3 years ago
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#13 "Hawaii Ponoi" Lyrics by King David Kalakaua, Arrangement by Henry Berger
Hawaii’s anthem is traditionally credited to Kalakaua, but the lyrics were likely written by his predecessor, Lunalilo, who reigned for only a year, says Hawaiian scholar Kimo Keaulana. While researching Hawaiian language newspapers from the monarchy era, Keaulana learned that a young “Lunalilo had entered a national anthem contest, and ‘Hawaii Ponoi’ was his entry—the exact lyrics,” Keaulana says. “What had happened, and this is a Hawaiian practice, is that the new ruler is entitled to put his name on anything. So when Kalakaua takes the throne, he becomes attributed as the composer.”
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