Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, yesterday and today, 1944 / 2014.

[Found under: “News From Boys, Girls Kamehameha School”]


People who enjoy Hawaiian music have expressed the desire to know the meanings of the Hawaiian songs. Translations of the two prize songs to be used in the Kamehameha School for Girls’ song contest to be held on February 13, appear below.

Mrs Mary Kawena Pukui, translator at the Bishop Museum and director of Hawaiian activities at the Kamehameha Preparatory School, has translated the songs.

The junior division prize song is Pa’au’au Waltz. Selected for the senior division prize song is Lei Awapuhi.

Translation of Lei Awapuhi

I hear the voice of a loved one say
Let me pluck and wear the flower
To string a lei for my leaf bud to wear
My love was strongly attracted
To the choicest flower that ever bloomed
Let me, darling, string it into a lei,
O let your ginger lei be mine.


O ginger lei who comes to me at eventide
Close companion of the small-leaved maile
Let your hope quietly abide
With Beautiful ginger lei.

Translation of Pa’au’au Waltz

Proud is Pa’au’au of its beauty
Majestic in the blowing of the trade wind
Perhaps enjoying the comforts
The wooing of the silent fish.


Endless is my admiration
Of the beauty of Pa’au’au
Who can’t help loving it
After many years of living there
Beautiful is that home,
That overlooks the sea of Polea.
It urges to come and see,
The beauty of Pa’au’au

Pa’au’au was the old Colburn home at Polea, now known to us as the Peninsula. The fish pond belonging to the place was also known as Pa’au’au. The silent fish of Ewa, famed in ancient Hawaiian poetry was the pearl oyster of pipi. It was called the silent fish because the fishermen did not utter a sound when fishing for the pearl oyster, for if they did, a sudden gust of wind would cause a ripple over the surface of the sea and the oysters in the water would vanish.

[Mary Kawena Pukui. What a tremendous legacy she has left behind. Were it not for her, what would today look like…

This article from 70 years ago also reminded me of the upcoming annual Kamehameha Schools Song Contest (94th), on this Friday, the 21st of March. This year the theme is “songs of world travel”. Hawaiians were and still are world travellers, and there are many, many songs composed on this theme!]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 2/9/1944, p. 2)


Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXVIII, Number 42, Aoao 2. Pepeluali 9, 1944.

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