LILIʻUOKALANI & ELIZABETH ACHUCK

Sanoe [Mist] (mid-1870’s)

Arranged By Moon Kauakahi

Orchestrated By David Kauahikaua

With all its rich poetic kaona (hidden meanings), this mele leaves listeners wondering about the secrets of Sanoe, whose beauty and charm attracted and allured many male admirers, although she was a married woman. One story suggests that Sanoe was a high-born lady in King Kalākaua’s court; others surmise Sanoe was actually Mrs. Elizabeth Achuck, the co-writer herself; and still some say it refers to Princess Likelike, being admired by visiting officers of an Italian ship, as the last verse hints. In any case, Sanoe remains a mystery and one can only enjoy listening to the song. Originally written in the 4/4 time signature, many have thought it was written and continue to sing it as a waltz in a 3/4 time. (Moon Kauakahi)

ʻAuhea ʻoe, e Sanoe

Hoʻopulu liko ka lehua

Eia hoʻi au

Ke kali nei i ko leo.

 

ʻO ka pane wale mai nō

ʻOlu wau mehe wai ala

Honehone mehe ipo ala

Paila i ka nui kino.

 

E kala nēia kino

I piliwi ai i laila

Pehea e hiki ai

E kō ai o ka manaʻo.

 

Ke hea mai nei Water Lily

E ao mai ʻoe iā kāua

Eia aʻe nō ʻo Pelo

Manu ʻāhaʻi ʻōlelo.

 

Lohe aku nei nā kuhina nui

A he ʻahahui ko Loma

Ke ʻoni aʻela i luna

E like me Likelike.

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

Where are you, Sanoe

You who dampens the young lehua bud

Here I am

Waiting for your voice.

 

With just your response

I am content like a water’s flow

Like a sweet sound from a sweetheart

That tingles throughout my person.

 

My entire being has so long

Believed in what is there

How can it come to be

How can my wishes come to pass.

 

Water Lily is calling

For you to be watchful over us

Here comes Pelo

A bird who spreads the news.

 

The great leaders have heard

And Rome has its own association

It moves skyward

Similar to Likelike.