ʻImi Au Ia ʻOe (I Search For You) - by Charles E. King & Liliʻuokalani

ʻAuhea wale ʻoe e ke aloha lā
E ka mea hoʻehaʻeha puʻuwai
Na wai e ʻole ke aloha ia lā
A he waiwai ua sila mua ia

Aʻohe kohukohu o ka ua lā
Ke pili mai me aʻu ka wahine uʻi
ʻAia koʻu hoa a e kohu ai
O ka ʻiʻiwi hulu ʻula o ka nahele

ʻImi au ia ʻoe e ke aloha lā
Ma na paia ʻaʻala o Puna
A i hea la ʻoe i nalowale iho nei
Hoʻi mai no kāua e pili
Where are you, my love
The one who stirs my heart
Who can help loving you
Riches bound to me from the beginning

The rain is not suitable
When I am with a pretty woman
The companion for me, truly compatible
Is the red-feathered ʻiʻiwibird of the uplands

I search for you, my love
In the fragrant groves of Puna
Where have you disappeared to?
Come back and stay with me

Source: King's Blue Book, Copyright 1916, 1943 - This song gained popularity after it was featured in the operetta "Prince of Hawaiʻi" and became known as "The King's Serenade". It was also used as the theme song in the RKO movie "Bird of Paradise" filmed in 1932 and 1951. The song tells of a young man searching for his beloved who is lost in the Puna district of the Big Island. He pleads for her return. Queen Liliʻuokalani wrote a song with the same title, December, 1874. The lyrics are almost identical but the melody, not similar. Charles E. King acknowledges the Queen as one of his musical mentors and he may have used parts of the text or tune, a practice that was common in Hawaiian music.