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Popular Songs of Hawaii

Updated on June 4, 2018
elayne001 profile image

Ruth, a.k.a. Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, Utah. She married a Polynesian and has had amazing travel experiences.


There are a few Hawaiian songs that are known throughout the United States and internationally. Living in Hawaii, I now know there are hundreds more.

See if you can recognize the ones I am thinking of:

The Hawaiian Wedding Song was written by Charles King in 1926 for his operetta, "Prince of Hawaii." It's Hawaiian name is Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting Here for You). The English words we are familiar with were written by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning in 1958, and are not a translation of the original Hawaiian words. Elvis Presley sang the Hawaiian Wedding Song in his 1961 movie "Blue Hawaii.

Hawaiian Wedding Song


by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning (1958)

This is the moment

I've waited for

I can hear my heart singing

Soon bells will be ringing

This is the moment

Of sweet Aloha

I will love you longer than forever

Promise me that you will leave me never

Here and now dear,

All my love,

I vow dear

Promise me that you will leave me never

I will love you longer than forever

Now that we are one

Clouds won't hide the sun

Blue skies of Hawaii smile

On this, our wedding day

I do love you with all my heart


One night, in 1948, the composer was suffering aches and pains after attending a hukilau at Laie. He wrote this song, introduced it publicly at a Methodist lu`au in Honolulu and it became an instant success.

I live in Laie and within a mile of the Hukilau Beach where this all began. Our grandchildren love to go to the Hukilau Beach.

Oh, We’re Going to the Hukilau

by Jack Owens


Oh we're going to a hukilau

A huki huki huki huki hukilau

Everybody loves the hukilau

Where the laulau is the kaukau at the luau

We throw our nets out into the sea

And all the amaama come a swimming to me

Oh, we're going to a hukilau

A huki huki huki hukilau


Chorus:

What a beautiful day for fishing

That old Hawaiian way

Where the hukilau nets are swishing

Down in old Laie bay

Oh we're going to a hukilau

A huki huki huki huki hukilau

Everybody loves the hukilau

Where the laulau is the kaukau at the luau

We throw our nets out into the sea

And all the amaama come a swimming to me

Oh, we're going to a hukilau

A huki huki huki hukilau


Which of these Hawaiian songs do you think are the most well known

See results

Tiny Bubbles


Words & music by Leon Pober

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)

In the wine (in the wine)

Make me happy (make me happy)

Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)

Make me warm all over

With a feeling that I'm gonna

Love you till the end of time

Chorus:

So here's to the golden moon

And here's to the silver sea

And mostly here's a toast
To you and me

So here's to the ginger lei

I give to you today

And here's a kiss

That will not fade away

This song was made popular by Don Ho (1960-2007)

Pitman, a musician who came to Hawaii from Canada in 1943, composed this song in 1948. First recorded by Napua Stevens, Bing Crosby and Margaret Whiting, it gained wide exposure on the mainland in the 1950s. This song earned the composer a six-figure revenue in royalties

Beyond The Reef

by Jack Pitman

Beyond the reef

Where the sea is dark and cold

My love has gone

And our dreams grow old

There'll be no tears

There'll be no regretting

Will he remember me

Will he forget?

Chorus:

I'll send a thousand flowers

Where the trade winds blow

I'll send my lonely heart

For I love him so

Someday I know

He'll come back again to me

'Til then my heart will be

Beyond the reef

They composed this song for the 1937 movie "Waikiki Wedding" starring Bing Crosby. It gained popularity again, in 1961, when Elvis Presley used it as the title song for one of his most successful movies

Blue Hawai`i

by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger

Night and you and blue Hawai`i

The night is heavenly

And you are heaven to me

Lovely you and blue Hawai`i

With all this loveliness

There should be love

Come with me while the moon is on the sea

The night is young and so are we

Dreams come true in blue Hawai`i

And mine could all come true

This magic night of nights with you


Pearly Shells

 

English lyrics by Webley Edwards & Leon Pober

 

Pearly Shells (pearly shells)

From the ocean (from the ocean)

Shining in the sun (shining in the sun)

Covering the shore (covering the shore)

When I see them (when I see them)

My heart tells me that I love you

More than all the little pearly shells

More than all those little pearly shells

For every grain of sand upon the beach

I've got a kiss for you

And I've got more left over

For each star that twinkles in the blue

English translation

Proudly swept the rain by the cliffs

As it glided through the trees

Still following ever the bud

The `ahihi lehua of the vale

Chorus:

Farewell to you, farewell to you

The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers

One fond embrace,

'Ere I depart

Until we meet again

Sweet memories come back to me

Bringing fresh remembrances

Of the past

Dearest one, yes, you are mine own

From you, true love shall never depart

I have seen and watched your loveliness

The sweet rose of Maunawili

And 'tis there the birds of love dwell

And sip the honey from your lips

Aloha `Oe

Words and music by Queen Lili`uokalani

Ha`aheo ka ua i nâ pali

Ke nihi a`ela i ka nahele

E hahai (uhai) ana paha i ka liko

Pua `âhihi lehua o uka

Hui:

Aloha `oe, aloha `oe

E ke onaona noho i ka lipo

One fond embrace,

A ho`i a`e au

Until we meet again

`O ka hali`a aloha i hiki mai

Ke hone a`e nei i

Ku`u manawa

`O `oe nô ka`u ipo aloha

A loko e hana nei

Maopopo ku`u `ike i ka nani

Nâ pua rose o Maunawili

I laila hia`ia nâ manu

Miki`ala i ka nani o ka lipo


This song is sung at several occasions in Hawaii, especially when someone is leaving. It was written in 1878 by the Queen after she turned to admire the view of Kaneohe Bay. She witnessed a particularly affectionate farewell between Colonel James Boyd and a lovely young girl from Maunawili. At the top of the pali, a cloud hung over the mountain peak and slowly floated down Nu`uanu Valley. The queen begam to hum and completed her song as they rode the winding trail down the valley back to Honolulu. Translation by Lili`uokalani

Comments

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  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elayne 

    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    thank you Salsa Dancing for your comments. Yes, we love it here. We live on the North Shore and usually make it to honolulu on the weekends. Aloha.

  • profile image

    Salsa Dancing 

    8 years ago

    Hawaiian people are rich and colourful and apprecaite life. I stayed on honolulu for a short period and it was an amazing experience.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elayne 

    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks M. Rose. Glad you enjoyed the Hawaiian music. The Polynesians have such lovely harmony.

  • M. Rose profile image

    M. Rose 

    8 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Aww I love Hawaiian songs! My favorite part about going to Hawaii is their Hawaiian music radio stations...I wish we had them here. Love your song selections!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elayne 

    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks Godslittlechild. We have the same taste in Hawaiian songs - yeah!

  • Godslittlechild profile image

    Godslittlechild 

    8 years ago

    Hawaiin Wedding Song, Pearly Shells and Tiny Bubbles are my three favorite Hawaiin songs. Good hub!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elayne 

    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks Marie - good to see you on hubpages.

  • profile image

    Marie Kinikini 

    8 years ago

    Love these songs too! Oh yes, Such cute models for sure!

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elayne 

    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks Liana. I had great models!

  • profile image

    Liana 

    8 years ago

    Love all these songs and the cute picture :)

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elayne 

    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Yes, I love "I'll Remember You", but couldn't list all of them, so I just picked a few. Thanks for reminding us of that great song!!

  • profile image

    Karen 

    8 years ago

    I know them all, plus a bunch more. Where is "I'll Remember You"?

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR

    Elayne 

    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks! Maybe you can vote on the poll which is half-way down on the right if you like.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 

    8 years ago

    Great hub..Great songs. I actually am familiar with a few of them. Thanks so much.

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