Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bruddah Iz and Lemon Drops

stop playing this song!

Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole
Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Every time these ukulele notes
spill out of my car radio,
I want to flee from snowy, cold Colorado
and sink my feet 
into the soft sand and warm water 
of Ke Iki Beach. 

Ke Iki Beach
North Shore, Oʻahu

Surely there are few spots in the world 
as lovely as the North Shore of Oʻahu at sunset.

I swear, one of these days,
I'm going to drive off the road
because I'm lost in sand 
and gentle waves washing the shore
instead of seeing the next bend in the road.

And that soft pure voice,
so mellow it makes this driven soul relax.

Do you think the KBCO DJs
ever name the singer of this song 
I'm loving on the radio?

Who is this singer and ukulele player?

Don't you just love Google search?!
I typed in "hawaiian somewhere over the rainbow,"
and BAM!
There it was!
And the singer:  Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole!

That explains the DJs' silence.

As I read about Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole 
on Wikipedia, 
I discovered that the song came 
from the best selling album of all time
by a Hawaiian artist:
Facing Future (released 1993).

Kamakawiwoʻole, The Fearless Eyed,
devoted his life and music
to promoting Hawaiian rights and Hawaiian independence.

Many people think the lyrics 
from Bruddah Iz's song Hawai'i '78
summarize his Hawaiian ideals: 
"the life of this land is the life of the people
and that to care for the land (malama 'āina) 
is to care for the Hawaiian culture." 
Source:  Wikipedia

Kamakawiwo'ole also used his ukulele
to raise awareness 
about how the tourist industry 
has pushed native Hawaiians 
into a second class status.
Source:  Wikipedia

I think the situation for native Hawaiians
has worsened since Iz's death
on June 26, 1997.

A bronze bust to commorate
Israel Kamakawiwoʻole 
stands at the Waianae Neighborhood 
Community Center on Oʻahu.
Source:  Wikipedia

Just saying,
if you find my car
wheels up on the side of the road
with a smiling me inside,
you'll know it's KBCO's fault!

You'll know I'm somewhere
"Where trouble melts like lemon drops" ...
Source: azlyrics 

Thanks, Iz!



  1. Gloriously beautiful and tranquil photos. Safe driving!

    1. Thanks, Paul! The North Shore is spectacular! And I LOVE this song! :)

  2. Oh, these pics make me long for the beach.

    1. Me too, Trudessa! Colorado is such a long way from the ocean!

  3. Great shots indeed, wish I was there at my lair.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Pat! I know you've been hammered with winter at your lair. Days are getting longer though! :)

  4. Replies
    1. I so miss the ocean too, Adam! I've got salt water in my blood!

  5. I just love this! Spectacular photos!

    1. Thank you, Linda! I took all these photos (and MORE!) in a half an hour one evening late last May. My husband and I were staying in a little studio apartment less than 100 feet from the beach. I would love to go back!

  6. Hello dear Fundy!
    Or should I say Penelope the antelope?!!!
    You really had me laughing with your sweet comment!
    Sorry I am such a poor blogger these days, but time is lacking!
    These pictures are gorgeous, especially image N°2 2059 and the last one!
    Yes I agree, what a beautiful song making you feel like dropping everything and flee to sand beaches!
    I hope you are not too cold,
    Keep well!

    1. Hi Noushka! You've got me laughing again over "Penelope the antelope! Thank you for the kind words about my photos. They mean a lot because you are an amazing photographer! It's quite nice here right now. Terry and I are going to be in massive piles of snow in the mountains on the weekend. Staying well so far ~ Even if I've been roaming the floors at 2 a.m. Hope all is well with you and yours! Take care!

  7. That is a great video! What a great voice. Oh, how I crave tropical areas this time of the year. Winter is so long here, and I get really tired of it, particularly around this time.

    These photos are gorgeous. What better place to be than at the beach? Hey, be careful on those roads, you daydreamer, you! :)

    1. Thanks, Martha! I've been playing Iz's video over and over! Iz does have a gorgeous voice! I'm trying to stay aware on the road. I used to be hyper vigilant, but I've surprised myself in the past couple of years. Drivers can actually drive somewhere and have no memory of the drive! That was mind-blowing for me! Have a good one!

  8. Louise, this is SO WEIRD!!!! So Sophie is rather fascinated with IZ lately and always wants to watch his video for Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World on YouTube. We've watched it several times this week. She wants to know why he died, why his ashes were dumped in the ocean, etc, etc. Personally, I think his voice is just so magical and his music relaxes me. Makes me sad that he passed away so, so young. He was such a gift to us all, but especially the Hawaiian people. You & I seem to always be listening to the same music at the same time! :-)

    1. Wow, Audrey! It is weird, but wonderful. I've been hearing this song on the radio (which I rarely listen to because I don't drive long distances) for about a year now. Tuesday I heard the song again coming from the grocery store, and, of course the DJ didn't ID the singer. So I decided to Google yesterday and found it immediately! Then I read all about Iz, and I was fascinated with his story. When I saw the video yesterday, I didn't realize immediately that those were HIS ashes, and all of a sudden it hit me! Woah! Tell Sophie that she has great taste in music ~ Iz is wonderful! And I'm so glad I found him! I remember referring to my mother's ashes at the end of her funeral and the shocked look on my little niece Naddy's face when she said, "Ashes?!" We needed Iz's voice around a lot longer. I love Hawaii, but it makes me sad to see what is happening to the natives and to the environment. When are people going to wake up about what we are doing to our world. I heard that the US will have 400,000,000 people in 25 years! Not to mention what's going to happen in India, China, and other countries. I won't give up on us though! Can't give up on us ~ not with beautiful kiddos like my Naddy and your Sophie and Clara inheriting the Earth. Have a good one!

  9. I could do with a little of the tropical ambiance, too. Your photos show the stunning beauty of sea, sand, and sky. Bring warm clothes for the weekend! We're heading to Denver because it will get very busy on the slopes due to MLK holiday. Do you ski?

    1. Hi Barb! Thanks for the kind words about my photos! I've got my warm clothes all laid out ~ along with my sorels. I don't ski, myself; but I'm going to try snowshoeing. My sister-in-law will be working this weekend on one of the runs. Have fun in Denver!

  10. The all-time best version of this song! What a powerful yet gentle man he was.
    Now....these photos are outrageous! What a beautiful place indeed Louise! No wonder you almost go off the road when you have this place swirling in your head! Take care! And have a great weekend.

    1. Hey, Jim!
      I just learned who Iz was when I wrote this post! Terry asked me where I've been all these years! LOL Could it have something to do with being a teacher? I think it's the all-time best version too!

      I have to admit, I was proud of these photos. I even caught the transparent shadow of a bubble in one! Just luck! But serendipitous!

      I was fascinated with the story of Iz's life, especially his work regarding the rights of native Hawaiians and his concern for the environment. It's the story of the Indians in the North written again in Hawaii. Now I have a new hero!

      One of the stories in the Hyperion Cantos really tackles these issues. I'm still turned around pacing the floor in the wee hours. Actually, I'm just trying to get the numbers on my FitBit up! Yeah right!
      Have a great weekend!

  11. Hi Fundy,

    Once again I agree but disagree with you. There is something very magical about unspoiled Hawaii - but the only place I have found it is on Molokai - the north shore of O'ahu is too busy for me. The next time you go to the Islands - & I think you are going soon, spend a couple of days on Molokai - it is magical

    1. Hey Sis!
      I do want to go to Molokai! But this time we trying the full two weeks in Waikiki ~ in our funky little hotel. We're pulling a Bob and Nat ~ but not at their funky little hotel. Still can't figure out how we landed up at the Royal Grove instead of the Breakers!
      You were on the North Shore on a bad day. You just have to get away from Shark Cove and Foodland. I do want to go there when they have the BIG waves! But then they also have BIG crowds. I have to see those waves, Barb. Maybe I was Hawaiian in a former life! After all, huge waves haunted my early childhood dreams along with horses. Always know I'm going to have a very bad nightmare when race horses and big waves show up together. LOL! Hope you're not working too hard!

  12. I LOVE that song. And living in sunny Florida, it fits. It relaxes me, every time I hear it, and it's totally the heart behind it that wins me, every time.

    There's nothing like good music, right?

    1. Hey Crystal! How lovely to live in sunny Florida! It's an amazing song, and heart wins every time. Music is my life! Nothing like it! Have a good one!

  13. How peaceful and serene. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! It's my go to place for serenity! Hope your day is going well!

  14. I think a trip to the islands is necessary right about now, don't you agree?!!

    Someday we will sink our toes into that beautiful sand and surf, until then I keep looking at your photos!


    1. So necessary, Ron! I absolutely agree!

      I'm planning to paddle board in a few months, and you should see what my trainer Julie has me doing in prep ~ standing on the flat side of a bosu ball while she tosses an 8 lb. medicine ball at me from different directions. I have to catch it, squat down, then rise up and throw the ball to her ~ sets of 10 tosses without stepping off the bosu ball. That's one of the things she's dreamed up!

      I'm now working on pull-ups too (so I can try wall/rock climbing) ~ well maybe I should call it hanging, because I can't even begin to lift myself up ~ but I'll get there!

      Hope you're having a great day, and happy weekend to you all!

  15. when I was a little girl my Dad was stationed at Hickam AFB...we used to go to this one beach that was fairly ?? close to the base..I remember it being called Keaki..? that's how we pronounced it not sure how it was spelled..but do you think that is the same beach? that's where all the GI's hung out..

    1. Hi Jackiesue! How lovely to have spent part of your childhood in Hawaii. I looked at the location of Hickam AFB, and I think your Keaki must be a different beach. My Ke Iki adjoins Banzai-Pipeline on the North Shore. Have a good weekend!

  16. First, I can't figure out why your beach pictures look so warm and inviting... when the beach I just left was so cold and windy!
    Second... you must think I live under a rock as I've never heard of Iz... BUT... I know the song and now that you've put name and face together for me - I got it ;-) I love that song and I agree that it magically transports the listener someplace else. It could be a dangerous thing!
    Have a wonderful day!

  17. Hi Dreaming! There is just something about Hawaiian beaches! Or maybe summer versus winter has something to do with it. I just heard of Iz when I wrote this post!!!!! I kept hearing the song on KBCO, and finally I decided I had to track the singer down. I am such a fan ~ new fan! Terry asked me where I had been all these years! I'm loving your artistic journey, Dreaming!

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  19. I've gotten pretty decent with the uke I bought when we were on Oʻahu for the wedding, but I've never really tried learning this one. I figure if your not Judy Garland or Iz you might as well leave it alone, there's just no doing it justice. I can play about a hundred Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan songs about heart break though. About a year into learning how to play the uke I realized I had amassed the most depressing repertoire of ukulele music ever created. All I had to balance things out was "Big Rock Candy Mountain" and "Lydia the tattooed lady", that's about as cheery as it got (I haven't gotten much better either, my most recent obsession is a very depressing Lenard Cohen song. What can I say, I like my uke tunes sad?)

    ANYWAY. The pictures are so amazing. I remember being a little apprehensive when I heard we were going to Hawaii. I had a picture in my mind of something more like Honolulu, a big tourist ridden resort world (the kind of thing "Remembering Siri" in Hyperion criticizes, if you'll allow the reference). But the North Shore was so fantastic. Staying in houses near the beach, making our own food, exploring the area by foot, eating fried fish out of a van while chickens clucked around our feet. It was the best. I think Mom was scarred I would grow gills if I spent any more time in the water :P

    I think a lot about that horrible paradox to wanting to go places that are "less touristy", or however you want to put it, while being a tourist yourself. How just by going to a place you think unique and special you're contributing to a process you fear and jeopardizing your whole reason for going there in the first place. Maybe it's a naive, or melodramatic, or pretentious way to think, It's certainly not a very original moral quandary, but I can never seem to reconcile my feelings about travelling and being a tourist. My flawed and romanticized notions of authenticity are always getting me into mental ruts.

    Sorry for the rambley post, thanks for the song and the beautiful pictures (I had to re-post do to insufficient proof-reading).

  20. Hey girl!
    I loved your rambley post! I like sad songs too. And I so love Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan! I also like some of Willie Nelson's songs. "You Were Always on My Mind" is a great and sad love song. And surely you must be familiar with the Cash/Dylan collaboration "Girl from the North Country." That would be me! LOL! I'm happy to hear that you are enjoying your uke. Judy Garland nailed "Someone Over the Rainbow" ~ but if Iz had never tackled the song we wouldn't have his magnificent version. So don't rule yourself out ~ just saying. Oh, then there's "Say Something ~ I'm Giving Up on You"/Great Big World! OMG that is a powerful sad love song. I think the sad ones are so good because we all go through heartbreak before we find our Terrys.

    I get your dilemma over being a tourist. I've felt that way myself many times. But tourism also helps local economies and that can save areas from exploitation. If people see magical places and spread the word about how beautiful they are and how they need to be preserved, that can be beneficial. If people can see there is an economical benefit to preserving nature and wilderness and world heritage sites (or similar sites), then perhaps we can protect and save them. No easy answers!!!!!

    It was your picture of the little Peruvian girl that pushed me into giving a donation to Heifer International at Christmas instead of sending gifts to everyone. That's one small example. If everyone did a little for our world, it would add up to a whole lot! Love and explore your world and speak up for the need to take care of it and its people.

    Lucky you ~ you get to see it through geological eyes ~ physically and throughout geological time. Such a perspective was one of the greatest gifts of my lifetime.

    Your mom has talked a lot about you and the water in Hawaii! I have hundreds of pictures of those chickens at the Shark's Bay Grill or whatever it was called. I want to do a post on it, but I just haven't had the time. That may be your big challenge in life ~ interested in EVERYTHING! People should all be so lucky! I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos and have such good memories of the North Shore!

    Terry and I are going back to Hawaii soon ~ 2 weeks in Honolulu ~ pulling a Bob/Nat. We only have 2 weeks, so we're going to check the city out thoroughly. Later we're going to London, Iceland, and either Paris or Norway. Can't wait!!!!! I'm working on balance, flexibility, and strength because I'm going to do serious stand up paddle boarding! And I'm going to climb Diamond Head again even if I climb it without Terry (who is more been there done that). Take care, kiddo!

    1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow! The predictive, corrective operations of my commuter make me nuts! Should have proofread better like you!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.