This mele is about beloved Waikīkī and its whispering sea. The scent of limu līpoa (seaweed) is carried on a gentle breeze. “Your name is famous to visitors, all your beauty known around the world.” The mele was given to Helen Ayat by her mother who was a lady-in-waiting to Kūhiōʻs wife, Princess Kahanu.
Haku mele Robert Uluwehi Cazimero declares his aloha for Kaua‘i in the words “My love forever returns to Kaua‘i afloat in the sea.” Following a visit to Hanalei, Limahuli, Makan and Hā‘ena in the moku of Halele‘a, he returns to O‘ahu and pays loving tribute to wahi pana (legendary places) on Kaua‘i in this mele.
This original composition by Kumu Carlson Kamaka Kukona III takes us on a huaka‘i (trip) to the lush northeastern shore of Kaua‘i. The song documents the journey to Limahuli and Kē‘ē with this kumu, Mae Kamāmalu Klein and members of their Papa ‘Ūniki ‘Ōlena in June of 2000. The view seen from upland Limahuli Gardens inspired this composition.
In 1958, well-respected kupuna Katherine Maunakea composed this mele for a benefit concert held in honor of singer, musician and songwriter, Lena Machado. Machadoʻs extraordinary muscial talents earned her the title “Hawai‘i Songbird.” Her name is a “famous name whose beauty is not to be forgotten, warm with much love.”
In this newly composed mele pana (song of a legendary place), the wāhine take us on a huaka‘i (trip) that honors O‘ahu, the heart of the Hawaiian Islands. In each paukū (verse), we celebrate the different moku (districts) by showcasing their unique qualities and natural features. Glorious is the choice “gem of the seas; beloved is O‘ahu, O‘ahualua.”
Mokulua is the old name for the two islands that lie about a mile off the Ka‘ōhao shoreline of Kailua, O‘ahu. Today, they are called the Twin Islands and the Mokes. The song “Mokulua” is meant, in part, to put the traditional place-names of Ka‘ōhao back in the ears and mouths of our children before the old ties of aloha ‘āina unravel into ainokea.
Like the glistening olivine crystals embedded on Diamond Head, the stars form a lei to adorn Waikīkīʻs famous landmark. Composer Mary Pūla‘a Robins writes not only of her lei of stars but also of a lei with a single blossom and a yellow feather lei that is highly esteemed. Her words are affectionately written and hint at a romantic pairing.
In this mele, composers Kumu Chinky Māhoe and Louis “Moon” Kauakahi boast of men who eat healthy and stay fit. They work out at the gym, surf and admire themselves in the mirror to check out their appeal–handsome and vain! “Checking out the waves, and the ladies. Here I am, look at me.”
Today, fishing is a favorite pastime of many Hawaiians, whether itʻs throwing net, casting, diving, or just kicking back with a bamboo pole. This mele, composed by Kumu Chinky Māhoe and ‘Iokepa De Santos was dedicated to Chinkyʻs grandfather who often fished with nets of Kailua Beach.
This mele lei wehi (song of praise) provides a snapshot of Palace life and a brief moment with Queen Lili‘uokalani on a particular afternoon. Lili‘uokalani was a woman of regal stature and she was best known for her kindness and compassion. Today, our beloved Queen continues to be a source of inspiration and hope for our lāhui Hawai‘i.
“The sun greets the dawning of the day; The flowers bloom in the morning dew; She is awake.” These lovely images were written and put to music by Lukela Ke‘ala for his “U‘ilani.” Lukela recalls a special memory, a longing and the feeling of deep love that only he and his U‘ilani share. Larry Kimuraʻs composition “Sweet Memory” finishes the mele “U‘ilani.”
Beautiful is the view of Wao Akua in the lofty heights of Pi‘iholo, Maui. The sun casts a brilliant stream of golden rays upon the mountain and it adorns the clouds in hues of goldenrod, peach and orange. Kumu Carlson Kamaka Kukona III composed “Nani Pi‘iholo” and set the lyrics to a haunting melody.
This love song relates to a bittersweet affair that romantically links the manu ‘ō‘ō and the lehua blossoms. The Kani Lehua rain of Hilo is symbolic of the chatter and gossip experienced by the two lovers.
Initially intended for a single beloved blossom, through almost four decades, this mele aloha has transformed into the needle and thread that fashion a cherished lei of three generations of wāhine hula in Uncle Glenn Kelena Vasconcellosʻ ‘ohana. This mele aloha evokes Kelenaʻs affection and admiration for those who are precious to him.
“Kukunaokalā” is credited to Rosalie Flores, who was a renowned soloist and member of the Royal Hawaiian Glee Club, and to co-composer Johnny Noble. The sentiments venerate natural elements and celebrate the sunshine, rainbow, clouds and ocean as the distinctive apparel of our island home.
“Nā Kuahiwi Kaulana” is a composition of the famed Kohala native and falsetto poet Bill Ali‘iloa Lincoln. The mele celebrates the extent of Lincolnʻs home – from the heights of Mauna Kea, Kaulana” with Bell Records [LKS 245] in 1947.