Kaʻahumanu - Words & music by Helen Desha Beamer

Lei Kaʻahumanu i ke aloha
Lei haʻaheo i ka lanakila
Lei i ka mamo hulu melemele
Lei Hawaiʻi i kou inoa

E ola e ka ʻĪ a me ka Mahi
E ala nā kini o ka ʻāina
Hoʻokahi puʻuwai me ka lokahi
I ola ka inoa
ʻO Kaʻahumanu

Eia kō lei a e lei ai
Na ke aloha i lawe mai nei
I lei hoʻoheno mau ia nou
I ola ka inoa o Kaʻahumanu

Kaʻahumanu is wreathed in love
Pride`s wreath in victory
Lei of yellow mamo feathers
Hawaiʻi's crown, your name

Long live the ʻĪ and the Mahi
Arise, kinsmen of the land
One heart in unity
To perpetuate the name
Of Kaʻahumanu

Here is your lei to wear
By love brought here
To express of continuing affection for you
The perpetuate the name of Kaʻahumanu

Source: Songs of Helen Desha Beamer Copyright Charles E.King,1943 - Mrs. Beamer composed this song for ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu, a benevolent society of Hawaiian women that support elderly, indigent Hawaiians. She was a charter member of the Hilo chapter and the first secretary of this organization that was founded by Princess Victoria Kamāmalu. The Princess Victoria Kamāmalu was born November 1, 1838, and named for her mother’s sister, Queen Kamāmalu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha II. Her mother was high chiefess Elisabeta Kinaʻu, daughter of Kamehameha Nui, widow of Kamehameha II, and half sister of Kamehameha III. Elisabeta Kinaʻu, died of mumps when Victoria was 5 months old and the infant princess was adopted by Kamehameha III and raised by the royal guardians, high chief John Papa Īʻi and his wife Sarai. Her father, high chief Matthew Kekuanaoa, governor of Oʻahu, loved his daughter so much that he built her a magnificent house in 1840, on the corner of King and Richards Sts, on what is now the grounds of Iʻolani Palace. During the reign of Kamehameha III, the home was given to the monarchy for the royal residence. Kamehameha III named Princess Victoria to succeed her brothers Alexander Liholiho and Lot to the throne. He also appointed the princess to the office of Kuhina Nui, at the age of 16. When her brother Lot became Kamehameha V, he appointed their father, Kekuanaoa as Kuhina Nui. This position was abolished in 1864. The princess was engaged to William Lunalilo, but the union was opposed by her brothers and Lunalilo broke the engagement. High chief David Kalākaua then proposed, but the princess refused and never married. Victoria was educated at the Chief’s Childrens School and was groomed for the throne at an early age. She supported educational and religious works, was a devout member of Kawaihaʻo Church and a lifetime member of the Kaʻahumanu Society. A good pianist, accomplished hula dancer, talented chanter, and skilled poet, her forte was mele kuauhau, chants that record historical events. Missionary teaching was a powerful influence in her youth and she was torn between western ideas and Hawaiian ways. She adapted to the westernization imposed on her, but rejected it as she grew older, and returned to what she held most dear - Hawaiian tradition and the culture of her ancestors and people. February, 1866, the princess became ill at a party in Honolulu and paralysis set in by early May. She died May 29, 1866, at age 28, the last female direct descendant of Kamehameha Nui.