Na Lei O Hawai`i
This beautiful song was composed in 1914 by Charles E. King, one of
Hawaii's most prolific and influential composers. Each verse speaks
of a different island, with loving references to the flowers and history
of that island.
The arrangement in the tablature is a simple rendition of this song.
After you learn the basic arrangement, try adding your own color to the
The tab is a .pdf file, so you'll need an Adobe
reader (it's free) to display and print it.
Maintain the rhythm of the song on the longer notes (half notes or whole
notes) by repeatedly strumming the chord in time with the beat, as the
chord is held.
Instead of a simple strum on the chords, play them as a tremolo (a rapid
up-and-down strum) or arpeggio (playing the notes of the chord one at a
time in sequence).
Occasionally substitute second-position or third-position chords for the
first-position chords in the arrangement. See the Chord
Magic section for more information about second- and third-position
Download the tab for Na Lei O Hawai`i
Here is the full text of the song, along with a translation of each
|Nani Hawai`i ka moku o Keawe
Lei ha`aheo i ka lehua
A me ka maile a`o Pana`ewa
|Beautiful Hawai`i, island of Keawe
Proud of its garland of lehua
And the maile of Pana`ewa
|Kilakila o Maui lâ iâ Haleakalâ
Ua kapu roselani
A no`u ho`okahi wale nô
|Grand is Maui with Haleakalâ
The sacred rose
Is for you alone
|`Ohu`ohu O`ahu i ka `ilima
He kohu manu ô`ô
Hulu melemele o ke kuahiwi
|O`ahu wears the `ilima lei with pride
As beautiful as the manu ô`ô
The yellow bird of the mountains
|Lei Kaua`i i ka mokihana
Laua`e o Makana
`O ka`u aloha nô ia
|Kaua`i's garland is the mokihana
Laua`e of Makana
The admiration of my heart
|Kaulana Moloka`i i ka ulu kuku`i
A me ka wai lele a`o Moa`ula
|Famous is Moloka`i preserved by the kuku`i
And the waterfall of Moa`ula
|O Ni`ihau, Kaho`olawe, Lâna`i
Ho`oheno me ka pûpû
Ka hinahina me ke kauna`oa
|Ni`ihau, Kaho`olawe and Lâna`i
Cherish their garlands of pûpû shells
The hinahina and kauna`oa
|Ha`ina `ia mai ana ka puana
Lei o Hawai`i
Nâ lei o Hawai`i e ô mai
|Tell the refrain of
Leis of Hawai`i
Leis of Hawai`i, respond
1. Hawai`i's flower is the lehua. MokuoKeawe was
a high chief of the island of Hawai`i. Panaewa is a forest in the
Hilo district. Maile is a fragrant vine, among the oldest and most
popular materials used in leis by the early Hawaiians.
2. Maui's flower is roselani or lokelani (rose of heaven). Haleakalâ
(house of the sun) is the volcano on Maui.
3. O`ahu's flower is` the ilima.
4. Kaua`i's flower is the mokihana. Makana, a land district in
Kaua`i was renowned for the fragrant laua`e fern.
5. Moloka`i's flower is the kuku`i. Lanikaula's spirit (the famous
prophet of Moloka`i) was preserved in the kuku`i trees of his grove. Moa`ula
is a waterfall in Halawa Valley on the east end.
6. Ni`ihau's symbol is the pûpû shell. Kaho`olawe's
flower is the hinahina. Lâna`i's flower is the kauna`oa.