Commentary on Hawaiian Music and Liliu’s “Mele Lahui Hawaii,” 1867.

Hawaiian Music.—It is something to hear of Hawaiians, who but a few years ago, as a nation, possessed no other songs but the semi-barbarous Meles of their ancestors, and no other music than the montonous “ah—ah,——o—oo—u—uu,” of former years,—it is something pleasingly new to have to note the appearance of a neatly lithographed sheet of music for sale in the bookstore, both the words and music of which were composed by a Hawaiian lady. The title describes the sentiments expressed in the composition—”He Mele Lahui Hawaii,” or, in English, “A Hawaiian National Hymn.” The words are not rhyme, but read smoothly, with the euphony characteristic of the Hawaiian tongue, and the music is very sweet, the first few bars resembling those of the popular song of “Hazel Dell.” When sung by a full choir of natives, many of whom, male and female, have well managed voices of peculiar sweetness of tone, the “National Hymn,” expressing as it does both piety and patriotism, cannot fail to become popular. The lithography is very creditably done at Newcomb & Co’s book-bindery. We subjoin a translations of the words:

Almighty Father, bend thine ear,
And list the nation’s prayer,
That lowly bows before thy throne,
And seeks thy fostering care.
Grant thy peace throughout the land,
O’er each sunny sea-girt isle;
Keep the nation’s life, O Lord,
And upon our Sovereign smile. Continue reading