Hawaiian Ukulele: Papalina Lahilahi

Paplina Lahilahi (Tab)

I regard myself as a complete novice when it comes to Hawaiian music, so when IanB suggested I did a series of posts on Hawaiian tunes I was a bit reticent. But reading Nerd’s Eye View‘s trip to Hawaii (and particularly her visit to the Ukulele Gallery) has put me in the island mood. So, I had a go at tabbing out Papalina Lahilahi.

The arrangement is just a simple melody with the accompanying chords. If you want to work up a solo version, it’s easy to do. Hawaiian melodies are usually very strongly based on the chords. You can create an arrangement by holding down the chord shapes and strumming the chords while there are no melody notes. Here’s my attempt at it.

Download mp3

According to this article in the New York Times, “In Hawaiian songs, lovemaking is referred to poetically by mentioning mist, spray, rain.” Which makes the line in this song, “Your dainty cheeks/Always damp from sea spray,” sound decidedly icky.

View Comments


  1. Ian November 9th, 2007 12:29 am

    Thanks a ton for the tab… having fun with it right now (typing with one hand, fingering the chords and whatnot with the other…. probably should jsut set the uke down and type, oh well)

    And yeah… those are some… interesting… lyrics.

  2. zym November 12th, 2007 11:38 am

    Thats a great little tune – thx

    I would quite like to play some Hawaiian music. Theres tons of tab available on the ‘net, but its difficult when you have no idea what the song is meant to sound like :0)

  3. Woodshed November 12th, 2007 7:37 pm

    Thanks, zym. Glad you like it. The way I play it probably isn’t the way it’s meant to sound. But if you want to hook me up with an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii, I’ll do some research and get back to you :)

  4. Alice July 2nd, 2008 9:08 pm

    Thanx a lot for this tab ! I’ve had my ukulele for 3 days, and it was really nice to start with this song ! I’m playing it really slow at the moment but I guess it’ll get better soon !
    The site is great ! I got a lot of tips on uke that were really useful !
    Keep going that way, it’s fantastic !

  5. Woodshed July 2nd, 2008 9:54 pm

    Glad you like it, Alice and thanks for the kind words.

  6. ukefin July 19th, 2008 3:27 pm

    Just bought an ukulele [Mahalo made in china] here in Finland and found this site. Useful, I could say :D

    Ive been playing chords for this Papalina Lahilahi all day long. :) Nice song. Dont know if I play correctly, but the most important thing is to have fun, right?

  7. Woodshed July 20th, 2008 11:14 am

    Thanks, ukefin. Fun is definitely the most important thing.

  8. little_blonde_on_the_beach February 12th, 2013 2:03 am

    useful and cute little hawaiian song.

  9. little_blonde_on_the_beach February 12th, 2013 2:05 am

    kittty kats pimpin!!!

  10. little_blonde_on_the_beach February 12th, 2013 2:08 am

    wait…this is in the regular key, right? i mean u dont have to tune it specially 2 play this song..i think…someone plz tell me if im wrong

  11. Woodshed February 12th, 2013 8:06 am

    little_blonde_on_the_beach: Yes, it’s standard tuning.

  12. little_blonde_on_the_beach February 16th, 2013 5:12 pm

    thank you!!!

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now