Aloha `Oe

 

The last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, she inherited the throne from her brother Kalākaua on January 29, 1891. A woman of peace and an accomplished author and songwrite, she became the first Native Hawaiian female author. Upon her death, Liliʻuokalani dictated in her will that all of her possessions and properties be sold and the money raised would go to the Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Trust to help orphaned and indigent children. The Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust Fund still exists today.

Aloha `Oe

Words and music by Queen Lili`uokalani

“Aloha ʻOe” (Farewell to Thee) is Queen Liliʻuokalani’s (Hawaii’s last monarch) most famous song and a song commonly sung at High School graduations and other important events. The story of the origin of the song has several variations. They all have in common that the song was inspired by a notable farewell embrace given by Colonel James Harbottle Boyd during a horseback trip taken by Princess Liliʻuokalani in 1877 or 1878 to the Boyd ranch in Maunawili on the windward side of Oʻahu. Originally written as a lovers’ good-bye, the song came to be regarded as a symbol of, and lament for, the loss of her country.

Hawaiian Version:

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

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