`Imi Au Ia `Oe (I Search For You) - by Charles E. King & Lili`uokalani

`Auhea wale `oe e ke aloha lâ
E ka mea ho`eha`eha pu`uwai
Na wai e `ole ke aloha ia lâ
A he waiwai ua sila mua ia

A`ohe kohukohu o ka ua lâ
Ke pili mai me a`u ka wahine u`i
`Aia ko`u hoa a e kohu ai
O ka `i`iwi hulu `ula o ka nahele

`Imi au ia `oe e ke aloha lâ
Ma na paia `a`ala o Puna
A i hea la `oe i nalowale iho nei
Ho`i mai no kâua e pili
Where are you, my love
The one who stirs my heart
Who can help loving you
Riches bound to me from the beginning

The rain is not suitable
When I am with a pretty woman
The companion for me, truly compatible
Is the red-feathered `i`iwi bird of the uplands

I search for you, my love
In the fragrant groves of Puna
Where have you disappeared to?
Come back and stay with me


Source: King's Hawaiian Melodies - This song gained popularity after it was featured in the operetta "Prince of Hawaii" and became known as "King's Serenade". It was also used as the theme song in the RKO movie "Bird of Paradise" filmed in 1932 and 1951. The song tells of a young man searching for his beloved who is lost in the Puna district of the Big Island. He pleads for her return. Queen Lili`uokalani wrote a song with the same title, December, 1874. The lyrics are almost identical but not the melody. Charles E. King acknowledges the Queen as one of his musical mentors and he may have used parts of the text or tune, a practice that was common in Hawaiian music. Copyright 1916, 1943 Charles E.King, 1944 Edward B. Marks Music Corp