“Ode to Waiahole & Waikane Valley”

“I am Hawaiian, I’m all that’s left / I am the son of the sea and the surf
This land was my land, I shared with friends / Now it is their land, and I pay rent…”

Vic Malo’s politically-charged “Ode to Waiahole & Waikane Valley” is filled with clever criticism, taking stabs at so-called “progress” and alluding to the Woody Guthrie track, “This Land is Your Land”. (Did Vic know about the uncovered verses when he wrote this song?)

“I pay to see a waterfall
But there’s no water—none at all
They’re gonna tax the sun I hear them say
You know what that means—I’m gonna pay”

It was tough to find information about Vic Malo (also known as Victor Mataele), but Google makes a few things certain:

1. He’s Tongan, which confuses me because he’s also part Hawaiian, according to the lyrics above. He’s related to King Tauha’afau Tupou IV (an interesting bit of info found in a book that mentions Vic was a fencing instructor and taught lessons in Honolulu during the 1970s).

2.He had a role on Hawaii 5-O in a few episodes: “A Death in the Family” and “Number One with a Bullet, Parts 1 & 2”. The episodes aired in 1978. I have yet to find a relevant video link.

3. He invented a “Method and system for music notation”, which uses “notes and other musical representations using symbols, such as numbers, letters and color”. In March 2010, he received a US Patent (#7674965 B2) for his invention. Nice work!!

More to come on the rest of his self-titled album.

(Vic—if you’re reading this, tell us more about yourself!)

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