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Lyr Add: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)

Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 09 - 10:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Aug 09 - 11:36 PM
Peace 31 Aug 09 - 12:43 AM
Genie 31 Aug 09 - 01:24 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Aug 09 - 01:33 PM
Genie 31 Aug 09 - 02:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM
Genie 31 Aug 09 - 04:51 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 10:51 PM

Lyr. Add: Ke Kali Nei Au Waiting For Thee
Words and music Charles E. King

Baritone-
Eia au ke kali nei
Aia la i hea ku'u aloha
Soprano-
Eia au ke huli nei
A loa'a 'oe e ka ipo
Maha ka 'i'ini a ka pu'uwai

Duet-
Ua sila pa'a 'ia me 'oe
Ko aloha makamae e ipo
Ka'u ia e lei a'e nei la

No'u no ka 'i'ini (nou ka 'i'ini)
A nou wale no (wale no)
A o ko aloha ka'u e hi'ipoi mau

Na'u 'oe (na'u 'oe)
E lei (e lei)
Na'u 'oe e lei

2
Baritone-
A he hali'a kai hiki mai
No ku'u lei onaona
Pulupe i ka ua
Soprano-
Auhea 'oe ka 'i'ini a loko
Na loko a'e ka mana'o
Hu'e lani ana i ku'u kino

Duet-
Ku'u pua ku'u lei onaona
A'u i kui a lawa ia nei
Me ke ala pua pikake

A o 'oe ku'u pua ('O 'oe ku'u pua)
Ku'u pua lei lehua (lehua)

A'u e li'a mau nei ho'opa'a
Ia iho kealoha

He lei (he lei)
'Oe na'u ('oe na'u)
He lei 'oe na'u.

"King's Blue Book," 1926, 1943; "King's Book of Hawaiian Melodies," 1948, pp. 63-65 sheet music.

Literal translation to follow.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 11:36 PM

Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting for Thee
Literal translation.

Baritone-
Here I am waiting
Where is my beloved
Soprano-
I've searched for you
Now that I have found you
Calm the desire of my heart
Duet-
Sealed forever to you
Sweetheart you are so precious
I pledge my love to you alone

I desire you (desire)
True to you alone (alone)
With you joy will ever be mine

You're mine (you're mine)
Oh, my lei (oh, lei)
You're mine, my lei.

Baritone-
Fond remembrance of the one who came
My fragrant lei
Drenched in the rain.
Soprano-
You listen, my heart's desire
To the thought within me
Open the heaven within my body

Duet-
My flower, my fragrant lei
I will string and bind
Like the fragrant jasmine flower

You are my blossom (you, my blossom)
My lei of lehua (lehua)

My desire is always to be with and close
To my love

My lei (my lei)
You're mine
My lei, you're mine.

Hawaiian lyrics, literal translation, and midi:
Ke Kali Nei Au


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)
From: Peace
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 12:43 AM

Great work, Q.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)
From: Genie
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 01:24 AM

Thanks, Q.

I already had the words -- original Hawai'ian, literal translation, and later English pop version -- but it's nice to have the song here at the Mudcat too.


As I alluded to in another thread, I think I read somewhere that Charles E. King's 1926 song "Ke Kali Nei Au" was derived from an earlier (duh!) traditional Islands song.   Know anything about that?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 01:33 PM

Not based on an earlier song- George S. Kanahele, 1979, "Hawaiian Music and Musicians," Univ. Hawai'i Press, pp. 210-211, only mentions later parodies such as Andy Williams "Hawaiian Wedding Song."

"Ke Kali Nei Au" was written by King in 1925 for his operetta, Prince of Hawai'i, first performed at the Liberty Theatre in Honolulu, May 4, 1925. The production featured 24 songs, all composed by King, although some predated the operetta. Hits were "Ke Kali Nei Au" and "Ku'u Leialoha." In 1926, the operetta, with largely original Hawaiian cast, was presented in Los Angeles and San Francisco. It was revived once in 1958. Above reference, pp. 305-306.


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Subject: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee) - Hawaiian Weddi
From: Genie
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 02:11 PM

I know it was written by King for his 1926 operetta, but what I thought I had read somewhere, a few years back, was that the 1926 song "Ke Kali Nei Au" either had a somewhat different tune/format from the later US pop song "Hawaiian Wedding Song" based on King's song, or that King's own song was derived from a tradtional Hawaiian song.

My memory for the details is obviously fuzzy, but the fact that King composed the songs for his operetta does not preclude his having borrowed from folk music. It's been done before, many times.   I probably got my earlier information from a book of sheet music, before I was doing much internet searching. Maybe I can find the reference again.

As for "Hawaiian Wedding Song" being a parody, I wouldn't call it that. It's just different lyrics set to a tune, as opposed to a "singable translation."   Though, unlike lyrics like "It's Now Or Never" (Elvis) being set to the tune of "O Sole Mio," the "Hawaiian Wedding Song" lyrics do convey sentiments the same as or similiar to much of the lyric of Ke Kali Nei Au ("this is the moment I've waited for," "now that we are one," "all my love I vow, dear," etc.) It's not a totally unrelated lyric set to the same tune, much less a humorous takeoff.

I do sing Ke Kali Nei Au and I like it more than the Hawaiian wedding song, but the audiences I use it for are more familiar with the latter and want to sing along to the English lyrics.   
I am wondering if anyone has ever written a "singable English translation" of Charles E King's lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting For Thee)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 02:28 PM

Hawaiian Wedding Song
Andy Williams

This is the moment I've waited for
I can hear my heart singing
Soon bells will be ringing

This is the moment of sweet aloha
Promise me that you will leave me never
I will love you longer than forever

Here and now dear
All my love I vow, dear
Promise me that you will leave me never
I will love you longer than forever

Now that we are one
Clouds won't hide the sun
Blue skies of Hawai'i smile
On this our wedding day.

I do (I do)
Love you (love you)
With all my heart.

Parody of "Ke Kali Nei Au" often played at tourist weddings in Hawai'i.
Hawaiians prefer "Lei Aloha Lei Makamae."


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Subject: Hawaiian Wedding Song - tune: Ke Kali Nei Au
From: Genie
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 04:51 PM

I wasn't going to post the lyrics to Hawaiian Wedding Song in a thread with an unconnected title, Q.    Since you did, it's possible someone might accidentally find them if they were looking. *g*

I still don't know why you call it a "parody," though.   

Most usage of the word "parody" refers to such things as:

" -         a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing: his hilarious parody of Hamlet's soliloquy.
-        a burlesque imitation of a musical composition.
-    any humorous, satirical, or burlesque imitation, as of a person, event, etc."
(from dictionary.com)

It can mean "a poor or feeble imitation or semblance; travesty: His acting is a parody of his past greatness,"
And I take it that's maybe how you're trying to cast the pop song "Hawaiian Wedding Song."   But I think if you introduced a song as "Here is a parody of such-and-such song," most people would be expecting something satirical or at least with lyrics going in a different direction from that song, not just a new set of lyrics -- even if the new lyrics were less poetic than those of the original song.

I'd call "Hawaiian Wedding Song" a generic sort of love poem set to the tune of Charles E King's "Ke Kali Nei Au."
Yes, those lyrics are about on the level of a Hallmark card -- but so are the lyrics to many a time-honored traditional folk ballad. : )


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