Aloha, My Friend

by Karl Hitzemann

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.

 

Download QuickTime.

 

There's nothing like the sound of Hawaiian music. It just puts you in a good mood. We had so much fun bringing you the song "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a" (Vol. 17, No. 5), that we thought it would be fun to bring you another Hawaiian song. This one centers around the familiar Hawaiian word "aloha." In the Hawaiian language, the word "aloha" has many meanings. It can be an expression of affection, love, peace, compassion, and mercy. Of course, it can also mean "hello" and "goodbye." For our setting, we're using "aloha" as a way to say "goodbye." To make this song more versatile, we're providing you with two sets of lyrics. The first set (which can be heard on the recording for this issue) can be used for the end of a school year. The second set of lyrics is more general and can be used just about any time of year - for example to close a concert, or at the end of a class period. Both sets use the Hawaiian word "mahalo" which means "thank you."

We made the accompaniment for this song sound very Hawaiian, complete with slide and acoustic guitars, bass, and ukulele. Be sure to point out to your students (or see if they notice) part of the well-known song "Aloha 'Oe" used in the accompaniment during the bridge (beginning with the pick-up to measure 14). "Aloha 'Oe" was written by Queen Lili'uokalani in 1877 while on a horseback trip to the windward side of O'ahu. Facts like this and a discussion on the Hawaiian words used make "Aloha, My Friend" an excellent tool for cross curricular teaching and learning about Hawaii and/or Hawaiian music.

You can have a lot of fun staging this song. It would be great to have some hula dancers with grass skirts. And, of course, Hawaiian shirts and leis are a must!

Alternate Lyrics:

Oh yes, the sun has set on our time today.
It's time to say goodbye. We'll all be on our way.
We had a lot of fun, but now we've gotta run.
Aloha, my friend.

We so enjoyed this time. I can't believe it's done.
It went by really fast. Feels like we've just begun.
We'll miss each other, true. That's why we say to you,
Aloha, my friend.

Oh yes, the time was great. We got to sing (do) a lot.
It makes us realize what such good friends we've got.
That's why we're saying, "Mahalo!"

Oh yes, the sun has set on our time today.
It's time to say goodbye. We'll all be on our way.
We had a lot of fun, but now we've gotta run.
Aloha, my friend.

We had a lot of fun, but now we've gotta run.
Aloha, my friend. Aloha, my friend.

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