Punalu`u - by George Kealoha Iopa, Sr.

Aloha Punalu`u, i ka `ehu kai
Ke kai kokolo a`o Pu`umoa
Me ka wai kaulana, a`o Punalu`u
Ka wai punapuna a`o Kauwila

He u`i nâ moku, a`e kau mai nei
Kaulana kou inoa i ka po`opa`a

Mai poina iâ Kôloa, a`e kou inoa
Ka home hânau o ka `ili`ili

Ho`i aku wau ia Nînole
I ka wai hu`ihu`i mai ke kuahiwi

Ha`ina `ia mai ana ka puana
Aloha Punalu`u i ka `ehu kai
This love of Punalu`u with the mist of the sea-spray spread
And the creeping waves at Pu`umoa
Then by the water place at Punalu`u
The spring water spurting like fountains at Kauwila

The beauty part of the reef awaits
Which is the famous place where po`opa`a fishing is good

This unforgettable and famous place, Koloa
The home and birthplace of the Pebbles

As I enter at Ninole
There the cool water from the mountain
This is the end of my version about
This love of Punalu`u with the mist of the sea-spray spread

George Kealoha Iopa, Sr.
Source: V. Warfield - The composer, a true visionary, wrote this song to share the special things and areas in Punalu`u, Ka`û, that one day we may not have.The black sand beach of Punalu`u, on the island of Hawai`i, was an ancient surfing area. Verse 2, references the bubbling spring water in the tide pools, known as Kauwila, at Punalu`u beach, not visible at high tide. Verse 3, po`opa`a is the Hawkfish. Verse 4, Koloa, a beach at Punalu`u, is the home of `ili`ili hânau (birthplace of the pebbles) where the birth stones are believed to reproduce. C. Brewer published this mele in 1972, under the name of George and Alice Iopa. The mele was used as the theme song for their restaurant in Punalu`u, which opened in 1973. The restaurant is now closed. Recorded by Cory Oliveiros. Copyright, 1972 C. Brewer

George Kealoha Iopa, Sr. was born February 22, 1913, to John Henry Iopa and Hannah Lehelona Mahelona. Known as "Duke" or "Keoki" to his `ohana and close friends, he lived in Punalu`u and took care of his blind uncle, Aqiu. He was a taxi driver at the very young age of 14-16 years and also helped train horses in Ka`û, at the home of his `ohana, breaking in the horses on the black sand beach in Punalu`u. He was a bookworm, loved reading and education was very important in his household. He was very poetic and loved to write songs about the things he saw and places he had visited. His compositions expressed his love and appreciation for things we take for granted, i.e. sitting under a coconut tree or on the lava rock. George and his very close friends, Samuel Kaluna, Mack Kailiawa, Fred Punahoa, Fred Kaapana (Ledward and Nedward's father), Sam Lupinui, George Napoleon, Tom and David Kanakaole, shared good times and were part of his composing this song on the black sands of Punalu`u. During those days the black sands were high hills and on the top of these hills were canoe shacks. George loved this area and always told his family, "whenever you feel sick, go to the coast of Punalu`u and breath in the `ehukai of the salt breeze. You will feel healthier and happier. He hated laziness, was a very hard worker and always said, "in Hawai`i, there's no way you will be hungry, there is so much food that surrounds us. All you need to do is get up and go get it." Fishing was plentiful in those days and the coastline was filled with enough food to fill our stomachs, such as `opihi, hâ`uke`uke, `ôkole, nehu, limu kohu, wana, etc. The people that lived at Punalu`u were all considered `ohana. During the days some of the people went fishing in their canoes and some trained their horses on the black sand beach. During the evenings there was always music that echoed through the night air. The composer taught Sam Kaluna's daughter, Kalei Kaluna to sing this song. She (Kalei) was a song bird of Punalu`u; her voice was so sweet and she was able to place every ha`i (slur) of the song in the right place.
This information is from Velma Kaleinaalapuaokalani Iopa Warfield, the only daughter of George Kealoha Iopa, Sr.and Alice K. Iopa.