Haleakalā Hula ʻUkulele Chords by Alice Nāmakelua

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In Hawaiʻi, each island has a host of songs they call their own about places and people. What island you’re from usually impacts your repertoire quite a bit. Here’s one of Maui’s most beloved tunes called “Haleakalā Hula.” This song is about Maui’s highest mountain, Haleakalā, which is 10,023 feet tall.

In the summer of 2012, while I was in the Institute of Hawaiian Music on Maui, my cohort took a Hawaiian music through hula class. We were pretty hopeless dancers for the most part, but we had fun and learned this song which is why I feel a fond connection to it and still play it at performances.

This tune is written in a very traditional verse-verse-verse style with easy chords. This means the chord progression repeats for every verse and all that changes are the words. Each verse speaks of a different piece of Haleakalā’a beauty.

Because of this fairly dry song structure, it’s standard in Hawaiian music to add a Hawaiian vamp in between each verse. Just strum D7 for two beats, G7 for two beats, and C for two beats. This helps break the song into chunks and differentiate the parts.

Translation available on Huapala.

Alice Nāmakelua
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C                F      C
Kuahiwi nani ʻoe Haleakalā
        G7              C
Kaulana hoʻi ʻoe kū kilakila

C             F     C
ʻO Makawao ia ua kaulana
        G7             C
I kāohi ia iho o ka lāʻau

C                F     C
He ʻūkiu e ka ua o ka ʻāina
        G7               C
Me ka makani aheahe ʻoluʻolu

C            F        C
E aho no ʻoe a e komo mai
        G7                C
A e hoʻolaʻi ka malu o ke ao

C           F         C
Puana ka inoa i lohe ʻia
        G7              C
Kuahiwi nani ʻoe Haleakalā

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Brad Bordessa
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I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi, where I run this site from a little plantation house in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once jammed with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me