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,"
There it was!
And the singer: Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole!
That explains the DJs' silence.
As I read about Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole
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."
Kamakawiwo'ole also used his ukulele
to raise awareness
about how the tourist industry
has pushed native Hawaiians
into a second class status.
I think the situation for native Hawaiians
has worsened since Iz's death
on June 26, 1997.
A bronze bust to commorate
stands at the Waianae Neighborhood
Community Center on Oʻahu.
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" ...