The Hawaiian royals are famous not only as political leaders but also as musicians. Four in particular—Queen Lydia Lili‘uokalani, King David Kalakaua, Princess Miriam Likelike, and Prince William Leleiohoku—were known as excellent composers, as such dubbed “Na Lani Eha,” the heavenly four.
Queen Lili‘uokalani was the last reigning monarch of Hawai‘i. She was deposed against the wishes of the Hawaiian people by a group of American businessmen in 1893. Some of the Queen’s best-known songs were written while she was under house arrest in ‘Iolani Palace after the overthrow. (In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed Public Law 103-150, also known as the Apology Resolution, acknowledging the American role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.)
The Galliard String Quartet brought the Queen’s songs to new life in 1995 with this CD, which has become an oft-heard part of the Hawaiian music scene.