LANGUAGE: Hawaiian

GENRE: Hawaiian Mele

Kawika” is a Hawaiian “mele” that tells the story of Hawaiian King David Kalākaua (1836-1891) and his failed attempts to appeal to England and France for financial aid. That doesn’t seem like the most rousing narrative for a song, but it was something that happened, and why not take the occasion to sing? Here are lyrics from the original as translated on Huapala.org

This is David, The greatest of all flowers
(He is) the lightning in the east, That brightens Hawaiʻi|
News reached England, Also heard by the French queen
Who is this flower of high rank?, Kapaʻakea is his father
Tell the refrain, King David, is his name

Enjoy this really cool version performed by Kumu Hula Sylvia Puananiha’aheo Edgar:


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