5 years ago1,000+ Views
Honolulu Magazine has compiled the 50 greatest Hawaiian songs of all time! They invited an esteemed panel of musicians, historians and producers to vote for the songs they felt represented the best in Hawaiian music. The results, tabulated according to a weighted point system, are amazingly diverse, including everything from revered, Hawaiian-language standards to bubbly hapa haole ditties, monarchy-era anthems to contemporary, radio-friendly hits. #1 "Aloha Oe" Queen Liliuokalani, 1878 More than a century ago, “Aloha Oe” became one of the first Hawaiian songs to achieve recognition outside of the Islands. Today, it remains Hawaii’s most famous composition. Since Liliuokalani composed the song in the late 1870s, its poignant words and melody have been sung on countless occasions, from sendoffs at Honolulu Harbor to final farewells at local funerals. Says Hawaiian historian and singer Nalani Olds, “When I was with the Royal Hawaiian Band, we took a six-week tour of Europe, and it was amazing to hear Aloha Oe’ done in so many foreign tongues. All of these people knew it, even in the remotest places.” Although the song has become synonymous with goodbye, the queen herself reportedly insisted that it was a love song. She is said to have composed the song during a tour around Oahu, shortly after witnessing a lingering embrace between a woman in her entourage and a man at the Edwin Boyd Ranch in Maunawili. In the opening lines, the queen describes in Hawaiian the proud rain upon the cliffs, seeking out the lehua- flower. “The rain represents semen falling from Wakea, sky father, seeking out Papahanaumoku, earth mother,” explains Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, who helped research and publish The Queen’s Songbook, a collection of 55 of her compositions. “It’s a poem about love and passion, man and woman. It’s much, much more than just goodbye.” The queen was the most prolific among the royal composers, which included her siblings who lived to adulthood, Kalakaua, Likelike and Leleiohoku. Collectively, they are known as Na Lani Eha, the royal four, for their accomplishments as composers, musicians and perpetuators of their culture. While Liliuokalani was imprisoned for eight months at Iolani Palace after the overthrow of the monarchy, she described composing as a “a gift of nature [which], never having been suffered to fall into disuse, remains a source of the greatest consolation today. ... Hours ... I might have found long and lonely, passed quickly and cheerfully by, occupied and soothed by the expression of my thoughts in music.”
what a beautiful and historically significant song
This really is /the/ Hawaii song for me~~~
How lovely! I have definitely heard this song before. I guess it really is Hawaii's greatest hit!
@gabyrich @fallingwater @cityofkyle so glad you all enjoyed it! It really is a beautiful and special song