The Hawaiian state song “Hawaii Pono’I” was declared more than forty years ago in 1967. Although the song was developed years before, it finally became honored as the official song of Hawaii. Nearly every state has an official song, but Hawaii has an official song that comes with a high level of culture and history that can be seen through the values of the Hawaiian culture.
It demonstrates the unification that should occur throughout the islands, as they are separated but should use the same values to accomplish goals, together. The state song uses the demonstration that everyone who lives in Hawaii is a son of the islands and therefore this common element can bring everyone together.
Children are taught the state song and adults are aware of the song, as it can be seen through a variety of mediums. The state song can be seen in schools and on many crests as well as the song being a part of multiple ceremonies which can be seen throughout the years. The children learn the song in school and it is included in multiple school ceremonies, as well as being included in state events, even football games through the football season!
What are the origins of the Hawaii state song? The origin of the song lies more than one hundred years before it was made the official state song of Hawaii. The creation came about in 1876 by the king of that time King Kalakaua to honor the prior King Kamehameha. King Kalakaua had written the song in the honor of the previous king and therefore it comes with a rich and abundant history.
From 1876 to 1893 the song that is now the state song was used as the national anthem until 1967 when the song was finally adapted as the state song. The national anthem lead to the adaptation after the people and officials in Hawaii realized that the message from the song was compatible with the overall values which are represented through the people in Hawaii.
What are the lyrics of the Hawaii State Song?
“Hawaii’s own true sons,
Be loyal to your chief Your country’s liege and lord,
The King Father above us all,
Kamehameha, Who guarded in the war with his spear”
The native Hawaiian version of the song is:
Hawaii ponoi Nana i kou, moi
Kalani Alii, ke Alii.
Makua lani e Kamehameha e
Na kaua e pale Me ka ihe.
The state song is popular and therefore most people know the song word for word. The majority of children in modern educational systems learn the English version of the song, while also learning the cultural aspects of the Hawaiian versions of the song. Through various state and cultural events, the traditional Hawaiian version of the state song is sung by patrons.
As the song speaks about being loyal to the chief, which may seem like an archaic tradition, it speaks of developing a unity between the people of a country and the people of the country following the leadership that is present within that country.