A mele by Joseph Nawahi for his wife Emma Aima, 1936.

A HAWAIIAN MELE.

Some day later, we were asked at our Hoku publishing office, of the songs which were sung at the funeral of Mrs. Aima Nawahi on the last Sunday of this past year. The mele sung on that day were famous songs in “Leo Hoonani a me Hoku Ao Nani.”¹ They were not all shown and there were others, like “Mai Kuu Kaumaha Luuluu a Po,” and the young girls of Haili sang those songs with beautiful lyrics.

There were also hymns sung by some girls who were close to Aunty Aima, and they were sung with such sweetness. The mele sung by the Kaahumanu Society was this one. “Ma ko Iesu mau lima,” and some others as well.

The main reason that this question was asked, was because of the great admiration for the hymns composed by the devout in years gone by. There is someone writing down some old mele in a book to be distributed, and these hymns are wanted by this person writing down Hawaiian mele as something new for him. Another admired mele sung at the funeral of Mrs. Nawahi was that mele composed by Mr. Nawahi before their marriage. Here are the lines of that mele that are recalled partially, and recalled at that time.

Nana aku iluna
He star e alohi ana
Ua like me sweet rose
Me Fairy Puakoolau.

Hui
Aheahe mai ke kehau of the twilight
Pa mai ke ala onaona oia of my dear
Please wau e kiss i ke ala oia pua
And not Forgetting the sweet Lei Lehua

Hoi iho au e moe
Hiki ana o sweet rose
E naue ae kaua
I kuu home iuiu.

This is a mele that was sung all the time by the women of those days, and the lyrics are beautiful. There are many other lovely mele by Hawaiians that we remember, but when it is thought to sing it, we totally forget the words.

¹Leo Hoonani a me Hoku Ao Nani. Honolulu: Ka Papa Hawaii, 1902.

[This mele is printed earlier in Hoku o Hawaii on 1/3/1936 and the article itself is a reprint from 1/7/1936.]

(Hoku o Hawaii, 1/15/1936, p. 3)

HE MELE HAWAII

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Buke XXVII, Helu 29, Aoao 3. Ianuari 15, 1936.

Joseph Nawahi, born on this day in 1842, was not only a patritot, but a beautiful singer to boot, 1875.

Relating to Kaumakapili Church.

In the announcement of the sweet-voiced Oo birds of Maemae, Mrs. Emma Dillingham [Ema Dilinahama] and Miss Nelly Judd [Nele Judd], those who love music (both English and Hawaiian) as well as those who love helping and donating to the troubled kingdom of the Lord in some way. There will be held a Grand Concert at Kaumakapili on the night of the 23rd of this month, for the difficulties of Kaumakapili Church. There are four chosen by the Leadership of Kaumakapili as a committee to prepare mele to excite the heart and to whet the appetite. Mr. Kiha, the leader of the Kaumakapili Choir is one of them, and the son of the Kanilehua rain, the sweet-voiced bird of Haili (Joseph Kahooluhi) is another, who will only be singing solos; those singing were chosen carefully from amongst the beautiful-voiced Oo birds of Kaupea. His songs will be mixed in amongst theirs, “So that the hala will be sectioned in with the lehua; wonderful is Hilo, Hilo Hanakahi.”

[We all know that Joseph Kahooluhi Nawahiokalaniopuu was one of the great patriots of all times, and we even know about his fine painting skills, but did you know that he composed mele and that he had a sweet singing voice? The newspapers are like treasure boxes filled with all sorts of pearls.]

(Lahui Hawaii, 12/16/1875, p. 2)

No ka Ekalesia o Kaumakapili.

Ka Lahui Hawaii, Buke I, Helu 51, Aoao 2. Dekemaba 16, 1875.