This is a song originally by Prince Leleiohuku, brother of Hawaiian monarch and a songwriter in her own right, Lili’uokalani. Leleiohuku is rumored to have written this song in the mid 1860s, when he was 10-14 years old, about a secret meeting with a girl. (Leleiohuku died when he was 23.) The song became popular in the 1930s when Jimmy Noble, bandleader at the Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach, transformed it into a song known as “Tahuwahuawai,” which became known as “Hawaiian War Chant” because of its upbeat melody. It has since appeared in many forms, such as a Spike Jones song in 1946 as a comedy version by “Spike Jones and his Wacky Waikikians”, it appears at about 1:10 into the video), as a jazzy Ella Fitzgerald song and even in Disney’s Lion King, albeit with very different lyrics. The version in this video is by Andy Iona and his Islanders, a Hawaiian swing band popular in the 1930s and ’40s, that recorded some songs with jazz great Louis Armstrong.
[wpspoiler name=”Andy Iona and His Islanders’ Hawaiian War Chant” open=”true”][/wpspoiler]
[wpspoiler name=”Lyrics of All Around This World version” style=”aatw-other” open=”true”]
Kāua i ka huahuaʻi
You and I are in the ocean spray
Two of us together in the waves
On this perfect island day
Au we ta huala