Sheet Music: Aloha ʻOe

TitleAloha ʻOe
Alternate titlesFarewell to Thee
ComposerLiliʻuokalani (1838–1917)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyA-flat major
Time signature4/4
Tempo48 BPM
Performance time1:40
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (177 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.4 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.4 MB)
Date added2010-01-30
Last updated2010-01-30
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.6 (above average)


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Saturday 30 January 2010

Tune of the Day: Aloha ʻOe

The most famous Hawaiian song

“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.