Kapono Beamer Enterprises, Ltd.
Album Liner Notes:
"Pana Aloha", "Hawaiian Heartbeat" KBECD137
Hawaiis last King, David Kalakaua once said, "The Hula is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian People". At the heart of the Hula is the Mele: The chant, the poem, the song. The pulse of the Hawaiian heart fills the senses with love. Love for the land, love for special places, and most of all love for special people.
In this collection of Hawaiian songs Kapono Beamer captures the essence of the beating, the rhythm, the pulse of loving hearts the "Hawaiian Heartbeat ", "Pana Aloha". These are songs that echo deep in the Hawaiian soul; always close at hand, pulsating in the back of the mind, and nestled in a loving heart. These songs are complete expressions of their Hawaiian composers innermost images and feelings of aloha.
Kapono says, "I was inspired to create a collection of some of the most beloved Hawaiian melodies, the kind of songs it seems I always knew. Being surrounded by Hawaiian music ever since I can remember, I guess these melodies were planted in my heart at a very young age. Some of my earliest recollections are of my mother dancing the hula to the gentle sounds of an ukulele strumming. I remember the smiling faces of my grandfather, and uncles playing their guitars and singing, and the beauty of my grandmother and aunties as they danced the graceful hula. These songs have lived inside of me since those "small kid" days and I welcome the opportunity to present them, along with one added original song, in a simple setting of new musical arrangements featuring acoustic guitars. I hope that when the listener hears these classic Hawaiian melodies, it will stir deep feelings of kindness, warmth, love, and affection. I hope that your heart too can beat to the rhythm of the Hawaiian Heartbeat, Pana Aloha."
Listed below are song titles followed by a brief English translation of the original Hawaiian lyric, followed by a brief historical perspective of the song.
"I have stayed and become accustomed to your face
And familar with your voice
The memory of someone attracts me there
Where the sweet water makes love flourish"
A favorite love song.
"Sofly-scented are the flowers
Moistened by the touch of dew
It is there that birds find solace
And romance among the coconut fronds
Palai ferns lean and bend in abundance
In the pleasant surroundings of Old Plantation "
Victoria Robinson Ward
In 1865 Victoria Robinson married Curtis Ward, who was a personal friend of Kamehameha IV. Old Plantation was their elegant home at the corner of King and Ward Streets in Honolulu, present site of the Neal Blaisdell Center. The home, built in 1880, was part of the vast 100-acre Ward Estate with streams, fish ponds, a water wheel and private school. The Wards and their seven daughters were intimate friends of Hawaiian royalty and loyal supporters of the monarchy.
"My sweetheart in the rippling hills of sand
With the sea rustling the pebbles
There, the memory is impassioned
In the forest where we delighted "
Perhaps the most famous of Likelike's compositions, many believe it was written for a heartbroken girl who could not marry the love of her life. In the middle of January, 1887, a large school of aweoweo, a small, red fish was seen off the coast of the island of Hawai`i, where Likelike had once been governor. The massing of the bright red fish close to shore was considered an omen of death for members of the Kaläkaua dynasty. On February 2, 1887, Princess Likelike died at age 36.
"We all went out last night
To see the grandeur of Diamond Head
Diamond Head, so majestic"
This song relates the adventures of a group of friends on a Hawaiian holiday. They start at the Ala Wai, the west end of Waikiki. They go to Kapiolani Park, dedicated in 1877, by King Kalakaua, and renowned for the beautiful oval horse race track. They bet and watch the races, then meander thru Makee Ailana, an island in the park. They marvel at the big hotels and stop for refreshments at the Seaside Inn, a favorite of kamaaina (local residents) and malihini (visitors) in the early 1900's. This hotel, situated on 10 acres of Waikiki beachfront property, was demolished in 1920 to make way for the new Royal Hawaiian Hotel. They end their holiday with a leisurely stroll thru Ainahau, the lush estate of Princess Miriam Likelike.
"Forever I shall sing the praises
Of Kahana's beauty unsurpassed
The fragrance of beauteous mountains
By the zephyrs to thee is wafted"
Written for Mary E. Foster and her beautiful country home on the windward side of Oahu, Kahana Bay.
In Hawaiian songs, the "mist" is associated with romance. A romantic lyricist, Emily Taylor penned the words to this beautiful traditional melody. The lyric compares ones lover to a fragrant ginger lei, damp and moist in the gentle misty rain (ua noe).
Featuring the "Ohe Hano Ihu", the Hawaiian nose flute. Old Hawaiians had a system of "stewardship", a system whereby the King would give a chosen family the care and nurturing of a parcel of land called the "ahupuaa". This land was for the family to live on for their lives, and they were expected to take care of and nurture the land ("aina") which was sacred to the Hawaiian. The land would extend from the top of the mountains all the way down to the ocean edge. Kapono imagines the "Mahinalani" (Heavenly moonlight) as it shines in the ahupuaa making us more aware of our sacred oath to care for and protect our precious Hawaiian lands ("malama i ka aina").
Lena Machado performed at this homestead while touring the Big Island. Received with great aloha and hospitality, she was overwhelmed when presented with a lei of Keaukaha carnations entwined with maile. This song was written as gift to the homestead of Keaukaha.
"Where are you, light of the seashore?
Let us have a game of billiards
The board is in readiness
Rattle the balls on the platform"
A game of billiards is set to music.
"My darling, my never fading flower
You are my constant desire
Your loveliness I will always behold
All of the days
You are a beautiful woman
Treasured by your grandparents
My darling, my never fading flower
This song is for you "
Written in 1949 for the composer's daughter, Leone Kananipuamaeole, this musical gift of love is enduring and never fading.
"Listen to the rain
Creeping silently along the cliffs
It looks as if this flower has been plucked
Shapely the upland
The very upland that I'll enjoy
With the sweet fragrance of my flower
You are a flower, always to wear as a lei
The fragrance of my lily blossom"
One of the most beautiful and erotic Hawaiian love poems, written by Alohikea, who was a master of kaona (hidden meaning). A natural musician who could not read or write music, Alohikea was Kaua'i's composer laureate. Described by Charles E. King as one of the greatest entertainers, Andy Cummings called him the finest single performer in Hawai'i. A farmer, fisherman, and quite a lady's man, he often sailed between Kaua`i, Niihau and Oahu, to trade fish and taro. There was a "Lily" on each of the islands. He wrote the lyrics on one trip and the melody on another. His ex-wife, present wife and girlfriend were all at his side on his deathbed.
"The sweetest and most fragrant flowers of the garden
For the lei of Kamaka`eha
The goddesses of the forest weave a lei for Kamaka`eha
The ladies with baskets of flowers "
"Here is your lei, o Lili`ulani
Here is your lei. o Lil`ulani"
The music was adapted from the hymn "Would I Were With Thee". The Harbottle family claims Queen Liliu`okalani set the words to music during her month's stay at Boston in 1897, but others credit the adaptation to Eliza Holt. Queen Liliu`okalani attributes the words to Konia, her foster mother and natural mother of Bernice Pauahi Bishop and some credit David Nape with both the words and music. The Harbottle family claims the words were composed by Naha Harbottle Hakuole, Mary Adams Lucas and Mrs. Auld as a ho`okupu for the Queen composed on the night before her birthday. This song incorporates both names of the Queen, Lili`u (smarting) and Kamaka`eha (sore eyes) a name given to her at birth by Kina`u, her grand aunt who was suffering from sore eyes at that time. It was a Hawaiian custom to name a child for an important event at the time of their birth. Maunahele was the name of the gardens in the shadow of the Pali on the windward side.These gardens were sacred to Lia, the mountain goddess of flowers.