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"He Mele Lāhui Hawaiʻi" ("Song of the Hawaiian Nation") was composed by Liliʻuokalani in November 1866 at the request of Kamehameha V, who wanted a national anthem to replace the British anthem "God Save the King". It replaced Lunalilo's composition "E Ola Ke Aliʻi Ke Akua" as the national anthem. Liliʻuokalani wrote: "The king was present for the purpose of Criticising my new composition of both words and music, and was liberal in his commendations to me on my success. He admired not only the beauty of music, but spoke enthusiastically of the appropriate words, so well adapted to the air and to the purpose for which they were written. This remained in use as our national anthem for some twenty years or more when my brother composed the words Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī."[1]

He Mele Lāhui Hawaiʻi
English: Song of the Hawaiian Nation
He Mele Lahui Hawaii.jpg

National anthem of  Kingdom of Hawaii
LyricsLydia Kamakaʻeha Dominis
MusicLydia Kamakaʻeha Dominis
Lydia Kamakaʻeha in 1865

Liliʻuokalani's memoir, Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, stated: "In the early years of the reign of Kamehameha V. he brought to my notice the fact that the Hawaiian people had no national air. Each nation, he said, but ours had its statement of patriotism and love of country in its own music; but we were using for that purpose on state occasions the time-honored British anthem, "God save the Queen." [2]

An advertisement for the He Mele Lahui Hawaii that appeared in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser in June 8, 1867

By July 1867, the song was printed and was available for purchase in Honolulu, becoming the first of her compositions ever published. This decidedly Christian song served as the national anthem for ten years until her brother, by that time reigning as King Kalākaua, set it aside in favor of his own composition, "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī", in 1876.[3]

Ka Makua mana loa Almighty Father bend thine ear
Maliu mai iā mākou And listen to a nation's prayer
E hāliu aku nei That lowly bows before thy throne
Me ka naʻau haʻahaʻa And seeks thy fostering care
E mau ka maluhia Grant your peace throughout the land
O nei pae ʻāina Over these sunny sea girt isles
Mai Hawaiʻi a Niʻihau Keep the nation's life, oh Lord,
Ma lalo o kou malu And on our sovereign smile
Hui: Chorus:
E mau ke ea o ka ʻāina Grant your peace throughout the land
Ma kou pono mau Over these sunny isles
A ma kou mana nui Keep the nations life, oh Lord
E ola e ola ka mōʻī And upon our sovereign smile
E ka haku mālama mai Guard him with your tender care
I ko mākou nei mōʻī Give him length of years to reign
E mau kona noho ʻana On the throne his fathers won
Maluna o ka noho aliʻi Bless the nation once again
Hāʻawi mai i ke aloha Give the king your loving grace
Maloko a kona naʻau And with wisdom from on high
A ma kou ahonui Prosperous lead his people on
E ola e ola ka mōʻī As beneath your watchful eye
Hoʻoho e mau ke Grant your peace throughout the land
Ma lalo o kou aloha nui Bless O Lord our country's chiefs
Nā Liʻi o ke Aupuni Grant them wisdom so to live
Me nā makaʻāinana That our people may be saved
Ka lehulehu nō a pau And to You the glory give
Kiaʻi mai iā lākou Watch over us day by day
Me ke aloha ahonui King and people with your love
E ola nō mākou For our hope is all in You
I kou mana mau Bless us, You who reign above
E mau ke ea Grant your peace throughout the land


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Na Mele O Hawaiʻi Nei: 101 Hawaiian Songs by Samuel H. Elbert, Noelani Mahoe.Page 47
  2. ^ Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Mele Lahui Hawaii

External linksEdit