Ka ʻŌiwi Nani [The Beautiful Form] (1886)

Arranged By Moon Kauakahi

Orchestrated By David Kauahikaua

During her eight months of incarceration in ʻIolani Palace, Queen Liliʻuokalani was allowed a few privileges; one of those permitted her to receive an occasional basket of flowers, usually from her garden at Uluhaimalama in Pauoa. One day she noticed that the flowers came not from Uluhaimalama, but from Paoakalani, her home in Hamahamo, Waikīki. The Queen was inspired to write this song, dedicated to the young boy who delivered the flowers. (Moon Kauakahi)

I ke ahiahi Pōʻakolu

Kuʻu ʻike ʻana iho

He ʻelele waha ʻole na ke aloha

E ʻī mai ana iaʻu



E ʻī mai ana, ʻī mai ana

Aia Keʻala i ka nahele

Kahi i walea iho ai

I ka ʻolu o ia uka.


A he nani ʻiʻo nō ia pua

Me he lāʻī pala ala ka memele

Ka ʻōiwi nani o ke kāmakahala

Lamalama i ka uka o Lanihuli.

*Compiled by Michael-Thomas Foumai. Digitally published for the Hawaiʻi Symphony Sheraton Starlight Series on June 4-6 2021.

On Wednesday evening

I came to know

A letter from my beloved

Saying to me.



Saying, saying

The forest is where Keʻala

Is finding enjoyment

In the coolness of the upland.


This flower is such a beauty

Like the bright yellow of a ripe tī leaf

Or, the beautiful form of the kāmakahala

Radiant in the upland of Lanihuli.