Monday, April 04, 2005

Aloha `Oe - By Queen Lili`uokalani

This song of farewell between two lovers is the most famous of the Queen's compostions, written in 1878.
The tune of the verse resembles "The Rock Beside the Sea", composed by Charles Crozat Converse and published in Philadelphia, 1857.
The melody of the chorus is remarkably close to the chorus of George Frederick Root's composition, "There's Music In The Air", published in 1854.
There is a manuscript of "Aloha `Oe: in Queen Lili'uokalani's handwriting in the Bishop Museum.
Lahilahi Webb and Virginia Dominis Koch tell of a visit by the queen and her attendants to Mauawili ranch, the home of Edwin Boyd on windward Oahu.
As they started their return trip ot Honolulu on horseback up the steep Pali trail, the queen turned to admire the view of Kaneohe Bay.
She witnessed a particularly affectionate farewell between Colonel James Boyd of her party and a lovely young girl from Maunawili.
As they rode up the steep cliff and into the swirling winds, she started to hum this melody weaving words into a romantic song.
At the top of the pali, a cloud hung over the mountain peak and slowly floated down Nu`uanu Valley.
The queen conntinued to hum and completed her song as they rode the winding trail down the valley back to Honolulu.
Translation by Lili`uokalani. source: jonathan wong
Aloha `Oe
Ha`aheo ka ua i nna pali
(Proudly swept the rain by the cliffs)
Ke nihi a`ela i ka nahele
(As it glided through the trees)
E hahai (uhai) ana paha i ka liko
(Still following over the bud)
Pua `ahihi lehua o uka
(The `ahihi lehua of the vale)
Aloha `oe, aloha `oe
(Farewell to you, farewell to you)
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo
(The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers)
One fond embrace,
(One fond embrace,)
A ho`i a`e au
('Ere I depart)
Until we meet again
(Until we meet again)
`O ka halli'a aloha i hiki mai
(Sweet memoires come back to me)
Ke hone a`e nei i
(Bringing fresh rememberances)
(Of the past)
`O `oe no ka`u ipo aloha
(Dearest one, yes, you are mine own)
A loko e hana nei
(From you, true love shall never depart)
Maopo ku`u`ike i ka nani
(I have seen and watched your loveliness)
Na pua rose o Maunawili
(The sweet rose of Maunawili)
I laila hia`ia na manu
(And 'tis there the birds of love dwell)
Miki`ala i ka nani o ka lipo
(And sip the honey from your lips)


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