"Sweet Leilani"
Single by Bing Crosby with Lani McIntyre and His Hawaiians
B-side"Blue Hawaii"
RecordedFebruary 22, 1937[1]
GenreHawaiian / Popular
LabelDecca Records 1175
Songwriter(s)Harry Owens
With Lani McIntyre and His Hawaiians

"Sweet Leilani" is a song featured in the 1937 film, Waikiki Wedding. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song,[2] and Bing Crosby's record became one of the biggest hits of 1937.[3][4]

Harry Owens wrote the song on October 20, 1934 for his daughter Leilani, who was born the previous day. Leilani is a popular Hawaiian name, meaning "heavenly garland of flowers" (not "heavenly flower"). It also has a figurative meaning: Small Hawaiian children were carried on their parents' shoulders like a lei (garland), so the name took on the meaning "heavenly child."[citation needed]

Prior to Waikiki Wedding, the song had been recorded by Sol Hoʻopiʻi under the title "Leilani" as the B-side of "Hawaiian Honeymoon" (Brunswick Records 55085).[5][6]

Harry Owens and his Royal Hawaiians performed "Sweet Leilani" in the 1938 film Cocoanut Grove starring Fred MacMurray.[7]

Other versions

"Sweet Leilani" became a standard of popular and Hawaiian music, easy listening, and to some extent jazz; and has occasionally been performed by country and rock artists. The following list is not intended to be exhaustive:


Selected compilations

See also


  1. ^ Decca 1000–1500 Numerical Listing 1175
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Songs from the Year 1937
  4. ^ Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Bing Crosby with music sample
  5. ^ Brunswick 55000 series – The Online 78 rpm Discographical Project 55085
  6. ^ Hulapages: The Covers: 1930–39 Archived 2002-10-23 at the Wayback Machine 1936, "Leilani."
  7. ^ Internet Movie Database: Cocoanut Grove
  8. ^ Capitol Album Discography, Part 1: The 78-rpm Albums: 1 to 149 A-4
  9. ^ Capitol Album Discography, Part 2: The 10" Albums: 150 to 299 H-166
  10. ^ Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Harry Owens with music sample
  11. ^ Allmusic Ring Around Rosie/Hollywood's Best Rosemary Clooney Review with music sample
  12. ^ Allmusic Eddie Fisher Sings Academy Award Winning Songs/Sings Irving Berlin/Broadway Classics Review with music sample
  13. ^ Allmusic South Sea Island Magic/In the Mystic East Frank Chacksfield Review with music sample
  14. ^ http://www.bsnpubs.com/capitol/previews/600-2999.pdf Capitol Records Discography, Continued T 808, p. 14.
  15. ^ Allmusic Aloha The King Sisters with music sample
  16. ^ Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Marty Robbins with music sample
  17. ^ Allmusic Hawaiian Sunset: The Sounds of Arthur Lyman with music sample
  18. ^ Discogs André Kostelanetz – Lure of Paradise
  19. ^ Allmusic The Lure of France/The Lure of Paradise André Kostelanetz with music sample
  20. ^ Discogs Les Paul & Mary Ford – Lovers' Luau
  21. ^ Allmusic Lover's Luau Les Paul & Mary Ford Review with music sample
  22. ^ Discogs Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra – Blue Hawaii
  23. ^ Allmusic Sail Along Silv'ry Moon/Blue Hawaii Billy Vaughn Review with music sample
  24. ^ Allmusic To You Sweetheart, Aloha Andy Williams Review with music sample
  25. ^ Discogs 101 Strings – In a Hawaiian Paradise
  26. ^ Allmusic Romantic Songs of the Sea 101 Strings Orchestra Review with music sample
  27. ^ Discogs Nelson Riddle – Love Tide
  28. ^ Allmusic Sea of Dreams/Love Tide Nelson Riddle with music sample
  29. ^ Percy Faith – Original Albums, American Serenade
  30. ^ Allmusic "Sweet Leilani" Percy Faith with music sample
  31. ^ Allmusic A Little Bitty Tear: The Nashville Years 1961–1965 Burl Ives Review with music sample Disc 5, Track 19.
  32. ^ Allmusic Blue Hawaii Roberto Delgado Review
  33. ^ Allmusic The Academy Award Songs Henry Mancini Review with music sample
  34. ^ RCA Victor Discography Archived 2008-07-05 at the Wayback Machine LSP-6013
  35. ^ Allmusic Ray Conniff's Hawaiian Album with chart and music sample
  36. ^ Albums by The Waikikis: Pearly Shells from Hawaii – Rate Your Music
  37. ^ Discogs Don Ho – Hawaii's Greatest Hits
  38. ^ Allmusic Hawaii's Greatest Hits Don Ho with music sample
  39. ^ Allmusic Waikiki's Greatest Hits, Now! Roland Cazimero with music sample
  40. ^ Allmusic Baja Sessions Chris Isaak Review with chart and music sample
  41. ^ Allmusic Sweet Leilani Dennis Pavao
  42. ^ Allmusic Dream Dancing in Hawaii Ray Anthony with music sample
  43. ^ Allmusic Hawaiian Classics Daniel Ho with music sample
  44. ^ Allmusic This Is What I Do Sonny Rollins Review with music sample
  45. ^ Allmusic Tropic Rhapsody Teresa Bright with music sample
  46. ^ Allmusic Country Music's Yodelling Cowboy Crooner, Vol. 2 Elton Britt with music sample
  47. ^ Allmusic Bachelor in Paradise: The Best of Martin Denny Review with charts
  48. ^ Allmusic Singing in the Rain Cliff Edwards with music sample
  49. ^ Allmusic The Essential Benny Goodman Review with music sample
  50. ^ Allmusic Four Platters and One Lovely Dish The Platters with music sample Disc 7, Track 24.
  51. ^ Allmusic 1936–1939 Don Redman Review with music sample