Hula O Makee - William S. Ellis


ʻAuhea iho nei la ʻo Makee
A ka Malulani la e huli hele nei

Aia aku nei kahi i Kapaʻa
Ka waiho kapakahi i ka ʻāpapa

ʻO ke kani honehone a ke oeoe
A e haʻi mai ana la i ka lono

ʻO ka hola ʻumi ia o ke aumoe
Kāʻalo Malulani mawaho pono

Kū mai Hailama paʻa i ka hoe
Imua a i hope ke kulana nei

Ākea ka moana nou e Makee
Ma ke kai holuholu o ka ʻIeʻie

Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana
ʻAuhea iho nei la ʻo Makee


Where is the Makee?
The Malulani looks everywhere

There she is at Kapaʻa
Keeled over on the reef

Softly sounds the whistle
Telling the news to be heard

Ten o'clock at night
The Malulani passes by

Hiram stands by and grasps the paddle
Bow to stern it careens

Broad is your ocean o Makee
And the swaying seas of ʻIeʻie

Tell the refrain
Where is the Makee?


Source: Na Mele o Hawaiʻi Nei by Elbert & Mahoe - The ship, Makee, went on a reef at Kapaʻa Kauaʻi and was found by another ship, the Malulani. The kaona has the Makee as a woman who has deserted her lover and the Malulani, searching for her in the ʻIeʻie, channel between Kauaʻi and Oʻahu. Hiram was an officer of the ship.
Source: Nūpepa, contributor unknown: Hawaiian-Language Newspapers are priceless and give precious historical insight. There have always been vague stories about the Makee running aground in Kapaʻa. This article, published in the Ka Makaʻāinana, Buke VII, Ano Hou—Helu 1. ʻAoʻao 8. Ianuari 4, 1897, may be the incident which inspired this famous composition.

Nupepa Maki

Kimo Maki Near Disaster.

Tuesday Night past, when the steamship James Makee was in Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi, while the strong winds were blowing upon us and there as well, it was blown towards land while it attempted to head out to sea. It was stuck for two hours, and during this time, its cargo was unloaded, and the Malulani arrived to give assistance. Looking from the underside, it was seen that part of its keel [kila] was lost, two knees [kuli] and one beam [kua] at the stem were split, and there was a hole underneath, perhaps three feet below sea level at the base of the anchor. The Malulani accompanied it until arriving here in the morning of this past Friday. It will be placed atop the marine railway.


(Makaainana, 1/4/1897, p. 8)