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He Mana'o He Aloha (Ka Ipo Lei Manu) with LYRICS

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Published on Jan 20, 2012

Queen Kapi'olani (1834-1899) wrote this love song for her husband, Hawai'i's last king (but not the last ruling monarch), King David Kalākaua (1836-1891). In 1887, she traveled to London to attend Queen Victoria's 50th Jubilee celebration. Queen Kapi'olani visited many hospitals in London and, upon returning to Hawai'i, she established the Kapi'olani Maternity Home (today known as the Kapi'olani Medical Center) in Honolulu.

Ka Ipo Lei Manu (also entitled He Mana'o He Aloha) is one of the Queen's most noted compositions. She wrote the love song while the King was abroad and recuperating in San Francisco. She changed some of the lyrics upon learning of his death in 1891, transforming the love song into a lament. The full lyrics (which are not in this video) follow: [Translation by Lehua Kalima]

He mana`o healoha ( I have a feeling of love
No ka ipo lei manu ( for my cherished sweetheart
He manu ku`u hoa ( My companion is a bird
Noho mai i ka nahele ( who dwells in the forest

`I`iwi o uka (The `i`iwi bird of the uplands
Polena i ka ua (appears yellow in the rain
Elua maua (The two of us
I ka po ua nui (in the night of great rain

Ua o Hanalei (The rain of Hanalei
Anu au ma`e`ele (I'm numb with the cold
Ua anu ho`i au (I'm also cooled
I ka ua noe anu (in the cold misty rain

Na hau o Ma`ihi (The hau of Ma'ihi
`Au ana i ke kai (swimming in the sea
Na ulu o wehi (The vegetation
Punohu mai ana (spreading out

Ke `ala o ka hala (The fragrance of the hala
Hala o mapuana (is borne on the wind
Onaona i ka ihu (Sweely scented
Ke `ala pua loke (is the fragrance of the rose

Hone `ana i ka mana`o (A sweetly recurring thought
E naue ku`u kino (urges my body to travel
Ko hiki `ana mai (I am made happy
Hau`oli ku`u mana`o (by thoughts of your arrival

Ha'ina ka puana (Tell the refrain
No kalani heleloa (My chief is gone forever

In Hawaiian poetry, the sweetheart is sometimes personified as the `i`iwi bird (Scarlet Hawaiian Honeycreeper). The 'i'iwi is an endangered bird found only in Hawai'i. The adult is fiery red with black wings and tail and a long, curved bill for drinking nectar.

Sheet music, arranged by "Sonny" Cunha, is available for purchase online.
The audio version of He Mana'o He Aloha was arranged by Randie K. Fong and was performed by the Kamehameha Schools Concert Glee Club 1996-1997, Les Ceballos, Director. (c) 1997 Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate. CD available for purchase at www.hawaiianmusicstore.com and other sites.

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