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Jim Romano: Music Page

Hi‘ipoi - track 5. Hi‘ilawe

July 26, 2013
By Mrs. Kuakini

Track 5.  Hi‘ilawe  4:27  (Mrs. Kuakini)
History records two mele with the same words but different melodies, written at
or before the turn of the 20th century.
The singer is a lover who traveled from Puna, in the far south of the Big Island of Hawai‘i, to meet her beloved near Hi‘ilawe waterfall in Waipi‘o Valley to the north, defying local gossips who disapproved of the match. Our version is from the mele attributed to Mrs. Kuakini in Songs of Hawai‘i (1902) as distinct from that attributed to Martha K. Maui and first recorded by the great Gabby Pahinui.


By Mrs. Kuakini



Kūmaka ka ‘ikena iā Hi‘ilawe             All eyes are on Hi‘ilawe

I ka papa lohi mai a‘o Maukele          In the sparkling lowlands of Maukele

Pakele mai au i ka nui manu              I have not been trapped by the gossip

Hau wala`au nei puni Waipi‘o            Chattering everywhere in Waipi‘o


‘A‘ole nō wau e loa‘a mai                     I am not caught

A he uhiwai au no ke kuahiwi             For I am the mist of the mountains

A he hiwahiwa au na ka makua           I am the darling of the parents

A he lei ‘ā‘ī na ke kupuna                    And a lei for the necks of grandparents


No Puna ke ‘ala hali ‘ia mai                The fragrance is wafted from Puna

Noho i ka wailele a‘o Hi‘ilawe            And lives at Hi‘ilawe waterfall

Ha‘ina ‘ia mai ana ka puana               Tell the refrain  

Kūmaka ka ‘ikena iā Hi‘ilawe             All eyes are on Hi‘ilawe