Souvenier Songs

Ukulele Journey Songbook ALOHA!

We have been back from our 12-day adventure for roughly 2 weeks now. I am still sorting out the pictures on my computer, discarding the crooked, the blurry and the ugly…. and intend to put together some kind of blog posting, or postings, as soon as I can organize my notes and thoughts.

Meanwhile, time is slowly ticking away and I keep thinking about how I need to get a song posted. One of the songs I am most excited about from the trip is from the night we had the group jam. This was an organized ukulele jam held on the first Friday night, and it was referred to as “informal jam”, ha ha! Many of the participants had been asked ahead of time to email 5 or 6 songs to trip organizer Donna Curtis, who then forwarded them to her hubby Harry. Harry and his friend Cheryl, who was also coming on the trip, organized the songs alphabetically into a big document for us to print out and bring with us (or just keep on our tablet).

So one of the songs available was the lyrics to a song by a famous Hawaiian performer called “Willie K” called You Ku’uipo. It was contributed by Sarah and George from Oregon. I really loved it, and was similarly enamoured with Beautiful Kaua’i, which we heard almost every day no matter where we went.

Willie K is credited with the song, but in reality he put music to an already published poem. The song actually started out as a poem written by Gilbert Belmudez, who wrote numerous poems and prose upon moving to the Island of Maui in the 80’s. Belmudez wrote You Ku’uipo to express his love for the beauty of Hawaii, and share his pet name for his new island home, “ku’uipo”, which means “sweetheart”. Eventually Belmudez had to move to mainland USA in 1988 where he began copy-writing and publishing his collection of prose and poetry.

Willie Kahaialii aka Willie K was a famous Hawaiian musician, singer and performer on the island of Maui who also hosts the Maui Blues Festival. He has several international CD’s and recently starred in a movie based on Hawaiian lifestyle called “Get a Job” that won awards at the Detroit Windsor Film Festival. In 1990 Gilbert Belmudez approached Willie K to put music to his poem “You Ku’uipo”, and the rest is history. You can read all about these guys, mostly by Googling them, or you can check out Willie K’s discography and view the movie trailer at his website:  Willie K.

Below is the song and I have 2 great Youtube video’s to go with it.


Words by Gilbert Belmudez. Music by Willie Kahaialii – “Willie K”,  in this key.

Intro: D7, G

On this Island I found the [D7] ways,

To see the beauty in passing [G] days.

Flowers that impel my [D7] love

Moments that some only [G] hear of – [STOP]

Loving under a water-[D7]fall

Hearing the owl’s midnight [G] call

Whispers from the ocean [D7] shell

Whispers that you and I can [G] tell – [STOP]



And you, Ku’u-[D7]-ipo

Bring these moments to my [G] mind.

For you, Ku’u-[D7]-ipo

Are an Island one of a [C] kind….. [D7]// [STOP]

[tacet] One of a [G] kind.

(Ending:  Tag “One of a kind….   Cha Cha Cha)


In this land I found the [D7] ways

To feel the beauty of passing [G] days.

Rainbows jewels of a misty [D7] crown,

Craters covered with a silken [G] gown – [STOP]


││:     Stars that always shone so [D7] bright

Scatter throughout the lovely [G] night.

Where true love befell my [D7] soul

True love that came upon a grassy [G] knoll – // [STOP]

(To Chorus)

Loving under a water-[D7]fall

Hearing the owl’s midnight [G] call

Whispers from the ocean [D7] shell

Whispers that you and I can [G] tell   :││

(Go straight into “Stars that…”)

(Chorus one last time)



KU’UIPO Recorded Song:

2 thoughts on “Souvenier Songs

  1. Kathryn MacKintosh May 17, 2020 / 5:45 pm

    Hi Catporritt!
    I came upon your site today as I am learning the song, on Uke , You Ku’uipo
    What do you think that beat is ?
    I don’t feel like the island strum d d u u d u is right .
    Thx !

    • Pineapple Princess May 7, 2021 / 2:57 pm

      Dear Kathryn – LOVE your name!
      I learned You Ku’uipo while I was on a Ukulele group tour, vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii.
      Before that, I had never once heard that song. This was a big group of 28 ukulele players from all over Canada and the US, and 8 or more of us were ukulele group leaders. So we went out to the restaurant patios every night for supper, and stayed for the musical groups that would play from 7 pm til midnight, plus we had invitations to other uke groups in Honolulu. We also attended a authentic kanikapila, which means family music, dancing and crafting party. And we learned this song, which has been made famous by Willie K. You can Google Willie K You Ku’uipo and listen to his rendition, and if you figure out the strum, great, let me know. I only put the ddu udu on it because that is one that is taught to pretty much all uke groups as a universally recognized strum. I also have not been able to figure out the actual strum that IZ uses for his version of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.
      Thanks for visiting my site and leaving me a comment which I also consider Feedback! Thank you very much, and
      Keep on Uking!

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