Aloha to Hawai’i

Words and music   Creative Commons License 1984 by Jim Bearden

Verse 1:
When first the white men found Hawai’i, from their homes across the sea,
There were half a million people, living self‑sufficiently.
They found there were strange plants and birds in the forests and mountains tall,
And a spirit called “Aloha” that was rarest of them all.

So let us sing of her green mountains, her blue ocean, shining sand,
And let us sing about her people, and the spirit of the land;

Chorus:
Then just say again the saddest words you’ll ever have to say:
Say Aloha to Hawai’i ‑‑ Kealoha, Hawai’i‑nei.

Verse 2:
Now we’ve got sugar cane and pineapple, as far as we can see,
And they say we’ve got to save the agriculture industry;
And hope the agribusiness companies don’t just take our subsidy,
And run to other countries where they’ll work almost for free.

But if they stay with us, and prosper, even that’s not quite so sweet ‑‑
How well can you live, if sugar cane is all you have to eat?

Chorus

Verse 3:
Now today they tell us that the tourist trade’s the one
That’ll keep our sons and daughters here, and support our island home;
They promise lots of jobs, and while that cannot be denied,
What kind of future is it, if we’re all waiters and tour guides?

And let us think about another problem for this industry:
When they’ve sold the whole place to the tourists, what will they come to see?

Chorus

Verse 4:
The military also has a big place in our state,
For it’s a business that’s quite prosperous in a time of fear and hate;
It brings in lots of money, and we’ll probably do quite well,
Living on our sunny target, if they don’t blow us all to hell.

And if you brush aside this problem, there occurs another one:
For how can one hand wish Aloha, while the other holds a gun?

Chorus

Verse 5:
Now they say that high technology will have its day,
A clean industry for the future to support our island way;
But we all know the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,
And you don’t build a high‑tech center without a university.

And if you think of what they’ve done to U. of H., well, in the end,
You’ll just decide their high‑tech promises are written on the wind.

Chorus

Verse 6:
Now the missionaries came to do good, and they certainly did quite well,
For they came to own Hawai’i, and they and others came to sell
All the things that made it special, to satisfy their short‑term need,
And like the plants and birds, our Aloha is endangered by their greed.

For there are some things that will live forever, if freely given away,
But when you package them and sell them off, they just die and decay.

Chorus

Verse 7:
Now though I sing about Hawai’i, California’s where I am,
And why should I think anybody elsewhere should give a damn?
Well, the Aloha spirit’s what this world needs now to carry on,
And the pity is, how few of us will know it before it’s gone.

So let us sing of her green mountains, her blue ocean, shining sand,
And let us sing about her people, and the spirit of the land;

Chorus

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