A Little History

In light of the recent legislation passed here in Juneau benefiting the oil companies, and in anticipation of the return of the cruise ships to our shores, a little history about the song, Waimanalo Blues seems to be in order.

Waimanalo Blues by Liko Martin and Thor Wold, 1974
Chords & lyrics at Tropical Storm Hawaii
Performed by Henry Kapono, Izrael Kamakawiwo’ole, Cyril Pahinui, and Roland Cazimero at an old Hawaiian homestead on Oahu in 1993.

Gabby Pahinui backyard jam 1970s

 

“This song was written by Thor Wold and Liko Martin in Hawaii in the 1970’s to protest the increasing development of the islands of Hawaii. Although the song focused on the Windward side, the concern was for all the islands and the rights of the Hawaiian people, as it was in that way a protest song of the folk narrative style.”  – Carol Forsloff

 

 

 

Waimanalo Blues
Wind's gonna blow so I'm gonna go
Down on the road again
Starting where the mountains left me
I'm up where I began

Where I will go the wind only knowsWaikiki hotels and Ala Moana
Good times around the bend
Get in my car, goin' too far
Never comin' back again

Tired and worn I woke up this mornin'
Found that I was confused 
Spun right around and found I had lost 
The things that I couldn't lose 

CHORUS: 
The beaches they sell to build their hotels 
My fathers and I once knew 
Birds all along sunlight at dawn 
Singing Waimanalo blues 

Down on the road with mountains so oldWaimanalo with Mt. Olomana in background. Photo by David Siu 
Far on the country side 
Birds on the wing forget in a while
So I'm headed for the windward side 

All of your dreams 
Sometimes it just seems 
That I'm just along for the ride 
Some they will cry because they have pride 
For someone who's loved here died 

The beaches they sell to build their hotels 
My fathers and I once knew 
Birds all along sunlight at dawn 
Singing Waimanalo blues 

Cyril Pahiui 12-12 (5)

We had the pleasure of seeing Cyril Pahinui (son of Gabby Pahinui) play when we were home in the islands last Christmas. He was so smooth on slack key, with skillful accompaniment by Jeff Au Hoy on steel and Peter Moon, Jr. on ‘ukulele and guitar. Ironically, they perform at the Kani Ka Pila Grill in the Outrigger Reef in Waikiki at, yes, one of “their hotels”. But the servers were locals and very friendly and the music was full-on Hawaii. Cyril came over in between sets to say hello and pose for a picture with a fan. A class act. If you are on O’ahu and have a free Wednesday evening, I recommend checking the calendar and going to hear them play.

Cyril Pahinui was part of another ensemble performing Waimanalo Blues, this time with Arlo Guthrie. It was for a TV show, “The Byrds of Paradise” back in 1994. Juneau Jazz & Classics is bringing Guthrie to Juneau in a few weeks. I wonder if we could get him to play it. Guthrie now owns the rights to the song.

Speaking of artists to check out when you are in Hawaii, a fellow Jambuster recently returned from visiting Hilo, on Hawaii Island (aka the Big Island) and came across another talented young ukulele artist,  Brittni Paiva. He says if you scroll down the full list of her YouTube Uploads to the 30-40th of the 80+ posted, there are some useful lessons. Thanks  Mark!

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