Ahi Wela (Fire of Love) - words by Lizzie Doirin & Mary Beckley

`Elua nô mâua
I `ike ia hana
La`i wale ke kâunu
Ho`onipo i ka poli
Ahi wela mai nei loko
I ka hana a ke aloha
E lalawe nei ku`u kino
Konikoni lua i ka pu`uwai
*Konikoni lua i ka pô nei

`Auhea wale ana `oe
Ku`u pua i kui a lei
I lei ho`ohiehie
Nô ke anu ahiahi

Ku`u pua i li`a ai
A`u i kui ai a lawa
I lei ho`ohiehie
No ke ano ahiahi

Elua nô mâua
A i `ike ia hana
La`i ai ka nanea `ana
Ho`onipo i ku`u kino

*alternate lyrics

There were just the two of us
Who knew all about
The activities of love
That were within the heart
Like a hot fire inside
The action of love

Going through my entire body
And throbbing in my heart

*Throbbing last night

Where are you
The flower that I strung into a lei
A lei to adorn me
In the cool evening hour

My flower for which I yearn
I have strung and made
Into an ornamental wreath

In the cool evening hour

There were two of us
Who knew about it
We enjoyed it in the calm
I was being wooed

*alternate lyrics

Source: Johnny Noble's collection - Composer of the melody and older lyrics are unknown, but Charles E. King says the tune was borrowed from a band on a Russian ship that visited Honolulu. The newer version by Doirin & Beckley was written about 1891. Doirin, a singer with the Royal Hawaiian Band was the first wife of Alfred Alohikea, the Kaua`i composer. Beckley was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Lili`uokalani. The two versions are basically the same, a poetry of passion, telling of sexual combustion that may result from the act of love. Much of the Hawaiian genre of poetry refers to sexual organs and sexual acts that have roots in ancient Hawaiian chants. La`i refers to the peace that follows passion; when coupled with kaona, it means the thrill of lovemaking. Translated by Mary Pukui