Queen Liliuokalani’s composition not credited here in original or translation, 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.” Continue reading

Hawaiian National Hymn, 1883.


Composed by Her Highness
Princess Liliuokalani.


Ka Makua Mana Loa
Maliu mai ia makou
E Haliu aku nei
Me ka naau haahaa
E mau ka maluhia
O nei Paeaina
Mai Hawaii a Niihau
Malalo o Kou malu
E Ola! E Ola ka Moi!

Cho.—E mau ke Ea o ka Aina
Ma Kou pono mau
A ma Kou mana nui
E Ola! E Ola ka Moi. Continue reading

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

“E mau ka maluhia o nei Pae Aina,” 1872.

[Found under: “NA OLELO HOOLAHA.”]

Hawaiian National Anthem.—THIS MELE composed by the Hon. Mrs. Lilia K. Dominis has come in; there are many copies of this famous mele from San Francisco, and it can be had for the low price of a quarter, at the Book Shop of H. M. Whitney [H. M. Wini].

(Kuokoa, 12/14/1872, p. 3)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XI, Helu 50, Aoao 3. Dekemaba 14, 1872.

More on the Hawaiian National Anthem, 1867.

The Hawaiian National Anthem.—A few days ago, this mele was printed, of which the lyrics and music were composed by one of our young royals, Mrs. Lilia K. Dominis. The words are well chosen, and are worthy of the reverence of patriotism. The music is soft and sweet to our ears. The image in front was drawn by Robert W. Andrews [Rabati W. Anaru], with kahili on both sides, and if you look good, it appears as if the kahili are growing from amongst taro leaves and the hollows of trees; and the crawling of maile and the cascading of ferns. The National Anthem of Hawaii nei was printed skillfully by Thomas Cross of the Book Bindery of Newcomb and Company. This song is now for sale at the bookstore of Whitney at a reasonable cost, a quater. O Patriotic hearts, you must go and purchase this national anthem of your land of birth.

(Au Okoa, 5/30/1867, p. 2)

Ka Mele Lahui Hawaii.

Ke Au Okoa, Buke III, Helu 6, Aoao 2. Mei 30, 1867.

“Mele Lahui Hawaii,” the National Anthem, 1867.

[Found under: “NU HOU KULOKO: Oahu.”]

The Hawaiian National Anthem—We just saw the first printings, drawn on and printed on stone [lithograph] by some haole of this town, they being Robert Newcomb [Papa Nukama] and Thomas Cross [Toma Kea]. The notes and lyrics were printed first on the stone by Robert W. Andrews [Robata W. Anaru], a haole boy born in Hawaii nei. The notes and lyrics were carved finely into the stone.

[I just saw a post by Nanea Armstrong-Wassel on the Hawaiian Historical Society’s Facebook page mentioning that among its many treasures is a copy of this sheet music! This is but just one of their countless links to the past! Priceless!!

For more of Nanea’s posts, see: here on Instagram, or on Facebook.]

(Kuokoa, 4/13/1867, p. 2)

Ke Mele Lahui Hawaii.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke VI, Helu 15, Aoao 2. Aperila 13, 1867.

The first Kamehameha Day out in the country, 1872.

Day Commemorating Kamehameha I.

According to the news we received, the day the nation remembers Kamehameha I was preciously observed in different places of the nation, and this is good news for the very beginning of this day. Here below you will find what took place in various places, and here it is:

In Lahaina

“The activities of the day for the commemoration of Kamehameha I began at 9:12 A. M. with G. W. Pehu as the Chairman of the day’s events.”

A prayer was given by Hanunu. Chairman G. W. Pehu stood and explained to the crowd. This is the day that we were told in the announcements in our newspapers that this day is one that we are to commemorate, but not just on this day and that’s it; no, we are to continue this until the end, for he is the pillar of our world, the one who cleared away the thorny wilderness of this archipelago and made it into a fine garden, and it for him which we have pride: the wondrous one, the victor of victors, the one who shorn off the roughness  of these islands and smoothed it out making it a peaceful nation.

The one for whom we are starting off with this very first day, for whom we are celebrating for all times, with humble hearts, modesty, and aloha. He is our famed conqueror across the whole world. He is called the Napoleon of the Pacific Ocean, for his dexterity and his bravery and fearlessness; the victor of victors in battle for these 12 islands. He is the 1st of the Kamehamehas, who has gone, leaving our sacred offspring, King Kapuaiwa, Aliiolani, now living amongst us, the fifth of the Kamehamehas, one of his blossoms now appears clearly before us. And we proclaim together O Crowd gathered here at the church of Wainee, the House made by his royal ancestors who are passed on, while some of their descendants live on, along with the one who occupies the throne today.

For we now say in unison with aloha and humble hearts, May He Live! May the King Live in God!!

Therefore O People, let us keep the activities of the day well under control.

The first event. The singing of the Choir of Wainee, the hymn, “He Akua Hemolele.” There was a prayer by Hanunu, the pastor of the day. The Choir sang once more, “Ke Akua Mana Mau.”

The old ladies stood, along with the old men; some of the old men were right below the pulpit of Wainee, decked out in  layers of pa’upa’u kapa, and sang memorized songs of old. Like the Second Alphabet [Pi-a-pa-lua], sung like this: “Aha, Ahi, Aho, Ahu,” and so forth. Kenoi was the leader along with A. Makekau; this came to an end.

A. Makekau called out once more to this group of oldsters, with the Pi-a-pa-lua, exhorting in this manner:

“Don’t care after wooden idols,
Let us turn to the ever-living ruler,
It is good to glorify the ever-living God,
This, according to Iolani, the King of Hawaii.”

With this singing of the old ones, there was not a single one there who did not feel gratitude for the work done in times past. And after this was done, the makua then sang the Pi-a-pa-lua.

When the speaker, J. K. Unauna, stood, he was wearing a Large Whale Ivory Lei [Palaoa], which curved at the front like a banana of Kaea whose blossom containers [okai] are twisted. By the speech, of the speaker, the audience was immensely pleased, like a fish caught on the hook, weaving this way and that.

He spoke of the different famous feats of the Chief Kamehameha I. The audience was filled with thanks and appreciation. And, at the end of the speech of the speaker, the audience stomped their feet, like these lines of mele:

“I have nothing but praise for the beauty of Aipo,
Shuddering at the cold of Hauailiki”

[“Aole a’u mea mahalo ole i ka nani o Aipo,
E li ana ka io i ke anu o Hauailiki.”]

And when the audience calmed down, the voices of the men and women burst forth, singing the national anthem [mele lahui] composed by one of our chiefly children, Lilia K. Dominis. To witness this, it was as if the current was drawing to Alae [e ko ana ke au i Alae].

The program was over, and the audience was released, and the went to the other festivities at Keawaiki, which was teeming with people; there were so many people seen at the activities of the white ones of Lahaina nei. At the hour of 11 A. M., the games began:

First event, boat race, won by the boat of A. C. Smith. Event 2, Mule race, won by Castle Jr.’s mule. Event three, sack race, won by Arika of Kaanapali. Event 4, swimming race, won by Poepoe. Event 6, pig chase [alualu puaa], which was won by him. Event 7, tin can filled with molasses and you try to get the dollar inside using your tongue; it was miserable to watch. Won by [?Nahioihi]. Event 8, a wooden pole of 6 feet tall; the money ($2.50) atop the pole was not gotten.

[This article continues with scenes from Wailuku and Kailua, Kona. Look for the continuation at a later date. The image online is very hard to read. I can’t wait for the day when all the newspapers are rescanned clearly!]

(Au Okoa, 6/20/1872, p. 3)

La Hoomanao Kamehameha I.

Ke Au Okoa, Buke VIII, Helu 10, Aoao 3. Iune 20, 1872.

A music book gifted to the Honorable Lilia K. Dominis, 1868.

[Found under: “LOCAL NEWS: Oahu”]

A Precious Gift.—We have heard that our Composer of “Mele Lahui Hawaii,” the Honorable Mrs. Lilia K. Dominis, was gifted a music book from Germany, by one of their singers; it was presented with honor for her famous accomplishment: the composition of the lyrics and the searching for the music of “Mele Lahui Hawaii,” which is sung all the time by the choir of Kawaiahao and by all of us everywhere and its fame has been heard of in Germany. The book was sent by way of Mr. F. Banning, Esq., Consul of Belgium, to our precious alii. Printed in gold lettering on the cover was: “Lilia K. Dominis.” This young alii has thus received the fruits of her labors, and we hope that there will be more of her compositions here after.

[Anyone know what this book is and where it is located today?]

(Kuokoa, 3/28/1868, p. 2)

He Makana Makamae.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke VII, Helu 13, Aoao 2. Maraki 28, 1868.

More on the National Anthem, 1883.

Hawaiian National Anthem.

In an open space in our beloved one of this day, that being the newspaper “Ke Koo o Hawaii,” that is coming to you, it is being shown that we have the honor of putting before you the Hawaiian National Anthem [“Mele Lahui Hawaii”] which was skillfully composed with feelings of aloha for her people by Her Highness, Princess Liliuokalani.

We are not printing this mele thinking that this is the first time it will be seen, for it was printed a long ago in years past, and its melody is memorized by most. However, there is a different reason we thought it was important to reprint it, and that being:

Amongst all enlightened people, the “National Anthem” is memorized by everyone. One of the first duties of a parent when instructing their children is to teach them to love their Monarch, to love the Flag of their Nation, to love their own people [lahui], to love their land, and to memorize their National Anthem and to be proud to sing this mele at all times and at all places.

Therefore, besides respecting God’s laws, the sacredness of those things mentioned above are cherished by enlightened nations all over the world.

In all places on this earth travelled by Hawaiians, whenever he meets up with someone born in an enlightened nation, he meets also within that person [e halawai pu ana oia iloko o ua kanaka nei ?] with what he constantly cherishes in all places travelled by him under the sun, that being—love for his King; love for his Nation; love for his People, love for his Land of birth; and the singing always with love and joy of the National Anthem of his homeland.

And while we speak of those of other nations, we do not forget to encourage our own natives of this lahui who we have the great fortune to have some of them read, memorize, and sing the National Anthem of our Nation, at all times and at all places they go, with joy and filled of pride, because singing for your lahui is singing for your very own self.

(Koo o Hawaii, 8/15/1883, p. 5)

Ke Mele Lahui Hawaii.

Ke Koo o Hawaii, Buke 1, Helu 1, Aoao 5. Augate 15, 1883.

On Liliuokalani’s composition of “Mele Lahui Hawaii,” 1898.

“In the early years of the reign of Kamehameha V, he brought to my notice the fact that the Hawaiian people had no national air. Each nation, he said, but ours had its expression of patriotism and love of country in its own music; but we were using for the purpose on state occasions the time-honored British anthem, “God save the Queen.” This he desired me to supplant by one of my own composition. In one week’s time I notified the king that I had completed my task. The Princess Victoria had been the leader of the choir of the Kawaiahao church; but upon her death, May 29, 1866, I assumed the leadership. It was in this building and by that choir that I first introduced the “Hawaiian National Anthem.” The king was present for the purpose of criticising my new composition of both words and music, and was liberal in his commendations to me on my success. He admired not only the beauty of the music, but spoke enthusiastically of the appropriate words, so well adapted to the air and to the purpose of which they were written.”

(from Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen, pp. 31–32.)

“Ina makahiki kinohi o ka noho moi ana o Kamehameha V., ua hoike mai oia ia’u i ka mea oiaio, aohe himeni lahui o na kanaka Hawaii. O na lahuikanaka, wahi ana, aka, koe kakou, ua hoopuka ae lakou i ko lakou makee a me ke aloha i ka aina ma kona mele ponoi, aka, ia wa e mele ia ana ka himeni o Beritania, “E ola ka Moiwahine i ke Akua,” no na manawa nui. O keia kana i makemake ai e kulai, ma o kekahi mele a’u e haku ponoi ai. Maloko o ka manawa o hookahi pule, ua hoike aku la au i ka moi, ua pau ka’u hana i ka hana ia. O ke Kama’liiwahine Vitoria, ke alakai o ka papa himeni o ka luakini o Kawaiahao, aka, i kona make ana ma ka la 29 o Mei, 1866, ua lilo ae la ia’u ke alakai ana. A maloko o keia hale, a na ia papa himeni i hoopuka mua mai i ke “Mele Lahui o Hawaii.” Ua hoea ae ka moi no ka manao ana e hooponopono i ka’u mele i haku ai, i na huaolelo a me ka leo, a ua haawi mai hoi oia i kona mau hoapono no ka holopono o ka’u mea i hana ai. Aole wale o ka leo kana i mahalo ai, aka, ua hoopuka ae oia i na huaolelo walohia nui o ka hoomaikai no ka pili pono o na huaolelo i ka leo mele.”

(Aloha Aina, 5/14/1898, p. 7)

KA BUKE MOOLELO HAWAII I HAKUIA E KA Moiwahine Liliuokalani...

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke IV, Helu 20, Aoao 7. Mei 14, 1898.