Tune of the Day: Aloha ʻOe
“Aloha ʻOe” (which means “Farewell to Thee”) is definitely the best known Hawaiian song, and it was composed by no less than Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawaii in 1877. The song was inspired by a horseback trip she took to the windward side of the island of Oʻahu. After visiting the Boyd ranch, Liliʻuokalani witnessed a farewell embrace between Colonel Boyd and one of the young ranch ladies. A tune came to her on the ride home and she composed the words once she returned to Honolulu.
Liliʻuokalani was an accomplished author and songwriter, well known for her musical talent. She is said to have played guitar, piano, organ, ukulele and zither. She also sang alto, performing Hawaiian and English sacred and secular music. With her compositions, Liliʻuokalani helped preserve key elements of Hawaii's traditional poetics while mixing in Western harmonies brought by the missionaries.