Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Rev Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui (130* d) RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui 31 May 07

I learned the verse in question from Geoff Kaufmann, who probably got his version from Stan. It's pretty much the same as Mark cites in the second post of this thread, except that one sings "wahine" instead of "island girl" or "island maid" in the last line. Based on my own research of whalers journals, they certainly were familiar with the word "wahine," quite intimately in fact, but the term "island maid" turns up pretty frequently too, so I think it's a matter of taste. I have never seen the verse in question in any whalers' journals, and am inclined to think that if Hugill didn't write it himself, it was unique to the singer from whom he got the song. As for the tune, it is also unclear if Stan wrote it, but he (almost) definitely originated that tune in folk circles.
Geoff always mispronounced the word "kanaka," singing "KAN-aka." I got a lot of weird looks when I sang it that way the first time I was in Hawai'i. It should be pronounced "ka-NA-ka," which means "person" or "human being" and which was the common Euro-American name for Pacific Islanders, Hawaiians in particular. The posters above are absolutely correct that kanaka seamen were common aboard whalers as well as other trading vessels, etc. The kanakas that Dana writes about were working in the California hide trade, and he basically says they were the finest human beings he had ever "fell in with." The word kanaka, was apparently used as a slur in the early 20th century, but in recent years has been rehabilitated. It's most common usage today is the Hawaiian term "Kanaka maoli" which means a "full-blooded" Native Hawaiian.

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.