Review Hawaii’s Last Queen Program

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Learn to sing Queen Lili’uokalani’s songs

Twenty seven people came on Friday, February 26 to my program on Lili’uokalani, Hawai’i’s Last Queen at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better. This was the second program in my Hawaiian History Series for 2016. The PowerPoint presentation lasted 80 minutes through 37 slides. The program was in two parts, the first about the Queen and her legacy, and the second a sing-along of her compositions. Queen Lili’uokalani lived from 1838-1917, and reigned from 1891 until 1893 when the Hawaiian kingdom was overthrown by American businessmen.

Before the program, I had fun talking to returning people and introducing new ‘ukulele students to my continuing students. It was great to see a section of ‘ukulele players sitting together. I reminded them that I would call out the name of the strum, but if they couldn’t do the strum to just play and have fun. The emphasis on the program was to learn how to pronounce and sing the Hawaiian songs with ‘ukulele playing optional.

Once again, my husband accompanied the sing-along portion of the program by playing his u-bass. We did 4 songs composed by Lili’uokalani plus Hawaii Aloha. Here are the songs:

  1. Aloha ‘Oe was written in 1878 and tells a love story of tender parting.
  2. Queen’s Prayer was written in 1895 when the Queen was imprisoned in ‘Iolani Palace for 9 months after the overthrow of the monarchy and tells about forgiveness.
  3. Ku’u Pua I Paoakalani was also written in 1895 when the Queen was imprisoned and tells of the flowers from her garden that was brought to her.
  4. Queen’s Jubilee was written in 1887 on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee which Lili’uokalani attended along with Queen Kapi’olani in England.
  5. Hawaii Aloha was written in the 1800s by Reverend Lorenzo Lyons about the love for the islands.

New this time, I changed from reading my script to a more conversational style to convey my research on the Queen. The talk went a lot smoother than anticipated and even my husband said that I improved 100%. At the end of the program, I held up two books about Lili’uokalani and the Queen’s Songbook that I used during my research. A woman in the audience said to let everyone know that all three books can be purchased at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku. Stay tuned for the next Hawaiian history program in March on Prince Kuhio.

Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele