The purpose of the 1993 Hoʻokuku Mele was to commemorate the one-hundred anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. The Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band invited and encouraged the composition of songs about the men, the women and/or the events during that period of Hawaiian history while in their pursuit of sovereignty.
The winner of the contest was a local songwriter by the name of Keith Haugen. Keith described his song, "I Ka Lā ʻApōpō", by stating "It is about the overthrow itself, the loss of the land, the pain felt by the Hawaiian people at those losses, and the call to Hawaiians to rise up and find the right solution."
In 1995, Keith included the song on his CD release titled "ʻUkulele Lady" (PSCD493, Tropical Music). Within the final paragraph of Keithʻs cover letter to the song contest committee, he expressed his beliefs about these types of community projects, and their importance:
"Thank you very much for conducting the contest. I believe that contests such as this always inspire song-writers, and that many of our best songs are written for contests. Even some that do not win, go on to become popular songs."
Keithʻs songs continue to bless us all, well into the 21st-century.
"I Ka Lā ʻApōpō," from the CD titled ʻUkulele Lady featured Danny Kaleikini on nose flute, Isaac Kiʻilehua chanting and Keith Haugen singing. To hear the song, click the play icon below. NOTE: For PC users, we suggest using Firefox. Our current audio files do not seem to work in Explorer. We are working to correct this problem. Mahalo.
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