Punaluʻu - by George Kealoha Iopa, Sr.

Aloha Punaluʻu,
I ka ʻehu kai
Ke kai kokolo aʻo Puʻumoa
Me ka wai kaulana, aʻo Punaluʻu
Ka wai punapuna
Aʻo Kauwila

He uʻi nā moku, aʻe kau mai nei
Kaulana kou inoa
I ka poʻopaʻa

Mai poina iā Kōloa, aʻe kou inoa
Ka home hānau
O ka ʻiliʻili

Hoʻi aku wau ia Nīnole
I ka wai hu`ihu`i
Mai ke kuahiwi

Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana
Aloha Punaluʻu
I ka ʻehu kai
This love of Punaluʻu
With the mist of the sea-spray spread
And the creeping waves at Puʻumoa
Then by the water place at Punaluʻu
The spring water spurting like fountains
At Kauwila

The beauty part of the reef awaits
Which is the famous place
Where poʻopaʻa fishing is good

This unforgettable and famous place, Kōloa
The home and birthplace
Of the pebbles

As I enter at Nīnole
There the cool water f
F rom the mountain

This is the end of my version about
This love of Punaluʻu
With the mist o
f 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 Punaluʻu, Kaʻū, that one day we may not have. The black sand beach of Punaluʻu, on the island of Hawaiʻi, was an ancient surfing area. Verse 2, references the bubbling spring water in the tide pools, known as Kauwila, at Punaluʻu beach, not visible at high tide. Verse 3, poʻopaʻa is the Hawkfish. Verse 4, Koloa, a beach at Punaluʻu, is the home of ʻiliʻili hānau (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 Punaluʻu, which opened in 1973. The restaurant is now closed. Recorded by Cory Oliveiros. © 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 ʻohana and close friends, he lived in Punaluʻu 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 Kaʻū, at the home of his ʻohana, breaking in the horses on the black sand beach at Punaluʻu. 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 a part of his composing this song on the black sands of Punaluʻu. During those days the black sands were high hills and on the top of those hills were canoe shacks. George loved this area and always told his family, "whenever you feel sick, go to the coast of Punaluʻu and breathe in the ʻehukai of the salt breeze. You will feel healthier and happier. He hated laziness, was a very hard worker and always said, "in Hawaiʻi, 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 ʻopihi, hāʻukeʻuke, ʻōkole, nehu, limu kohu, wana, etc. The people that lived at Punaluʻu were all considered ʻohana. During the day 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 the song bird of Punaluʻu; her voice was so sweet and she was able to place every haʻi (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.