Ko’olauloa, Braddah Iz, Hawaii ’78, and Pearl Jam

The closing song of “Ko’olauloa” is Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Hawaii ’78” from his album Facing Future.  It’s haunting and poetic at the same time-  the song is specifically about the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, and what the monarchs of Hawaii would feel if they could see their sacred lands paved over in modern times.

The origin of the song goes back to the 1970’s.  One of the songwriters, Kawika Crowley gives the background of the song with the original chorus.

Pearl Jam paid tribute to Braddah Iz with their own take of the song in December 2006 when they opened for U2 at the Aloha Stadium.  I was there at the concert to see this myself, and chills went down my spine to hear Pearl Jam do this so well…

Iz is the first and only Hawaiian artist who has sold over a million copies of an album.  His version of “Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” has been used in many commercials and movies.

He died from complications with respiratory failure in 1997.

The full lyrics for “Hawaii ’78”

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono o Hawai’i

If just for a day our king and queen
would visit all these islands and saw everything
How would they ’bout the changing of our land
Could you just imagine if they were around
and saw highways on their sacred grounds
How would they feel if they ’bout this modern city life

Tears would come from each others eyes as
they would stop to realize
that our people are in great, great danger now

How would they feel
would their smiles be content
rather then cry
cry for the gods, cry for the people
cry for the lands that were taken away
and in it you’ll find Hawaii

Could you just imagine if they came back
and saw traffic lights and railroad tracks
How would they feel about this modern city life
Tears would come from each others eyes as
they would stop to realize
that our land is in great, great danger now

All of the fighting that the king had done
to conquer all these islands
now there’s condominiums
How would he feel if saw Hawaii now

How would he feel
would his smiles be content
rather then cry
cry for the gods, cry for the people
cry for the lands that were taken away
and in it you’ll find Hawaii

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About officer808

Investigating Hawaii Five-0 from the inside.
This entry was posted in Things We Learned About Hawaii From Hawaii 5-0 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Ko’olauloa, Braddah Iz, Hawaii ’78, and Pearl Jam

  1. Cecile says:

    Lol, it’s the second time today that I hear about Iz today, and I’d never heard of him before. For some reason, Iz’s Over the Rainbow is on a loop on French radio and is a big hit right now. The first time I heard it, I had all the H50 rainbow shots in mind, and after a little research, I found that he was Hawaiian, and thought “Huum, I wonder if they ever used his music on the show”, and here I am ! I think I’ve come full circle !

  2. hawaiiobsessed says:

    Bruddah Iz is the best! What an incredible voice, so sad we lost him too soon.

  3. mahalos plenty for the write up… kawiks Hawaii78.com

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