Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi for High G Ukulele

In this video Jeff plays his arrangement and offers a lesson on Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi for high G ukulele. The classic song Hawaʻi Ponoʻi was written by King David Kalakaua and Henri Berger, who was leader of the Royal Hawaiian Band. The song is recognized by many as the national Hawaiian anthem and remains the state song to this day.

Lyrics to Hawaʻi Ponoʻi


Hawaiʻi ponoʻī
Nānā i kou mōʻī
Ka lani aliʻi
Ke aliʻi.

Makua lani ē,
Kamehameha ē,
Na kāua e pale
Me ka ihe.

Hawaiʻi ponoʻī
Nānā i nā aliʻi
Nā pua muli kou
Nā pōkiʻi.


Hawaiʻi ponoʻī
E ka lāhui ē
ʻO kāu hana nui
E ui ē.



Hawaii’s own,
Loyal to thy king be.
Thine only ruling chief,
Thy liege and lord.

Royal father,
We shall defend,
With the spear.

Hawaii’s own,
Honor give to thy chiefs,
Of kindred race are we,
Younger descent.


Hawaii’s own,
People of this our land,
Duty calls fealty,
Guide in the right.


Playing Hawaiʻi Ponoʻi on Ukulele

This arrangement is in 3/4 time and in the key of F. We will play a lot of open position chords, especially the F Major chord. So get familiar with that shape.

This is a fingerstyle arrangement, so the right hand will pluck all the notes without strumming. The right hand fingers shift between block chords and alternation for melodic notes.

The re-entrant tuning allows us to play fretted notes that ring over open strings. This is called campanella and creates a beautiful texture.

In the lesson Jeff walks you through each measure of the song. At the end Jeff then plays the whole song slowly with commentary.


Want to get the sheet music + TAB and learn many other great Hawaiian songs like this? Join Ukulele Corner Academy today!