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List of all of the official state songs with words, their history and adoption information.
National & State Symbols
Hawaii State Song
Written by King David Kalakaua
Nana i kou Mo'i
Ka Lani Ali'i
Look to your King
The Royal Chief
Makua Lani e
Na kaua e pale
Me ke ihe
We shall defend
Nana i na Ali'i
Na pua muli kou
Look to your Chiefs
The children after you
E ka Lahui e
'O kau hana nui
E u'i e
Your great duty
Hawai`i Pono`î, nânâ i kou mô`î,
Hawai'i's own people, look to your sovereign,
Ka lani ali`i, ke ali`i
The royal/divine/heavenly chief/royalty , the chief/royalty
Makua lani e, Kamehameha e,
Parent royal/divine/heavenly, "The Lonely",
Nâ kaua e pale, me ke ihe.
The wars to protect/ward off, with the spear.
Hawai`i pono`î, nânâ i nâ ali`i,
Hawai`i's own people, look to the chiefs / royalty,
Nâ pua muli kou, nâ pôki`i.
The descendants following yours, the younger siblings.
Hawai`i pono`î, e ka lâhui e,
Hawai`i's own people, o the nation,
`O kâu hana nui, e ui e,
… your work/duty important/big, to turn for help or advice.
The Hawaiian Kingdom's national anthem, entitled "Hawai'i Pono'i," was composed by His Majesty King David Kalakaua in 1876 honoring King Kamehameha I, the "Merrie Monarch", founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1810. The music was arranged by Captain Henry Berger, Bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band, and was based on the Prussian hymn "Heil Dir Im Siegerkranz". It served as the national anthem of the Kingdom and the Territory of Hawaii from 1876 to 1893, until the overthrow of the royalty and the annexation of Hawai`i by the United States government. In 1967, the legislature declared it as the official song of Hawaii. Novemeber 16, 1974- Hawai'i Pono'i ("Hawai'i's Own") first performed in Ka-wai-a-Ha'o Church.
According to Emerson Smith, "Hawai'i Pono'i" originated as another version of "God Save the King" with Hawaiian verses by King Kala-kaua but was transmitted into a great anthem through the artistry of Captain Henry Berger. The music and English translation were printed in Smith (1955:vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 14-15, 26) and in Emerson (1909:172).
1. Alii (ah-lee-ee) sovereign
2. Kamehameha (Kah-may'-ha-may'-ha) king who first unified the islands.
3. Ihe (ee-hay) spear
CHAPTER 5. EMBLEMS AND SYMBOLS.
§5-10 State song. The song "Hawai`i Pono`i" is adopted, established, and designated as the official song of the State, to be effective for as long as the legislature of the State does not otherwise provide. [L 1967, c 301, §2; HRS §5-10; am L 1990, c 215, §3]