John Kanaka Lyrics and Chords

The name “Kanaka” is given to the Sandwich Islanders who traveled by ship between California and the Sandwich Islands and eventually formed a colony in San Diego.  The name answered to both collectively and individually. As their proper names were often difficult to pronounce, the captains or crews gave them other names. Some were named after the ship in which they sailed, and others after common names such as Bill, Tom or John.

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I heard, I heard, the Old Man say,
John Kanaka-naka tu-lai-e!
Today, today is a holiday!
John Kanaka-naka tu-lai-e!
Tu-lai-e!, oh, tu-lai-e!
John Kanaka-naka tu-lai-e!
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