Marty Robbins, Betty Grable, Les Paul, Frankie Laine, Hank Snow, Andy Williams-
Allmusic doesn't list the old timers, so there are many more who used King's music. (Owens, Leon McAuliffe, etc.)

Some- like Armstrong- just used the original piece as a point to take off from, but still give credit to King.

You mention Marty Robbins and Andy Williams for "the one you sing."
They credit King. Like many artists, they perhaps added their own words and varied the tune a bit to suit themselves but recognized King as the copyright holder.

29 Aug 09 - 09:19 PM (#2711834)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Genie

Q, I am pretty sure the song "Ne Lei O Hawaii" - Charles B King's "Song Of the Islands" - is a different tune than the one I sing (and which I found by a lot of people on YouTube and on records and CDs).
I could be wrong, but it seems the lyrics to "Ne Lei O Hawaii" would not scan right with the "Song Of The Islands" tune I know. Also, I think I checked on a YouTube of "Ne Lei O Hawaii" and it was a very different tune.

The song that Marty Robbins sings, the song that Joanne Castle (?) did on Lawrence Welk, the recording I have by Louis Armstrong, etc., are all the same tune I sing (though I do it in 4/4 time and not too slowly).

Is it possible that Charles E King wrote more than one song called "Song Of The Islands?"

29 Aug 09 - 09:28 PM (#2711839)
Subject: Song Of The Islands (Na Lei O Hawai'i_
From: Genie

Apparently Charles E King's "Ne Lei O Hawai'i" IS the same "Song Of The Islands" that I sing (though I'd still like to hear it in Hawai'ian to see how the words fit).
When I heard a recording of a song bearing that title that was a different tune, I figured it wasn't the song I was looking for, so I didn't check out other recordings of "Ne Lei O Hawaii" on YouTube. But after reading your last post, Q, I did just that, and, yes, the other ones I checked are the same tune.

I do know that there is at least one other "Hawai'ian" song, with a different tune, called "Song Of The Islands." I've seen the sheet music for it, a while back. Not at all the same song. But at least one mystery is solved - I know that Charles E King wrote the music for the "Song Of The Islands" that I sing.

Thanks, Q.

29 Aug 09 - 10:18 PM (#2711862)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

I'm sure that Charles E. King (b. Oahu 1874, d. 1950) would not recognize some of the arrangements of his song. Your words bear no relation to his lyrics, which describe the flower of the lei of each of the islands.

This site has his original lyrics (I checked against sheet music, which I have) and a good literal translation.
Na Lei O Hawaii
Click on the title and a midi of the original plays.

King was a leader of The Royal Hawaiian Band for years. The band still plays concerts in the Park in Wai'kiki every Sunday.
King was not only a musician, but was inspector of schools for the Territory, and served in their legislature.

This website has several of the favorite old melodies and information about leis, etc.
http"//"> Ka'ahele Hawai'i

Also check out the master site,

29 Aug 09 - 10:23 PM (#2711867)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

I should proof my posts!- 2nd link:
Kaahele Hawaii

29 Aug 09 - 10:27 PM (#2711870)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Genie

Q, I've never doubted that the lyrics I know bear little or no relation to Charles E King's Hawai'ian lyrics.   That is not unusual when English lyrics are written for a song from another language (and vice-versa). What threw me off was that those Hawai'ian lyrics did not look like they would fit with the tune I know.

26 Nov 12 - 04:22 PM (#3442617)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs

Does anyone know of the song "Waitng for thee" which became "The Wedding Song" written by Charles E. King in 1926? The song was more famous when Elvis sang it in Blue Hawaii. The first song that was sung to this tune still appears on the CD Roots of the King. So if you want to get this then you can enjoy the songs on this and get it on Spotify rather than buying it!

26 Nov 12 - 04:50 PM (#3442633)
Subject: RE: Your Favorite Hawaiian Songs
From: Steve Gardham

I have a great 78 somewhere with Kanui and Taluha is it? They sing a great song I also heard done by The Bogus Brothers about 10 years ago.
I can't access the 78 just now but would probably recognise the title if it cropped up. Some fantastic gutteral stops and unusual vocalisations.