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Sarah Whitaker: Ka Manu
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A bittersweet tale of forbidden love, beautifully sung and played in the traditional style.
World - Traditional Hawaiian
Previous peak charts position #65
Previous peak charts position in subgenre #2
Traditional
2004 Sarah Whitaker
October 03, 2004
1 version uploaded:
MP3 4.1 MB  •  128 kbps  •  0:00
On 3 playlists
Story behind the song
I started learning Hawaiian in spring 1997 and began playing guitar that same summer. The beauty of slack key is what inspired me to learn to play the guitar so I've never learned standard tuning. This is one of my favorite old songs. I like the fact that it is a true story, and in the old style of slack key. I play this in the style of Auntie Alice Namakelua using some of her guitar "figures" for the accompaniment. Traditionally, I think, each verse would have been sung twice, although I don't do that here. Auntie Alice was one of the first greats among slack key players. When she was young she played frequently before Queen Lili`uokalani; that's how long ago and how good she was. Auntie Alice recorded this song in her 80s on her only solo album. This song has a touching story that goes with it. It was written by a man about his own experience of being separated from his sweetheart. The lovers' families lived too far apart and so the families would not permit them to marry--there are typically Hawaiian poetic allusions to love, intimacy, and separation--so they had to part, "with great pain." The lyrics evidence the quality of composition in the way they make use of the technique of linkage, where the last word or sound of one verse is picked up at the start of the next. The postscript is that many years later Auntie Alice met this man, and he taught her the song. And neither he nor his sweetheart had ever married anyone else. Tuning: G Wahine (DGDF#BD)
Lyrics
`Auhea wale `oe e ka manu Ku`u hoa `alo leo o ka pö anu Mea `ole ia anu a i ka mana`o Ke ko`i`i koi mau a ka pu`uwai Na wai no `oe e pakele aku Ua like me ka liko a`o ka lehua Ka maka o ka lehua ka mea aloha Ka wehi holu mai ma ka hikina E honi kaua e ke aloha Ke noe mai nei ka pua lehua Alia `oe a`e pülale mai A hala o maile lau kapalili He lili ka mana`o o ke kapena Na`ale po`ipü a`o ka moana Ua ana pono `ia ko`u mana`o E ka lei hulu nani hulu melemele He mele kaulana no Nihoa Ua hui Kane`ohe me Pohoiki Ha`ina `ia mai ana ka puana Goodbye käua me ka `eha`eha
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