Category Archives: Songs

Take 5: Hiʻilawe

Aloha Dear Readers!  Iʻve been intensely going through over 100 commercially-released recordings of the song “Hiʻilawe.” Here are my personal picks (in no particular order): Lito Arkangel. All 13 verses, rendered in beautiful Hawaiian pronunciation. From the CD me ke … Continue reading


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Take 5: Noho Paipai

Hello Dear Readers! Iʻm working on the song “Noho Paipai.” Itʻs one of the songs in my critical edition project. The lyrics were published in 1946 in a collection of John Almeidaʻs songs, with translations by Mary Kawena Pukui. Among … Continue reading

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E Mau Ke Ea o Ka ʻĀina

Jon Osorioʻs powerful 2010 commentary in Honolulu Civil Beat is making the rounds on social media once again. Speaking of Hawaiian conceptions of independence, Jon offers a powerful statement on ea: Independence — ea — for us was a basic right … Continue reading

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Take 5: Ka Ipo Lei Manu

Hello Dear Readers! I have “Ka Ipo Lei Manu” on my mind a lot these days. It is one of the songs to be included in a book project that has been many moons in the making. (Long story for … Continue reading

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What Iʻm Listening To . . . Hāliu vols. 1-3 by Kūpaoa

First, a story. About ten years ago, I sat in Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College in Torrance, California, listening to a concert by the incomparable Kekuhi Kanahele. She pulled out all the stops on her array of oli-infused vocal … Continue reading

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SONGS: Hoonanea a Hookuene Liliʻu

Fifteen kumu hula and hālau across Southern California have been involved in bringing a remarkable collaboration to the concert stage. This will come to fruition on Sunday, February 15, 2015, at Soka University Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo. “Collaboration” … Continue reading

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SONGS: Pua Melekule

Magnolia blossom. Sheet music first published in 1892, bundled together with “Ka Ipo Lei Manu.” Plain cover, but a historianʻs dream:  both songs clearly marked with the term “hula kui.” “Pua Melekule” is very much on my mind and tongue … Continue reading

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Hula Kuʻi Songs: A Playlist

Back in 2010, I posted the listening assignments for my class “Music of Hawaiʻi.” It was a list of song titles, artists and album titles, leaving it up to the listener to look up the recordings. Now in this age … Continue reading

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Take 5: Hawaiian War Chant

Not your grandmaʻs Hawaiian War Chant. Not mine, either. But theyʻre out there. A search on YouTube on “Hawaiian War Chant” will yield entire playlists of the song in various historical and contemporary performances. The vast majority are mainland-produced recordings … Continue reading

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Take 5: Hawaiian War Chant / Kāua i ka Huahua’i

Actually 1 Take today. But more to follow. Here are several facts. “Kāua i ka Huahua’i” is understood to be a love song by Prince William Pitt Leleiohoku. The earliest known printed version of the songʻs lyrics is in the book … Continue reading

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