Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hawaiian musical healing

The songs are part of a sly Hawaiian musical tradition called kaona, in which multiple meanings are conveyed through innocuous imagery. Songs that mention rocking chairs, flowers, slippery fish or sea spray might be about just those things, or something else, or both, or neither. A hula performer might say one thing with her voice and hands, and quite another with her eyes and smile.

Also, notice diffrerent translations. One has to have a good knowledge of Hawaiian language and also a good subtle brain, to pick up on all the nuances. I love it!



Papalina Lahilahi

''It seems that in old Hawaii too, there were people who always asked, 'But do you really love me?' This answer is not the gentlest. A further note: In Hawaiian songs, lovemaking is referred to poetically by mentioning mist, spray, rain.''

He aloha wau ia 'oe la

I love you

Kou papalina lahilahi

Your dainty cheeks

I ka ho'opulu mau 'ia la

Always damp

I ka hunehune o ke kai.

From sea spray.

He aha no ho'i kau la

What's the reason for

O ke alawiki 'ana mai?

Hurrying this way?

Ua 'ike iho no 'oe la

You've known

A he pua 'oe ua 'ako 'ia.

You're a flower already plucked.




'Ahulili
Ahulili is a high mountain peak on Maui. "lili" means jealous.

He aloha no 'Ahulili

'Ahulili is loved

He lili paha ko ia ala

But perhaps is jealous

I ke kau mau 'ole ia

When (loving) isn't there all the time

E ka 'ohu kau kuahiwi.

Like mist that settles on the mountains.

Eia no e ka 'olu

Here's what will satisfy

Ke 'ala kupaha'o.

The mysterious fragrance.

A lawa ko makemake

When you have what you want

E manene ai ko kino.

Your whole being trembles.



Mauna Loa

These days, at least one verse is left out for being a little too strong, even in Hawaiian.''

'Auhea wale 'oe, 'o Mauna Loa la

Listen, o Mauna Loa

Kikala nui

Of the wide stern

Ho'iho'i mai 'oe, i ku'u aloha la

Return my love

E, e, e, Ka'awaloa nei.

Here to Ka'awaloa.

Ua hiki no 'oe a'e hele ana la

Until you come

Me ka ipo manuwahi

With my lover

A na'u no ia 'oni ho'okahi la

It's my lot to be restless, alone

E, e, e i kahi pela a'o kaua.

In that place that's for us two.

Ko hinaka popopo la

Your hankie is worn out

Ua 'ai 'ia ka elelu

Eaten by roaches

A na'u no ia a sawele nei la

I use it to wipe off

E, e, e, ko kama'a miomio.

Your pointy-toe shoes.



'Alika

''This title is translated variously as Alaska, or Arctic -- no matter, both places are plenty cold. . . .

Aia i 'Alika

There in the Arctic

Ka ihu o ka moku

The prow of the ship

Ua hao o pa'ihi

Set firmly

Na pe'a i ka makani.

Sails in the wind.

Ke liolio nei

Taut

Ke kaulu likini

Rigging lines

'Alu'alu 'ole iho,

Not slack,

Na pe'a i ka makani.

Sails in the wind.

'A'ole i kau pono,

Not fixed.

Ka newa i ka piko.

The needle in the north.

Ka'a 'e ka huila,

The wheel turns,

E niniu i ka makani.

Spinning in the wind.

Ha'ina 'ia mai

Tell

Ana ka puana

The refrain.

Aia i 'Alika

There in the Arctic

Ka ihu o ka moku.

The prow of the ship.



Kane'ohe

Olapa ka uila i Kane'ohe

The electricity flashes in Kane'ohe

Ka hui laulima o i lani wai.

(because of) the cooperative association

Hui:

Chorus:

Me ka ua a Puakea

And the rain of Puakea

Ka la'i o Malulani

The calm of Malulani

Me ke anu o ke Ko'olau.

And the cliff of the Ko'olau Range

Ho'okahi mea hou ma He'eia

There's something new at He'eia

Ka uwea kelekalapa leo nahenahe.

The soft-voice telegraph wire.

Ha'ina ia mai ana ka puana

The story is told

Ua 'a ka uila a'i Kane'ohe.

How electricity burned in Kane'ohe.


At 82, Aunty Genoa Keawe WAS still going strong -- every Thursday, in fact, in the lobby bar of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Hotel, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., no cover, no minimum. She died recently.
The above translations are from inside the CD "party hulas".


This is a way better translation:

Ahulili

- by Scott Ha'i

He aloha no 'o 'Ahulili
He lili paha ko iala
I ke kau mau 'ole 'ia
E ka 'ohu kau kuahiwi

Eia no e ka 'olu
Ke 'ala kupaoa
A lawa kou makemake
E manene ae kou kino

'Ako aku au i ka pua
Kui no wau a lei
A i lei poina 'ole
No na kau a kau

Pa'a iho oe a pa'a
Ka 'i'ini me ka 'ano'i
Ka 'ano'i no kau pua
Ka beauty a'o Mauna-hape

Haina mai kapuana
He aloha no 'Ahulili
He lili paha ko iala
Ike kau mau 'ole 'ia

A love for Ahulili
He might be jealous
For not always being on
The mist of the mountain

Here is the cool
Heady fragrance
And your desires satisfied
As your body shudders

I have plucked the flower
Strung into a lei
A lei never forgotten
From one season to the next

Hold on tightly to
Your desire and your love
The craving for your blossom
The beauty of Happy Mountain

This is the end
A love for Ahululi
He might be jealous
For not always being on
Source: Louise McKee, translated by Henry Kaalakahi - A similar version appears in Na Mele o Hawai'i Nei by Elbert & Mahoe. This song with its many versions is about Ahulili, a mountain peak in Kaupo, Maui. Lili means jealous.





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