LILIʻUOKALANI 

Aloha ʻOe [Farewell to Thee] (1877/78)

Arranged By Moon Kauakahi

Orchestrated By David Kauahikaua

Recognized as one of the most well-known Hawaiian songs of farewell, Aloha ʻOe’s roots in goodbyes exist in both the lyrics and it’s creation. There are several stories behind the genesis of Queen Liliʻuokalani’s most beloved mele. Of the more familiar stories takes place in 1878 on a return trip to Honolulu from the Boyd ranch in Maunawili, where Liliʻuokalani witnesses a tender embrace of farewell between Colonel Boyd and a young lady. She begins humming a tune similar to Charles C. Converse’s The Rock Beside the Sea and by some accounts, would compose it so quickly, everyone in her company could sing the tune by the journey’s end.

1.

Haʻaheo ka ua i nā pali

Ke nihi aʻe la i ka nahele,

E hahai ana paha i ka liko,

Pua ʻāhihi lehua o uka.

 

Hui:

Aloha ʻoe, [a]loha ʻoe

E ke onaona noho i ka lipo,

A fond embrace a hoʻi aʻe au,

Until we meet again.

 

2.

ʻO ka haliʻa [a]lohha i hiki mai,

Ke hone aʻe nei kuʻu manawa,

ʻO ʻoe nō kaʻu ipo aloha,

A loko e hana nei.

 

3.

Maopopo kuʻu ʻike i ka nani,

Nā pua rose o Maunawili,

I laila hiaʻai nā manu,

Mikiʻala i ka nani o ka liko.

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

1.

Proudly swept the rain by the cliffs

As on it glided through the trees,

Still following ever the “liko,”

The āhihi lehua of the vale.

 

Chorus:

Farewell to thee, farewell to thee,

Thou charming one who dwells in shaded bow’rs,

One fond embrace ‘ere I depart,

Until we meet again.

 

2.

Thus sweet memories come back to me,

Bringing fresh remembrance of the past,

Dearest one, yes, thou art mine own,

From thee, true love shall neʻer depart.

 

3.

I have seen and watched thy loveliness,

Thou sweet Rose of Maunawili,

And ’tis there the birds oft love to dwell

And sip the honey from thy lips.