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My Top Five Homesick for Hawai'i Songs

Updated on September 22, 2013

...I will never know them to be more beautiful than at this very instant.

Coconut Plantation, Island of Kaua'i
Coconut Plantation, Island of Kaua'i | Source
Mom and Her Giant Hibiscus
Mom and Her Giant Hibiscus | Source
Dad with Great-Grandson, Kalaunuiohua
Dad with Great-Grandson, Kalaunuiohua | Source

Reunion

A recent trip to the Big Island of Hawai'i where I was reunited with my family of origin did wonders for my soul.

In the midst of revelry, good food, and four generations of ohana, I was thankful for the moment yet mindful of its brevity.

As the late afternoon shadows of my life grow longer, Time, never one to tarry, seems fleeter of foot, and the days rush by like the faces of strangers on a passing train. Sensing an unprecedented urgency, I gazed a little longer than usual into the eyes of my loved ones, comforting myself with the singular mantra dancing in my head, the words keeping time with the raindrops falling on the corrugated iron roofs of Hilo...

I will miss you. I will miss you. I will miss you.

One moment, I am a two-year-old boy getting his first haircut in Segundo's barbershop in Kapa'a town. You remember Segundo? The handsome Filipino, looking a lot like a tanned George Raft, every bit of his thick gray hair smartly combed and held in check by Three Flowers Brilliantine pomade.

The next moment, I am a sixty-year-old man studying the features of my 80-year-old mother and 79-year-old father, trying in vain to pull forth the memory of their youthful beauty and vigor...stopping this foolishness only when it finally dawns on my nostalgia-intoxicated mind that I will never know them to be more beautiful than at this very instant.

The rain continued to fall.

I will miss you. I will miss you. I will miss you.

Intense Longing

Back on the mainland, an entire month after my Big Island reunion with loved ones, I am still off-kilter with my homesick longing for the islands.Stubbornly, I refuse to relent and give my wife and daughter anything less than 100% of my presence. But I have to wonder. Do they see the faraway look in my eyes? Do they sense the slight pause before I respond to their comments or questions? Do they know the yearning in my heart?

In fairness to all--and in some crazy kind of way, especially to myself--I have to find a way to cope with the heaviness I'm entrenched in.

Is there, my friend, any better way to fight fire than with fire itself?

A few years ago, my son had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer fireman. His service took him straight into the heart of the California wildfires one summer where he and thousands of other brave souls fought valiantly to contain the blazing inferno.

One tactic they employed was to set strategically controlled fires that would consume dry grass and thus prevent further spreading of the larger, devastating fire.

This controlled fire strategy was known as a back burn. Ironically, it was also termed a backfire. God forbid!

Anyway, I determined that the best way for me to cope with my intense yearning--the out of control wildfire of longing that burned in my heart--was to immerse myself in the spell of Hawaiian music...and not just any Hawaiian music, mind you, but songs specifically underscoring--you got it!--my homesick for Hawaii doldrums.

Here, then, are five of those nostalgia-immersed songs...

#5: Honolulu City Lights

In the 7th grade, I was a boarding student at a private school for children of Hawaiian ancestry in Honolulu on the island of O'ahu.

While there, I struck up a friendship with a husky, freckle-faced kid named Kapono Beamer. Kapono had the voice of an angel, and we had the sweetest time singing harmony to a wide array of songs.

Kapono introduced me to a tune I'd never heard before, Scarlet Ribbons. It had such a pretty melody, and the words were moving and inspirational, tugging at the heart. We practiced it in the dormitory stairwell, rich and vibrant with its echo chamber effect, and performed it one night for our dorm mother and the rest of the guys for evening devotions.

That was the last time I heard Kapono sing as a young boy.

Fourteen years later, in 1979, about the time I graduated from Washington State University, I received a care package from my family. In it was a CD recorded by Kapono and his older brother, Keola.

Listening to the rich baritone of composer and lead singer, Keola, accompanied by his talented slack key guitar rendering and the background orchestra, I reveled in the tidal wave of nostalgia that swept over me. But it was at the 42-second mark, when that beautiful idyllic harmony of Kapono danced in sync with his brother's voice, that a new waterfall was born.

For the remaining bars of the song, and in the countless number of playbacks, the tears fell from my eyes.

I think of all the simple things...

#4: Waialua Sky

In 1980, my high school class celebrated its tenth reunion.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make it.

Nevertheless, I still managed to send a heartfelt tribute to my friends back home.

A female friend in Tacoma had sent me a CD and a song sheet for a lovely song entitled, Waialua Sky, originally performed by a group from O'ahu, The Fabulous Krush.

This song cut deep to the marrow, expressing the intense yearning and sadness I was feeling at the time. Intensely moved by the lyrics and melody, I asked Maile if she could record a piano accompaniment of the song and send it to me. She graciously responded,

Because of the song's intense hold on me, after just a few practice sessions, I owned it. I recorded it one day and sent it to a female classmate back on Kaua'i. She took it to the class reunion and played it at a key point in the program.

I've been back to Kaua'i only three times since 1972. During those times, I've seen seven classmates. Many now live on the mainland or on different islands. Several have passed away.

I still haven't made it back to any of my class reunions.

In 2020, the Kapa'a High School Class of 1970 will hopefully celebrate its golden 50th class reunion.

If I'm divinely favored to be alive then, a thousand tsunamis couldn't prevent me from making it to that one.

Not only that.

I'll even write a hub about it.

#3: Ku'u Home O Kahalu'u

My father was a sergeant in the Hawai'i National Guard. Every summer, he had mandatory training exercises at Schofield Barracks on the island of O'ahu. My mother, siblings, and I would spend the two weeks at my maternal grandparents' home in Kahalu'u, an area as country as you can get on O'ahu. Lush and emerald green due to the heavy rainfall along the Ko'olau Range on the island's windward side, Kahalu'u was a chill place to visit, providing young Hawaiian Huckleberry Finns like me endless opportunities to stay both in and out of mischief all day long.

Along with building magnificent stone walls out of strategically placed boulders--formations that, to this day, pepper the rural areas of Kaneohe, my Okinawan grandfather and uncles were employed at Hygienic Dairy, just a few yards down the hill from my grandparents' home. I fondly remember how Uncle George would retrieve fresh ice cold milk in a gallon each day and let me drink it directly from the bottle, just like he did.

In 1976, I had the distinct pleasure of hearing a song written by Jerry Santos, a resident of Kahalu'u and a member of a critically acclaimed Hawaiian group called Olomana. It resonated deep within my soul because it was written from the point of view of a local boy who has, by way of choice, circumstance, or both, been transplanted in the mainland.

In the song, there are a few Hawaiian words. 'O'opu refers to the Hawaiian Goby Fish that thrives in the cold mountain streams.

The Ko'olau Hills in Jerry Santos' first verse is actually the western wall of the gigantic Ko'olau Volcano. It is believed that in prehistoric times, the eastern half of the volcano fell into the sea, portions of it still scattered for miles around on the ocean bottom.

Me ke aloha, ku'u home o Kahalu'u means With love of my home of Kahalu'u.

I love this song because of its aesthetic quality, both literally and metaphorically. On one hand, it combines old Hawaiian musicality (for example, the unique slack key guitar chords and picking style) with a contemporary island flavor.

On a deeper level, the song reflects a longing for the old days and a young boy's hopes and dreams of the past. Sadly, there is no way to return home to a place that only exists in one's memories.

The song ends with extreme yearning:

To please accept me as you find me

Me ke aloha ku`u home o Kahalu`u.

#1: Lei Pikake

Words and music by Barry Flanagan

(c) 1981

The fragrance of the pikake is wafted
By a gentle blowing of the wind
CHORUS: I love the flower that constantly attracts

I pluck this flower of my attraction
It will never be forgotten, it is second to none
-CHORUS-

Elegant and close to my heart
A lei to wear and cherish
-CHORUS-

An echo of my thoughts
A pikake lei is my love
-CHORUS-

Echoing again
A pikake lei is my love
-CHORUS-

Barry Flanagan was a busboy and struggling musician when he wrote the above English-language poem. He shared his literary piece with Kiope Raymond, an Associate Professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii Maui College. After Professor Raymond translated the poem into Hawaiian, Flanagan was so inspired upon reading it that he wrote the melody in five minutes.

Founder of the band, Hapa, Flanagan introduced the song to his lead singer, Keli'i Kaneali'i,and the result was magical.

It was a decade later, however, before the group released its self-titled debut album. It earned six Hoku awards, including Song of the Year for Lei Pikake. Pikake, incidentally, is a jasmine flower.

Hapa, which means part or a fragment of, is an appropriate name for a group that features a native Hawaiian and a Caucasian. But its meaning transcends the obvious.

Hapa is representative of the transition of island culture from ancient Hawaiian traditions to a lifestyle that embraces a Western influence.

The Kingdom of Hawai'i is no longer an isolated sovereignty, as much as many of its indigenous population wish would still be the case. As much as I long to return to my home island of Kaua'i, I am no longer naïve in thinking that it stood still while the rest of the world changed. In my heart of hearts, Hapa makes a statement: Today's village is no longer the tiny hamlet down by the seashore. Rather, it is one of global proportions.

The lyrics of this song are absolutely beautiful, but it is the melody that haunts me.

My bucket list includes my mastery of this song. My father is constantly asking me to sing for him. The next time I see him, and my mother, too, for that matter, I will sing this song for them a capella.

And when that proverbial bucket has been given a final boot by me, I want this song to be sung at my memorial service.

#2: Kawaipunahele

In the last two decades, no musician has done more to promote Hawaiian culture through music and dance than Keali'i Reichel.

His genesis as an ambassador of Hawaiiana is an outstanding example of the power of restoration. At the age of 24, Reichel was convicted of theft and sentenced to community service which involved a study of Hawaiian culture.The young man grabbed a hold of his roots and took off like a mahimahi cruising the deep. This was a huge turning point in his life as he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to the study and advancement of Hawaiian culture.

Dozens of songs and scores of music awards later, Keali'i Reichel continues to deliver on his commitment to his beloved people and islands.

Kawaipunahele, one of Keali'i Reichel's earliest and still most popular songs, addresses the intense longing of a man for his lover.

Here is the English translation ~

For you Kawaipunahele
My never-fading lei
Never separated,
Firmly united.
Come, let's go back.
O Kawaipunahele.

You stand majestically
In the splendor of Wailuku.
My cherished sweetheart,
My adornment of the night
Come, let's go back.
O Kawaipunahele

Here is Keali`i
Waiting in loneliness
I am lonely,
I hurt
Come, let's go back,
O Kawaipunahele.

Tell of the love,
Of my never-fading lei.
Never separated,
Firmly united
When it's right, we'll go back,
O Kawaipunahele.

Epilogue

The rain has stopped. For now.

But my heart will always yearn for you, and...

I will miss you. I will miss you. I will miss you.


Just talkin' story on the ol' front porch...

Comments

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Elayne!

    It is so good to hear from you. Thank you for your gracious support and lovely comments. I'm just so honored and thankful to make your acquaintance here on HubPages. Your love and passion for all things Pacific Islands accompany the Hubs that you've written and continue to write, so no matter where you live, your fans will enjoy and appreciate the beautiful words that you artistically weave into a literary lei. Thank you so much for sharing your God-given talent with us! May you continue to be a blessing to others--believe me, your faithful witness comes through in a glorious way! Aloha, my new friend!

    Joe

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    Elayne 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    We have lived in Hawaii now for over twenty years. We plan to retire and return to my home state of Utah. I know I will really miss the people and beauty of these islands. At least I can take the music with me. You have featured some of my favorites too. Once you get the aloha spirit in you, it is impossible to take it out. Thank you for sharing your beautiful hub with us.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha kakahiaka, Chris!

    Wow! You mentioned several great Hawaiian artists there, and I appreciate your good taste in music! So, this will be a major transition for you and your family. However, I think it's a wise choice. As a writer, you will find this Big Island district fertile ground for creative projects and intellectual expansion. Some of the best cold springs are found in this area. You'd be close to Hilo where my sister and her family live. Your kids would have great schools to attend and all sorts of athletic events to participate in, if they like. And you're never that far away from picturesque Kona. Of course, one can't mention the Big Island without referencing the majestic dormant as well as very active volcanoes. Great choice for you and your family, Chris, and optimal timing while your children are still young. I like O'ahu, but I'd rather live on the neighbor isles. God bless you and your family as you prepare for and actually make that move. I wish you the very best. In the meantime, I'm getting psyched for the Hub Challenge in 12 days. Aloha, bruddah!

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    chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

    Wonderful songs, Joe. I think the first CD I g...no...CASSETTE TAPE...I got when I moved to Hawaii was Keali'i Reichel, and I later came to enjoy Hapa as well (plus Makaha Sons, John Cruz, Ka'au Crater Boys and so many others).

    Hey guess what? My wife and I have been seriously considering moving to Big Island. Our financial situation probably won't allow us to keep our home here on Oahu for more than another 2-3 years, so we're thinking we should sell it and buy some land in Puna or something like that and just build a small pre-fab or quanset-style home over there.

    Anyway, we're just in the beginning planning phase on that. Still got a lot to learn about what all we have to do.

    Talk to ya later. Chris

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @MosLadder

    Yeah, brah, I know what you mean! Jerry Santos sings it as well as, if not better than, he did back in the day, and he continues to generously give of himself to his community. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in this aloha experience!

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    Chris Montgomery 4 years ago from Irvine, CA

    I have a hard time listening to ku'u home o kahalu'u without going to tears. Gets me every time!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @KoffeeKlatch Gals

    Hi, Sue! Thanks for reading my hub and listening to these unforgettable songs. I'm not into wild music or rap...give me a Hawaiian song any time, and I'm trippin' the light fandango...or hula! : ) Aloha!

    Joe

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    Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Thank you so much for sharing these songs with us. They are so beautiful. No wonder you are homesick for them. Music is one of those things that can bring back memories in an instant. Beautiful and up.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @quicksand

    Good morning, brother writer! Hey, your cat and my cat, Kona, could be brothers! Same color and similar markings! Thank you for dropping by to visit and share your kind comments. Welcome back anytime! I, too, will accept your invitation to read your hubs with the great titles and wide array of topics! Aloha, my friend!

    Joe

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    quicksand 4 years ago

    Greetings Hawaiianodysseus,

    A very interesting article indeed! I like the music too as I am fond of Hawaiian music since it's associated with sea, sun, and sand.

    There is a song called "Molokaii" which I like very much. Reminds me of beaches and bright sunshine every time I give it a spin, irrespective of what the weather is like outside!

    I have a good collection of Hawaiian music which includes tracks from Blue Hawaii, and some of Marty Robbins' recordings too.

    Cheers and good luck to you!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @quildon

    Hi! I'm blessed to have the pleasure and privilege of your company today. Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm thankful to live in an era in which the technology enhances our ability to stay close to home and family of origin. I'm one who doesn't believe we can effectively move on unless we've resolved the unfinished business of the past.. I'm very grateful that in spite of all the changes and challenges, the family I grew up with and I are so very, very close. Thank you for your good thoughts, quildon! Aloha, my friend, and I'll see you at the next hub!

    Joe

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    Angela Joseph 4 years ago from Florida

    What an absolutely beautiful hub! There is nothing like music to evoke a feeling of nostalgia in us and as I listened to these beautiful recordings and watched the videos, I pictured myself in Hawaii, which is on my bucket list to visit. I like what you said about your corner of the world not having stood still. It reminds me of my island Trinidad which has not stood still either, much for the worse, but of which I still have fond memories. Thanks for sharing this with us. Voted up, beautiful and interesting.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @prasetio30

    Thank you so much for stopping by, my friend. Your culture, as does mine, loves beautiful music and the emotions great songs draw out from deep within. I'm glad that you chose this hub to visit this morning, and I'm blessed by your participation in it. Aloha, my friend Prasetio!

    Joe

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    prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Beautiful...I had never heard about Hawaii song. I really entertained with the video as well. Brother, you have a good job by sharing this hub with us. Voted up :-)

    Prasetio

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @mercuryservices

    Thanks, brah! Nice to meet you! Looks like you've had some major traveling in your lifetime. As time permits, I'm going to check out your other hubs--as well as the new ones that will now automatically hit my inbox--and have an enjoyable time. I want to see a UFO or, better yet, an alien before I die, but not as a result of having seen one or the other. Same with Sasquatch, Nessie, and all the other alleged beings that some have seen but most don't believe exist. Take it easy, brah, and enjoy the islands to the max!

    Aloha!

    Joe

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    Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

    Really love the name hawaiianodysseus. I in the middle of a journey myself, and I can honestly say that Hawaii is the most beautiful place I've ever visited. The music definitely reflects the tranquil beauty of this unique island. I'm a military brat, so I spent 8th grade in the Azores when my dad was stationed on lajes field. When you said that you had many huckleberry finn-esque adventures on the island when you were young, it brought to mind some good memories. Thanks for providing some background information with each song, by the way, that was really interesting to read.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @pagesvoice

    Good morning, Dennis! I'm visualizing the throwing of the nets, a la pagesvoice style, and I'm off to a good start to this day as well! Ha-ha! Glad you stopped by, my friend, to engage in yet another memory lane excursion. Guys our age are blessed to still have a memory where we can share...

    Um...can't remember where I was going with this. Uh, never mind!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend! I'm kinda not looking forward to the long walk ahead this morning...but once I get the first mile in, I'll be fine. Aloha, Dennis, and I'll see you at the next hub!

    Joe

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    Dennis L. Page 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

    Well Joe, you have managed to take the reader, once again, down memory lane.

    When I was in 6th Grade we had a new girl from Hawaii enroll in our class. Our teacher had this same girl teach the entire class all of the movements and words to the Hukilau song. Although I am now in my 60s people still laugh when "I throw my nets out into the sea."

    Thank you for kick starting my Saturday morning.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Natashalh

    Oh, Natasha, you are so blessed! Awesome! I hope you hub away while you're in Hawai'i so I can get more homesick over here! LOL! You know, since you mentioned about being cold in Hawai'i in August, my mom told me that the temperature on Kaua'i has dropped considerably. Normally in the high 80's at this time of the year, it's been 50-65 degrees or something like that for the last few months. Unbelievable! Whoever doubts the reality of global climate changes needs to come out from under that rock! Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful time! It's wonderful that you can travel all over at such a young age. Good for you! Have a great weekend, Natasha! And thanks so much for stopping by to share in my hub event! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

    Beautiful songs! I plan to go to Kaua'i for a week on June at Hawai'i for an additional week before spending the summer on Oahu. I'll then probably be there for about a year, from December to December. I feel really blessed to have the opportunity to stay in such a beautiful place, but I was thinking about it today and realized I'll really miss my home state. I missed South Carolina when I moved to Virginia for a year and a half! Besides, our water isn't nearly as nice but it tends to be much warmer in the summer. I may be the only person who's ever been cold in Hawaii in August and had to buy a sweatshirt!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @bdegiulio

    Hi, Bill! Thank you so very much! Coming from a writer whom I admire and respect very much, and whose body of work captivates and takes its readers to exotic places and compelling cultures, your compliments mean a great deal to me. The elders in my family--and I include myself in this mix--are old school, which is a nicer way to say, tech-illiterate, so I will sometimes post a hub that I want my mom to see on a younger generation family member's Facebook page. At some point, Mom will get to read it. With my father, I email his wife, and she will eventually discover it in her inbox and share it with him. : ) The bottom line is that our culture is very physically affectionate and emotionally expressive...I lost a lot of that when I came to the mainland, not blaming anyone or anything but myself for hiding behind a facade. It's been only in the last decade or so that I've peeled away the onion layers and surprised myself at the sentimental little boy within. Thanks, Bill, for dropping by to share in this experience and to enjoy some of the beautiful songs from the islands. Aloha, my friend, and have a great weekend!

    Joe

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    Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Joe, this is amazing. Your writing skills are excellent, this was such a good read. What a great tribute to your family and homeland. There is nothing like music to tie us to a particular time and place in our life. I hope your family in hawaii has had the opportunity to read this. I'm sure it brought tears to their eye. Well done my friend. Voted up, etc....

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @ARUN KANTI

    Thank you so much for your gracious words, my friend. I sincerely believe that you have a captivating writing style that is unique and fresh, and I thoroughly enjoy your work. I've had the core basics of writing since I was little, but I turned my back on it, foolishly, and did not cultivate it until circumstances and choices necessitated its re-emergence. Now, I write in complete free-fall, as one who realizes somewhere during the descent that there is no parachute and thus--once the screaming is over--abandons the last bit of inhibition and is free to write the truth. Every now and then, I completely bomb--LOL!--but the main thing is that I'm a kid having fun. Thanks for stopping by and being the first this morning with whom I can share these thoughts. Aloha, my friend!

    Joe

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    ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

    Good evening Joe- How I wished I could write in such a superb style captivating the readers! We are also uprooted shifting from our ancestral place. But I long to go back to the place of birth and childhood days to enjoy the eternal charm. Thank you for sharing such a magical piece,

    Aloha, my friend

    Arun Kanti Chatterjee

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @CrisSp

    Good evening, my dear friend! I trust that this finds you in good health and spirits. So glad that you took the time to listen to all five songs. Aren't they beautiful? Several of these musicians employ the slack key guitar style. To understand this better, there's a hub that just came out today that's written by GuitarGear and entitled, "Slack Key Guitar: A Hawaiian Tradition." Walter does a masterful job of explaining the technical process and the aesthetic quality of this island guitar style. I appreciate you and your wonderful contributions here on HubPages very, very much, Cris. Your friendship and loyal support mean the world to me! Aloha, and have a good night's rest and a wonderful jump start to your weekend!

    Joe

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    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Oh my hawaiianodysseus (Joe), thank you for introducing me (us) to these lovely Hawaiian songs and musicians. You made me fall in love with their songs specially the WAIALUA SKY by the fabulous Krush. I've heard of that before though. I felt obliged to listen to all your clips in this hub and they are all wonderful, quite melancholic but I enjoyed them all. Love the strumming of J. Santos & W. Suenaga.

    Music indeed can take us to a certain time, place and of things past without a ticket. Thank you for taking us along with you down memory lane.

    Love the candid shots of your mom and dad. Truly, this is a wonderful hub. Thank you for sharing.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Radcliff

    Before I forget, I just want to say that you have the cutest little baby! Wasn't sure how "young" or "old" this profile photo was, but you two sure are photogenic! Makes me very happy to see mother and child photos like this!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Liz, for connecting emotionally with me on this hub. Now that I know you lost your mother at such a young age, a lot of things fall into place...can't remember specifics, but the general ambience of your hubs indicated to me that you have a lot of moxie. I especially like your stance on not feeling sorry for oneself; rather, it's perfectly alright to have compassion for oneself. I learned this late in life; you picked it up rather early in your life because you had to. Either way, the fact that we both GET IT helps us to really connect with each other, and that comes across in our respective as well as mutual writing...like this exchange, for example.

    Your words are the best compliment any writer could receive from a respected peer. To have known that one's words have so moved another human being is an epitome for a writer that transcends the passing thrill of getting a huge sum of money. These are the moments that solidify for me what a great choice I made when I joined the HubPages community. Thank you, Liz! Aloha and one more brick in the bridge that we're building,

    Joe

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    Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

    This is so beautiful, Joe, I just don't even have the words to respond. You brought tears to my eyes and a heaviness in my heart that made me feel like I was looking through your eyes at your lovely mother. I'm in tears now as I write this: my own mother died at 36 years old, so I have known that this life is but a blade of grass for most of my time on earth. In light of this fact, I often find myself gazing at my little one, chanting those same words in my mind . . . I will miss you, I will miss you . . .

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @carol7777

    I'm glad you're making it a point to listen to the music as well as watch the images--and the dancing--in the videos. Carol, I'm definitely going to learn Lei Pikake. I think the melody is absolutely beautiful, and you can hear the longing, almost lamenting, cry in the singer's voice during the chorus. As a singer myself, it's incredibly challenging to sing the first verse a capella and then have the musical accompaniment come in on the second verse. If you lose either pitch or key, the results can be disastrous. This guy nails it...and the harmony of the Caucasian singer is awesome!

    Thanks, Carol, for being such a loyal peer!

    Joe

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    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    I always enjoy reading what you write..You are an amazing writer and write with a lyrical feeling. I will listen to the music..will keep bookmarked. Voting up and sharing...

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @wetnosedogs

    Thank you, my friend, for your perceptive thoughts. It certainly did help me to write this piece and find the songs that I had mentally noted as being the ones that really pulled at my heartstrings. The involvement of challenging myself to write about this topic actually helped me to cope with my homesick feeling. It's still there and will always be there, but I'm comforted knowing that the technology exists where I can instantly access text, pictures, videos, and music. Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Hawaiian Scribe

    Oh, Stephanie, remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard these songs? I thought your line above, "These songs make me homesick for Hawaii too, and I live here!" said it all so well! Thank you so much for your loyal support and for sharing my work with others. Very sweet of you! Aloha! Joe

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    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Hawaii seems to have certainly grown, but it's o.k. to keep it in your heart as you know it. It is easy to see parents as the young folks they were, even in meeting them again face to face.

    Thanks for writing this heart felt trip and hoping in doing so, that you feel better.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @kashmir56

    Hi, Tom! Thank you for reading and appreciating this particular hub. Your love for Led Zeppelin leads me to share this with you. The composer, guitarist, and lead singer for "Honolulu City Lights," Keola Beamer, is a master at playing the "slack key guitar." Today, I read a very interesting hub written by GuitarGear of Ohio about slack key guitar. I learned that there are different ways to tune (thus, slacken the strings of) the guitar. Also, several rock groups employ the method, including LED ZEPPELIN! If you haven't already, please check out this excellent hub. Again, thanks for sharing in this experience, Tom. Wishing you joy and aloha!

    Joe

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    Stephanie Launiu 4 years ago from Hawai'i

    What a beautiful hub! These songs make me homesick for Hawaii too, and I live here! This hub was a masterpiece, and including videos of all 5 songs was an added bonus. Mahalo nui and keep up the wonderful writing. Voted up, awesome, beautiful, sharing on FB, tweeted and pinned. Aloha, Stephanie

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    Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend enjoyed all the videos and the beautiful songs that make you homesick for the ever beautiful Hawaii . It is amazing how a song or song can trigger such emotions in a person and bring memories of joy or sorrow .

    Awesome read my friend !

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @billybuc

    I'm really grateful to you, Bill, for taking the time to listen to all five songs. And you know what's really eerie in a cool sorta way? Remember that series, Northern Exposure? Remember the tall guy who did the deejaying and who would often read these well-articulated essays over the air? (I think he does the voice-overs for Applebee's now). Anyway, I really loved that character and the script the writers of that show gave him...and, yes, I was heavily influenced by that style of writing. You are most perceptive, my friend! That comes from a sincere sensitivity and empathy for others. Your uplifting comments mean a great deal to me, Bill. I'm off to Milton-Freewater, OR, now for a buying trip and my wife's appointment at the chiropractor. Beautiful day for traveling! Aloha, and may you have a very productive and rewarding day, Bill!

    Joe

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    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    It took me awhile to comment because I had to listen to all five songs. A busy day of writing was interrupted by five lovely songs from the islands, and I was happy and grateful for the interruption.

    You are a writer...a seriously good writer. I can see you reading your work from some tiny little radio station...Late Nights With Joe...and your soft voice goes out to the truckers and lovers and midnight dancers, spinning your tales of respect, honor and love.

    I'll be listening for you. :)

    Beautiful my friend. Keep them coming.

    Aloha,

    bill

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @ologsinquito

    See it happen as if it already is happening, my friend, and you will find yourself in Hawai'i...sooner than "someday." Thank you for gracing my hub with your presence and your encouraging comments. Have a wonderful day! Aloha!

    Joe

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    ologsinquito 4 years ago from USA

    I like how you make Hawaii real to those of us who've never been there, but would like to go someday.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @tillsontitan

    Mary, the thing I appreciate most about you is your loyal support. Thank you, also, for taking the time to read this lengthy hub and revel in the beautiful island music. I didn't really get into the ancient chants and early music of Hawai'i, and I'm unfamiliar and, frankly, not interest in the current Jawaiian (Hawaiian with Jamaican influence) cultural influences...I'm somewhat stuck in the hapa-haole era where the old transitioned into a virtual melting pot of Polynesia and Caucasian melodies and lyrics, beginning with the Sweet Leilani era. : ) I'm sure that in your research of the old movies (great niche, by the way!), you may come across the music I'm talking about. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! Aloha, my friend!

    Joe

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    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    Music is the pathway to our souls, it comforts us, it moves us, and it brings joy to us....you have depicted that so beautifully in this hub. Each of these songs is so touching that it is easy to see how they stir such fond memories. The stories you have written as lead ins to each of these songs are as moving as the music!

    Both of my parents are gone now, but I have good memories and fond moments of music shared with them.

    Voted up, awesome, and beautiful.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @kidscrafts

    Hi, Joelle! Thank you so much for stopping by to visit! Wow, you have definitely traveled a lot! It's good to learn more about you and your cultural roots. I'm encouraging my adult children to learn more about both their German and Pacific Islander/Asian heritage, not waiting until they're old and gray like their dad to search things out. You honor me with your presence here today. Have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend, my friend! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    Thank you for your heartfelt and sincere message, my friend. Honestly, I don't understand a lot of the Hawaiian language, either. I'm culturally ashamed to say that I grew up in an era when most of the island educators were trying to squelch the island ways in favor of "westernizing" us children. Later, there was a huge move to preserve, renew, and embrace Hawaiiana. In many ways, I'm learning so much more in my senior years about Hawai'i. Aloha, my friend!

    Joe

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    kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    Very nice hub Joe! I can understand your feeling because you unrooted yourself from a beautiful place. I spent my early childhood in Africa and then came back to Belgium when I was 8 years old.... and at that age I vowed to myself that I would not stay there because the sky is always grey and it's raining all the time! I was right... I moved away.

    I was lucky that my husband was also unrooted in his childhood, so it was easy to jump the two of us together.

    I can also understand your feeling toward music. When my husband and I travel, and that we hear a musician on a street, we buy their CD....and that music can resonate in my heart for months or years to come as a reminder of a special holiday memory for example.

    Having lived in a warm climate as a kid with lush vegetation, I can tell you that I love the Caribbean with the turquoise water, the palm trees and the warm weather :-)

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    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Joe, some songs always trigger that feeling of longing and wanting in us and I feel as one moves on in age one comes to better appreciate the beauty of it all.

    Though I do not understand the meanings of these songs, the music touches the heart.

    Voted up, my friend and have a wonderful day!

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