Hawai’i Aloha

Lyrics written by Rev. Lorenzo Lyons (also known as Makua Laiana), and the music was composed by James McGranahan.

E Hawaiʻi e kuʻu one hānau e
Kuʻu home kulaīwi nei
ʻOli nō au i nā pono lani ou
E Hawaiʻi, aloha ē

E hauʻoli e nā ʻōpio o Hawaiʻi nei
ʻOli ē! ʻOli ē!
Mai nā aheahe makani e pā mai nei
Mau ke aloha, no Hawaiʻi

E haʻi mai kou mau kini lani e
Kou mau kupa aloha, e Hawaiʻi
Nā mea ʻōlino kamahaʻo no luna mai
E Hawaiʻi aloha ē

Nā ke Akua e mālama mai iā ʻoe
Kou mau kualono aloha nei
Kou mau kahawai ʻōlinolino mau
Kou mau māla pua nani ē

O Hawaiʻi, O sands of my birth
My native home
I rejoice in the blessings of heaven
O beloved Hawai’i

Be joyous, O youth of Hawai’i
Rejoice! Rejoice!
May gentle breezes blow
Love for Hawai’i is eternal

May your divine throngs speak
Your loving people, O Hawaiʻi
The holy light from above
O beloved Hawai’i

May God protect you
Your beloved mountain ridges
Your ever glistening streams
Your beautiful gardens of flowers

Download and print a better version of this sheet music at Musescore

This mele is often sung at regattas, long distance canoe races, and at NCOCA meetings. Following popular custom, you hold hands and gently sway with the person next to you while singing only the first verse once and the hui (chorus) twice, tagging the last line to end the song. As you repeat the last line of the hui, it is also tradition to raise your arms.

NOTE: For the closing tag, instead of repeating the last line of the hui, Mau ke aloha, no Hawai’i, the last line of the first verse is often repeated instead: E Hawaiʻi aloha ē.

Here is a video of students from schools in Hawai’i as well as local recording artists singing the entire song.

Click the button below to download the ukulele chords so you can practice this mele at home. Hawai’i Aloha is also often sung at by kanikapila groups at the end of the uke jam.

Here is a tutorial video by Steven Espaniola to help teach you to play Hawai’i Aloha on the ukulele.

You can also play and sing along with Keiko.

Sprint Turn

Please review the list of paddling commands. During sprint races (regattas), canoes must make at least 1 left turn around a flag (e.g. 500 meter race; 3 turns in a 1,000 meter race; 7 turns in a 2,000 meter race).

  • As the canoe approaches the flag, the Steersperson may say, “Coming in!
    • The Caller makes sure that Seat #1 is on the right and Seat #2 is on the left before the turn is initiated.
  • Once the turn begins, the Steersperson says, “Une!
    • Seat #1 pokes to the right, that is, he or she places the paddle against the right side of the canoe with the blade parallel to the gunwale in a steering position.
    • Seats #3, #4, #5 reduce their power to about 50-60%.
  • As the canoe’s ama approaches the flag, the Steersperson says, “Kahi!
    • Seat #1 switches sides and joins Seat #2 in drawing under the left side of the canoe.
    • Seat #2 begins to draw left under the canoe.
  • As the canoe rounds the flag, the Steersperson will say, “Huki!” The canoe’s momentum will help complete the turn. The Steersperson does not want to over turn.
    • Seat #1 switches sides again, so he or she is back on the right side, and paddles forward.
    • Seat #2 paddles forward on the left side.
    • All paddlers power up to get the canoe moving.
  • After about 7-9 strokes, the Caller makes the kahea to initiate a change.

Here is a video from the 2016 World Sprints which show crews doing sprint turns around a flag. However, please note that in our club, the paddlers in Seat #5 and Seat #6 do not usually draw right while Seat #1 and Seat #2 kahi (i.e. draw left).

Race Start

This technique was introduced by former BOCC coach, Dee Lowe, who adapted it from a dragon boat race start. The intent is to get the canoe up and running quickly in the beginning, and then settle into a strong, smooth, long stroke. This particular start helps paddlers who may be anxious or unfocused at the start of a race to confidently work and think together.


  • 5 long, deep, powerful strokes to get the canoe up on the water. These first give strokes will be inevitably slow because the canoe is starting from a stopped position.
  • 10 fast and shorter strokes at 100% power on the same side for a total of 15 strokes from the start.
  • The Caller says “Hut” on stroke 14. Everyone changes sides after the 15th stroke.
  • 10 fast and short strokes on the other side at 100% power.
  • The Caller says “Hut” on stroke 9. Everyone changes sides after the 10th stroke. These first two changes are sometimes referred to as 5-10-10.
  • Follow the Stroker who should lengthen the stroke and settle into a long, smooth stroke at race pace (80-90% power), or you can push yourself and go for 95-100% power.
  • The Caller says “Hut” on the 12th stroke. Everyone changes sides.
  • Maintain race pace for the next three changes (6 changes in total for each Race Start Drill usually done several times at the end of practice on Saturdays).

Overview of How to Do Water Changes

  1. Those changing leave paddle in the canoe, jump up and out of the canoe on the
    right side.
  2. At the same time Steersman maneuvers to pick up new paddles who
    will climb in on the left.
    • It helps to mark the canoe with tape so the incoming paddler/s know where to grab on to climb in.
  3. The crew in the canoe should continue paddling.
  4. Support boat will pick up paddlers who have exited the canoe.

Here is a clip of some members of He’e Nalu doing water changes at the 2017 Na Pali Challenge.

Huli Recovery Video

Here is a great video from our sister club, Hi’ilani ‘O Ke Kai, that explains how to recover from a huli. This video gives a good basic overview of the standard procedure.

However, in the BOCC version that we use, #2 and #5 straddle the canoe while #3 and #4 help to push the ama up. Then, once the canoe has been re-righted, #3 gets into the canoe first on the right side to begin bailing followed by #4. Meanwhile, #2 and #5 hold down the ama to stabilize the canoe.

Various Methods to Get Into the Canoe from the Water

  1. Forward pull up
  2. Leg under seat for leverage
  3. Push inside hull of canoe at bow or stern with both legs
  4. Use of Huli strap
  5. Crewmate’s shoulder as a step
  6. If person is injured, you can pull him or her on board by using the huli rope under the arms of the injured person whose back is against the canoe

Method #1 and #2 could be used to enter the canoe when doing a water change.