Waika - music by John Spencer

Ko'oko'olau Flowers
Ku aku la `oe i ka malanai
A ke ki pu`upu`u
Nolu ka maka o ka `ohawai a uli
Niniau `eha ka pua o Koai`e
`Eha i ke anu
Ka nahele `o Waika
Aloha Waika ia`u me he ipo la
Me he ipo la ka makalena
`O ke Ko`olau
Pua i ka nahele `o Mahuleia
E lei hele i ke alo `o mo`olau
He lau ka huaka`i hele i ka pali loa
He lau ka huaka`i hele i ka pali loa
A he aloha e, a he aloha e
A he aloha e, a he aloha e
Hele hihiu pili noho i ka nahele
O ku`u noho wale iho no i kahua e e`i
Ahe aloha e e
O kou aloha ka i hiki mai io`u nei
Mahea la ia i nalo iho nei
Smitten art thou
With the blows of love
Luscious the water-drip in the wilds
Wearied and bruised is the flower Koai`e
Stung by the frost,
The herbage of Waika
Waika loves me as a sweetheart
Dear as my heart, the yellow eye
Of Koko`olau
My flower in the tangled wood, Mahuleia
A travel wreath to lay on love's breast
A shade to cover my journey's long climb
A shade to cover my journey's long climb
And this, it is love
And this, it is love
Love-touched, distraught, mine a wilderness home
But still do I cherish the old spot
For love, it is love
Your love visits me even here
Where has it been hiding till now


Source: Translated by Robin Makua - Waika is taken from the ancient chant "Hole Waimea", a name song for Kamehameha I, inherited by his son, Liholiho. This is the tale of the Kipu`upu`u, a band of runners whose name was taken from Waimea`s pelting rain. Malanai is the gentle breeze. They were to be trained in spear fighting and went to Mahiki in Waimea, a woodland haunted by demons and spooks. There they would hole (strip), the bark of saplings to make spears. Hole also means to handle roughly or caress passionately. In the forest they sang of love, not of work or war. Pua o Koai`e is the fragrant blossom of the Koai`e tree that grows in the wild, and is an euphemism for the delicate parts of the body. Ko`olau is a contraction for the yellow flower or yellow eye (maka lena) of the ko`oko`olau plant, used to brew tea. Mo`olau and hulilau (slang) is used figuratively for a woman's breasts. Pololo is a combination of 2 words: po (night) and loloa (long), with the last "a" dropped. This form of speech is called kepakepa. Ulumano is a violent wind that blows in the night on the western side of Hawai`i. Kamehameha I's troops were wrecked by this wind off Nawawa. There, a whole village was burned to light the way to the shore. A`e is a violent wind that blows from different points in succession, or a circular storm. Waluihe is for the 8 spears that are applied to this wind as it struck from 8 different points. This phenomena was observed by ancient Hawaiians. Holi`o is the name of a wind with entirely different characteristics from the two aforementioned. Hanakahi is a district on the Hamakua side of Hilo, named for a chief whose name means profound peace. Set to music by John Spencer, this mele is full of eupheisms and double entendre or kaona that is reminiscent of Hawaiian poetry. The story, as told by Lawrence Neula and his niece, Lorna Lim, is that John Spencer was near Kohala when the music came to him. He began searching desparately for a piano, and finally found one in the home of Maryann Lim of Kohala, where this mele was first played.