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Kanaka Waiolina

Written by Dennis Kamakahi at Eddie Kamae’s request, the song honors the fiddle man Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina of whom Dennis and the rest of the Sons of Hawaii would hear stories about from Eddie. The story explains how Sam asked Eddie to meet the band but passed away just two weeks before their visit. The story ends with a tribute to Sam from Tūtū Ruth Kaholoaʻa, who reminds us of an important message.

Pūʻolo contains

  • lyrics and translations
  • song story
  • educational questions
  • music sheets
  • bibliography
  • resources from Kamae archive

Listen with Lyrics

Press play in the video and open the lyrics
or music sheets to follow along.

Recording from the 2008 album Yesterday & Today Volume 1: Eddie Kamae and The Sons of Hawaii (track 10). Performed by Eddie Kamae and The Sons of Hawaii. © ℗ Hawaii Sons Inc. All rights reserved.

Watch Video Clips on YouTube and ʻUluʻulu

YouTube videos are documentary clips and full song performances.
ʻUluʻulu videos link to short preview clips from raw footage.

About the song “Kanaka Waiolina” that Dennis Kamakahi wrote for Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina from the documentary, Liʻa: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man.

Eddie Kamae and The Sons of Hawaiʻi (Joe Marshall, Dennis Kamakahi, Claybourne “Braddah Smitty” Smith, and George Kuo) perform “Kanaka Waiolina” at the Makaha Bash at the Waikīkī Shell.

Eddie Kamae tells how Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina first heard the fiddle and became interested in the instrument.

Ruth Kaholoaʻa shares what it was like to hear Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina play the violin and reflects on who he was as a person.

Ruth Kaholoaʻa shares more about her time when she was a child learning songs from Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina. She also tells Eddie about the tidal wave in Waipiʻo and about Hiʻilawe Falls.

Eddie Kamae, Claybourne “Braddah Smitty” Smith and Duane Yamada reminiscing on the steps of Kukuihaele Social Hall about a time when the hall was alive with people, food, and music at the showing of Liʻa: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man honoring Sam Liʻa Kalāinaina

Eddie Kamae shares what he always told Dennis Kamakahi to do when composing songs: “Write what you see and what you feel.”

Short preview clip of Eddie Kamae and The Sons of Hawaiʻi (Joe Marshall, Dennis Kamakahi, Claybourne “Braddah Smitty” Smith, and George Kuo) performing another one of Dennis’ songs, “E Kiss Kaua” at the Makaha Bash at the Waikīkī Shell.

To explore more of our digitized collections of raw footage with ʻUluʻulu, visit:
Hawaiian Legacy Foundation: Eddie & Myrna Kamae.

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